Okay . . . I somewhat whetted your curiosity, or at least I hope I did, when I wrote to you earlier about tincturing sweet gum balls. If you will go to my Did You Know Page you will see a breakdown on the use of the Sweet Gum Tree. With flu season coming on I have run across some information that is old as the hills but for some us brand new. I'm sure you've all heard about the Tamiflu immunization and how last year there was such a scramble for it. The reason for the shortage of Tamiflu is because it is made from the Anise Seed Pod. The chemical that is extracted is called, "shikimic acid. (she-KEE-mick)". There were floods in China which created a shortage for the Tamiflu extract. Now here's the interesting part. For years people have been chewing the sap from the Sweet Gum Tree as a gum, though it is bitter, when they were feeling poorly. You cut about a couple inches of the bark off the tree at least a foot from the base and, oh, over a period of the next few days the the sap will flow. Others, when they've had a difficult time getting over the flu, have drank Sweet Gum Bark Tea and it has helped dramatically. It hasn't been until the last probably 5-10 years that people have actually discovered why. The Sweet Gum Tree also contains shikimic acid. The ingredient is about half as concentrated as what is in the Anise Seed Pod but my goodness, I'm thrilled to know that it's available. The seed inside the spiky ball holds the largest concentration of the ingredient but it's also in the ball itself and the entire tree to some degree. I am tincturing the Sweet Gum Balls. That way I will have this ingredient to add to my other cough and cold syrup that contains elderberries, which by the way is pretty much what you buy at the store and is called Sambacol. I don't know if this will excite you any but I'm so excited to find another item from nature that has been used by the Indians and people for years. Just goes to show that all things come fully back around. I also have a couple pics on my Pictures Page of my Gum Balls. Most would say it's just more useless information but NOT ME!!!
Today, along with the laundry, I'm cooking down the leftover tomatoes in the frig and all the tomatoes I could find in the garden for a few more quarts of tomato sauce. There's absolutely no sense in letting them rot, right?
Oh, I do gloat when I say that.
Who would have ever thought
I would even be growing figs -
but to actually have enough to
dry. My, my, I do love living
on this place!!