The Gumbo Limbo Tree and Its Cousin

Like frankincense trees, the gumbo limbo tree has a reddish, peeling bark. Photo by Ryan Sholin – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

The gumbo limbo tree (Bursera simaruba) is from the same family as our frankincense varieties: Burceracea. I wonder if it shares any of the same benefits as frankincense.
Just like the frankincense tree, the gumbo limbo exudes a resin and has peeling bark. The Mayan people believed that it would heal poison ivy and the venom of various bites.
Because it is so strong, this tree is planted in southern Florida to resist hurricane-force winds. In modern times, some people use the resin as a remedy for gout or brew the leaves for a medicinal tea.
To prepare the tea, a large piece of the bark is boiled for about ten minutes. Some Mayan people believe this tea will detoxify the blood.

Note: Statements about ancient or current medicinal beliefs and practices are merely descriptive. No statement is intended as medical advice.

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