Trees for Healing

*Note: some of these trees may be toxic to birds

Weeping (White) Willow – aspirin (inner bark). Bark extracts used as a sore throat gargle; for heartburn; stomach problems and food poisoning. Pussy Willow has similar uses – root bark used for leukemia and restores bone marrow function after chemo.

Balsam Fir – Balm of Gilead – great for a rheumatic salve

Common Alder – a poultice of the leaves reduces unflammation and a tea from the leaves is a wonderful foot soak. Various parts – leaves, twigs, bark produce many dyes

Silver Birch – tea from leaves is used for rheumatism, dissolving renal stones and make green and yellow dyes. Bark and bud oil is used in medicated soap.

Chestnut – leaves used as a witch hazel substitute and infused to treat convulsive coughs. Shampoo made from the leaves and nut skins gives golden highlights to the hair. Nut meal whitens linens and forms starch.

Fringe tree – dried root bark used to treat liver & gallbladder diseases, stimulates appetite and has laxative effect.

Eucalyptus – many medicinal uses.

Beech – nuts used as a coffee substitute. Oil pressed from nuts used as lamp oil & making soap. Distilled branches made into medicinal creosote and their ash applied as blonde hair dye. Beech tar treats skin dis-eases.

Ginko Biloba – leaves and seeds used in Chineses medicine for lung problems. Extract of yellow autumn leaves used to promote blood vessel strength and reduce free radical damage. Said to improve brain efficiency.

English Walnut – reduces cholesterol. In China the nuts treat wheezing, back & leg pain and constipation. Crushed leaves treat skin eruptions and repel insects. Bark, leaves & husks yield a brown dye.

Juniper – Native Americans boiled the berries to treat colds and burned the needles as incense.

Sweet Bay – leaves are ‘bay leaves’ for cooking. Extract from the bark is a laxative & diuretic, treats jaundice & colic. Resin chewed for sore throats.

Sweet Gum – inner bark resin used to make storax – a fixative for scents. Bark burned as incense. Resin also used in inhalants for bronchial infections, to treat skin dis-eases and parasites. Resin….allowed to slightly harden used as a chewing gum by Native Americans (

Magnolia – bark – muscle relaxant and used to treat stomach spasms, peptic ulcers, diarrhea, vomiting, coughs and asthma.

Ironwood – stamens used for fever; buds for dysentery and as an astringent; flowers for coughs. Seeds treat eczema & rheumatism and provide oil for lamps. Unripe fruits and the astringent bark, given with ginger, promote perspiration. Leaves and flowers are used as parts in remedies for snake bite and scorpion stings.

White Mulberry – Leaves & root bark are diuretic and expectorant and lower BP. Extracts decrease blood sugar and inhibit tumors in tests. Ripe fruits are yummy and juice made from them is great for sore throats – both White & Black Mulberry.

Poplar – resin used for its antiseptic, expectorant, stimulant, fever-reducing, and painkilling properties – mostly in cough mixtures and ointments for cuts, skin dis-eases and rheumatism. Bark used for rheumatism and urinary complaints.

Elderberry – ripe berries are full of vit. C and are used to flavor & color foods and made into wine. Elderflower water for eye and skin lotions. Flowers treat colds, sore throats, hay fever and arthritis and act as a mild laxative. Leaves are applied to bruises and sprains; bark is given for epilepsy; roots treat lymphatic and kidney conditions. A leaf brew is also used as an insecticide.

Sassafras – ground leaves, called “powder” are used to thicken Cajun soups and make gumbo. Root bark oil contains saffrole, used to flavor root beer before banned by FDA, toothpaste and tobacco. Fruit oil used in perfumes. Leaf, twig, bark and root were tonic blood purifiers and perhaps the first Native American herb to be exported to Europe.

Moutain Ash – berries rich in vit. C – but seeds must be removed. Berries also made into skin masks and used as a sore throat gargle.

Yew – being tested as a remedy for cancer. Smoldering wet leaves create an insecticidal smoke that repels gnats & mosquitoes. A cooled leaf decoction can be applied to soothe nervous, twitching animals, as it has a mild relaxant effect. Branches used by Native Americans for making bows & arrows.

Arbor Vitae – (Thuja) – foliage used for bronchial, urinary and vaginal infections; inner bark for delayed menstruation; twigs for rheumatism. Antiviral & antifungal twig tincture used for warts and skin infections.

Linden – brew from flowers is used as a tea to treat digestive issues, insomnia, nervous tension and overwrought children. Induces sweating which reduces colds, headaches and flu, and may lower BP, and helps with arteriosclerosis. Linden water is used in bath preps to soothe rheumatic aches. Inner bark treats kidney stones, gout and coronary dis-ease.

English Elm – leaves used in hemorrhoid ointments and in decoctions for red, inflamed skin.

Chaste Tree – Vitex agnus. Hormonal balance in women. Root, leaves and fruits used to prevent malaria, treat wheezing, coughs, colds and bacterial dysentery. In Napal, the leaves are smoked for headaches, the leaf juice is given for rheumatic joints, the flower buds for pneumonia, the dried fruits as a dewormer, the roots as an expectorant and tonic.

Northern Prickly Ash (Toothache Tree) – inner bark chewed by Native Americans for toothache pain. Berry tea for sore throats. Bark & berries are stimulants to the circulatory, digestive and lymphatic systems. Prescribed for rheumatism & skin dis-eases, nervous headaches, varicose veins and congestion. Research indicates that this tree and the Southern version may have anticancer properties.

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