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Using Trees As Medicine

From: http://wyldestonecottage.blogspot.co.uk/2010/04/using-trees-as-medicine.html

by Ellen Ever Hopman

Many common North American trees can be used as medicine. Their advantage over medicinal herbs is that tree medicines can be used year round. In fact, trees make among the most versatile medicine you will find.

In early spring and summer the leaves of trees are useful healing agents. In fall and winter, the bark and twigs or of the roots may be used to treat common ailments. Some simple rules must be learned, however, and followed for tree medicines to work.

Preparing Tree Medicines for Use

Here are several rules to ensure you are mindful in gathering tree medicines. First never cut the bark off of the trunk of a living tree. Especially avoid girdling the tree by removing the bark as this will kill the tree. To gather bark use that found on a twig or a root of felled tree. In these cases, it is a simple matter of striping the bark off the twig or root with a sharpe knife. Medicinal agents are found in the cambium-the living green or greenish yellow layer just under the outer bark.

Once you have gathered the bark of a tree…

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