Many of our day-to-day ailments can be eased or alieved by natural remedies. Plants, flowers, and trees often carry the healing we need, and you can grow them in your own backyard! Though trees take a while to grow, mature trees can bring you a lifetime of health.
Here are seven medicinal trees you can grow at home.
1. Alder Trees
Alders are deciduous trees that can grow up to 100 feet tall. They have silvery bark that will be patched with spots and mosses as the tree matures. The leaves and bark can both be used for medicinal purposes.
When harvesting the bark, only take a small section so as to not permanently harm the tree. Separate the outer bark from the inner bark, as the inner bark is the most medicinally potent.
Alder has a variety of uses, including fighting infection and inflammation. It is also a natural astringent and has antimicrobial properties, making it a helpful topical to apply to maladies of the skin.
Internally, alder supports liver function and can help you break down bodily wastes. Whether using alder for a specific purpose or just to ensure long-term health, it is a great tree to have in your backyard.
2. The Black Walnut
There are a lot of good reasons to grow black walnut trees in your yard. For one, walnuts themselves provide many health benefits.
They have one of the highest antioxidant counts of all common nuts and are high in omega-3 fatty acids.
But additionally, the walnut tree has antifungal properties. Black walnut contains juglone.
Juglone can be just as effective at treating fungal infections as over-the-counter medications. If you have athlete’s foot or ringworm, harvest some black walnut to help you clear it.
3. Kratom Trees
Kratom trees are native to Southeast Asia and are a part of the coffee family. As such, their leaves are considered a stimulant. But many people use kratom tea as a way to relieve pain and relax.
Kratom is associated with some health risks. Be sure to educate yourself on these risks before using kratom medicinally. When used carefully, kratom can provide much-needed relief.
To have these benefits readily accessible to you, your best option is to grow a kratom tree at your home.
4. Cedar Trees
The cedar tree, a fragrant evergreen, is known for its high levels of vitamin C. In older times, this made it a helpful medicine for treating scurvy. These days, vitamin C is useful for the common cold.
Cedar is also commonly taken as a way to treat skin rashes, warts, and eczema.
Many Native American tribes have spiritual uses for cedar as well. It is used in ceremonies as a purifying or cleansing incense.
Traditional ecological knowledge, also known as TEK, is a great way to keep learning about plants and medicine. It refers to the knowledge of certain plants and learned practices for managing the land effectively.
5. The Maple Tree
Many people underestimate the importance of trees in medicine. But trees like the maple are always good to have nearby.
The maple tree is great for treating inflammation. Inflammation is the cause or a key symptom of many maladies, both internal and external.
Maple sap contains prebiotic properties, which can help balance flora and good bacteria in the gut. This means that maple sap may help combat afflictions like chronic inflammation or liver disease.
Different Native American tribes used the maple tree for various things. The Tsalagi people use the bark from the silver maple to treat cramps or other gynecological issues. The Chippewa use it to treat sores.
Whatever your intended use, maple trees are a great addition to your backyard.
6. Birch Trees
Birch trees are particularly known for their detoxing properties. Additionally, birch is rich in vitamin C. These two things make it a great topical for skin ailments.
But birch is also used as a treatment for urinary tract infections. It has some diuretic properties, which can increase urine output. Birch can also help manage kidney or bladder stones.
Birch trees are also sometimes used to treat joint pain. For maximum benefits, the bark and leaves can be brewed as tea. The oil within the twigs can be extracted and used to treat rheumatism and arthritis.
As with all trees, make sure that you harvest the bark in a sustainable way. Otherwise, you could open the tree up to disease. Here are some helpful tips for harvesting birch bark.
7. The Elder Tree
A lot of people are familiar with the elder tree because of its delicious berries. But elder trees don’t just produce ingredients for pies and jams. They also offer substantial medicinal benefits.
Elder trees are rich in antioxidants as well as vitamin A and vitamin C. This makes them useful around cold season. Elder trees are great immune boosters and have anti-viral properties.
The leaves can be toxic, so they are not to be ingested. However, they can make for effective topicals when used on bruises or sore muscles.
The flowers are a great remedy for inflamed sinuses or excessive mucus. Elderflowers can help people manage their allergies effectively. Finally, they can be used as a face wash can help reduce redness in the skin.
Plant Medicinal Trees for a Healthy Life
Medicinal trees and plants are important resources to keep nearby. With some intentional planting, you can make your backyard the host of a myriad of useful remedies. You’ll always have what you need to help yourself heal from a variety of afflictions.
For more informative blog posts to improve your life, check out our Health section.