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Phytognosis means plant knowledge and is dedicated to making 100% natural products derived from plants that aid in spiritual attainment. Each product is made from organic or ethically wild crafted botanicals taking care to respect the Earth with no cheap fillers.

Liquidambar styraciflua is better known as American sweet gum or American storax or "arbol de estoraque" by the Mayan people of Guatemala. Its specific epithet styraciflua is an old generic name meaning flowing with styrax (a plant resin). The names "storax" and "styrax" have long been confusingly applied to the aromatic gum or resin of this species, that of L. orientalis of Turkey, and to the resin better known as benzoin resin from various tropical trees in the genus Styrax.

The Aztecs believed styrax to have medicinal properties; mixed with tobacco, the gum was once used for smoking at the court of the Mexican emperors. The Foundation for Latin American Anthropological Research documents this plant as one of the sacred sources of copal resin used for incense and burned during religious ceremonies. In regions of Guatemala highlands such as Huehuetenango, Chichicastenango, Quiche and Coban, bark from the estoraque tree (Liquidambar styraciflua) is used for incense by combining trementina (sap) with the tree bark. We need to undertake further studies to understand the meaning of "ambar" because in English this means solidified resin of a pine tree. But if a Maya says they are burning "ambar" this may be sweet gum, estoraque, and not pine amber.

A traditional use by Cherokee Indians was to make a tea infusion of the inner bark as a sedative to calm the nerves. Traditionally Native Americans used the resin and inner bark as an aid for wounds, sore throats, coughs and in treating infectious diarrhea. Chemical analysis has found astringent tannins and antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory compounds in sweetgum, which make it effective in treating skin and mucosal infections.

Styrax is still used to make chewing gum and also as an ingredient for the tobacco and perfume industry, including the making of perfumes and cosmetics. The storax gum is also used medicinally to treat coughs, wounds, and dysentery. In fact, the old-fashion Friar's basalm contains liquid storax and is used as an inhalant in bronchial upsets.

Liquidambar styracifluais attributed to Mercury/Jupiter and is ruled by the Air/Earth Element.

You will receive 20 grams of American Storax Bark in a labeled bag with occult meanings and correspondences.

This wonderful aromatic incense should be burned in an appropriate incense vessel. Its magickal aroma will intoxicate and fill the air, inside or out of doors, with a lovely natural fragrance.

Phytognosis specializes in rare and unique plant resins, woods, oils, and leaves for use during ritual. We craft incense blends from classic grimoires, the bible, Voudon and other African traditions, as well as Hoodoo and Native American traditions. We would be more than happy to discuss custom work involving, incense, oils, powders, inks, tinctures, or other brews not currently carried.

Always remember to keep children and pets safe when burning incenses. These products are not intended to be taken internally and are sold as a curio only. This wonderful aromatic incense should be burned in an appropriate incense vessel. Its magickal aroma will intoxicate and fill the air, inside or out of doors, with a lovely natural fragrance.

American Storax Bark - Liquidambar styraciflua - Sacred incense for the Mayan people, strength, psychic abilities, and planetary magic


  • Handmade item
  • Material: Liquidambar styraciflua
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