American Storax, American Sweet Gum, Balsam Styracis, Balsamum Styrax Liquidus, Copalm, Copalme, Copalme d'Amérique, Copalme du Levant, Copalme Oriental, Estoraque, Estoraque Liquido, Gum Tree, Levant Storax, Liquidambar, Liquidámbar, Liquidambar macrophylla, Liquidambar orientalis, Liquidambar styraciflua, Liquid Amber, Liquid Storax, Lu Lu Tong, Opossum Tree, Oriental Sweet Gum, Red Gum, Sigla Tree, Styrax, Sweet Gum, White Gum.<br/><br/>


Overview Information

Storax is an oily resin (balsam) obtained from the tree trunks of Liquidambar orientalis or Liquidambar styraciflua. It is used as medicine.

Storax is obtained by scoring the bark of the tree. The damage causes the wood and inner bark to produce storax. The inner bark is boiled in water and then pressed in cold water to obtain the storax.

People take storax for cancer, coughs, colds, stomach pain, diarrhea, epilepsy, sore throats, bronchitis, and parasitic infections.

Storax is sometimes applied directly to the skin to protect or treat wounds, or to treat ulcers, skin infections, eczema, and scabies. Storax is an ingredient in Compound Benzoin Tincture.

As an inhalant, storax is placed in a vaporizer and used to treat coughs and bronchitis.

In foods, storax is used as a flavoring or fixative.

In manufacturing, storax is used as a fragrance or fixative in soaps and perfumes. Storax is also used to kill bugs (as a fumigant). It is also used for preparing slides for examination under a microscope.

How does it work?

Storax contains ingredients that might fight some bacteria.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Bronchitis.
  • Cancer.
  • Colds.
  • Coughs.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Eczema, when applied to the skin.
  • Epilepsy.
  • Parasitic infections.
  • Scabies.
  • Skin infections, when applied to the skin.
  • Sore throats.
  • Ulcers, when applied to the skin.
  • Wound healing, when applied to the skin.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of storax for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

Storax is safe when used in food amounts and seems to be safe for most people when used appropriately in medicinal amounts. Moderate amounts of storax can cause some side effects such as diarrhea and rash.

Do not take large amounts by mouth or apply large amounts to open wounds. This can cause serious side effects including kidney damage.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of storax during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.



We currently have no information for STORAX Interactions.



The appropriate dose of storax depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for storax. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References


  • Bruneton J. Pharmacognosy, Phytochemistry, Medicinal Plants. Paris: Lavoisier Publishing, 1995.
  • El-Readi MZ, Eid HH, Ashour ML, et al. Variations of the chemical composition and bioactivity of essential oils from leaves and stems of Liquidambar styraciflua (Altingiaceae). J Pharm Pharmacol 2013;65(11):1653-63. doi: 10.1111/jphp.12142. View abstract.
  • Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 182 -- Substances Generally Recognized As Safe. Available at:
  • Karadeniz B, Ulker Z, Alpsoy L. Genotoxic and cytotoxic effects of storax in vitro. Toxicol Ind Health 2013;29(2):181-6. doi: 10.1177/0748233711428642. View abstract.
  • Sagdiç O, Ozkan G, Ozcan M, Ozçelik S. A study on inhibitory effects of Sigla tree (Liquidambar orientalis Mill. var. orientalis) storax against several bacteria. Phytother Res 2005;19(6):549-51. View abstract.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2018.