Common Tree Medicine
Trees have so much to offer us, as if oxygen wasn’t enough! Each tree of each species has it’s own unique energy and gifts. Some trees provide gifts that we can use in the form of herbal medicine, such as barks and berries. Some trees are best used as flower essences. Some are both. Below are some of the more common tree medicines. This is not an all encompassing list.
Hawthorn - berry, leaf, and flower all make a superior medicine to support the heart and cardiovascular system. Berries can be used alone or combined with leaf and flower. I prefer this as an alcohol extract.
Wild Cherry- also known as black cherry and choke cherry, the bark can be used for soothing throats and is frequently put into herbal cough medicines. The flowers and leaf may be dried for use in a tea or extracted in alcohol. These can be used to help a variety of ails and are said to have a soothing, calming, and grounding energy to them.
Oak - the astringent bark can be extracted in alcohol. I like this used with other herbs as a mouth rinse to support oral health. May also be used when highly astringent herbs are called for.
Pine, Fir, Spruce - many of the evergreens have similar properties. They have antiviral and antibacterial properties and support overall wellness. They can be used in alcohol extract form, as a tea, as a steam, and also in topicals. I reach for these evergreens most often, with colds and issues of the upper and lower respiratory system.
Birch - the bark, leaf, and young buds can all be used. The bark is an analgesic, not quite as strong as willow, but with similar properties. The young leaf and bud have a history of being used as a tea for detox purposes of the kidneys, gallbladder, and liver. Birch leaves are also said to help with gout and rheumatism. Birch tar can be used for skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis and a scalp treatment.
Willow - this is a tree that I have always felt incredibly drawn to. It’s bark is rich with salicylic acid, which is anti inflammatory and pain relieving - and the active ingredient in aspirin. Willow, however, is not known to possess the blood thinning effects of asprin.