Discover the Healing Power of the Trees

The seeds, leaves, blossom, bark and resins of trees have been part of the medicinal treasure trove of herbal medicine for thousands of years. Our ancestors saw the healing powers in trees as “divine energy”, attributed to gods or saints, but also to elemental beings and tree spirits. These helpers had their seat in the sacred tree. These powers were not only used to eliminate illnesses, but wishes, oaths and worries were also carried to the trees.

The oak (quercus) was particularly venerated as a sacred tree. There are around five hundred oak species worldwide, primarily growing in Europe, North America and Asia that can reach an age of over 1000 years. The oak belongs to the beech family and stands for inner power, strength and endurance. Its hard wood is an excellent building material. Under water and in the absence of air, it becomes as hard as steel! In earlier times, acorns were one of the most important basic foods. Their potassium and magnesium content is very high, but they also contain calcium, iron and vitamin B6. However, acorns are not suitable for eating raw due to their tannins and bitter substances.

For folk medicine purposes, the leaves collected in June, which were dried uncrushed, or the bark peeled from young twigs from March to April were used to treat diarrhoea due to their tannin content. Science has confirmed the effectiveness of the external application of oak bark as an astringent and anti-inflammatory therapy for inflammatory skin diseases with itching. In gemmotherapy, the buds are used to strengthen the entire body, especially during convalescence. Bach flower therapy also makes use of the power of the oak tree. The “oak” flower is regarded as the endurance flower that gently guides us from negative, rigid “having to” to conscious “wanting to”.

Even the coffee made from the bittered and roasted acorns is considered a remedy. Acorn coffee is more than just a substitute for coffee beans in times of need; it was used to treat gout, heartburn, flatulence, weak digestion, stomach and intestinal problems, to provide nutritious food for children with rickets and to help people recover after a long illness. Acorn coffee has a caramel-like aroma and tastes good on its own or with milk and honey. If desired, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves can also be added.

Modern-day tree medicine also focuses on the proximity and encounter with trees. Scientists have discovered that spending time near trees promotes the activity of our killer cells, which fight viruses and cancer cells in the human body. Trees activate and strengthen our immune system and just looking at trees or green spaces has a relieving and relaxing effect.

You can see from these few examples just how much (healing) power there is in a single tree. And we haven’t even mentioned the many other functions of trees – for example with regard to the climate or the water cycle. So why not use this day in honour of trees to thank them for their healing power and invaluable service? Lean against a tree of your choice or sit at its roots, embrace it, feel the tree’s energy, listen to its trunk, touch its leaves and buds, breathe in its scent. You will see this one tree with different eyes in the future.

Join us at one of our events on Arbor Day.