Trees That Heal


Reforesting cities and rural areas with trees based on their environmental, nutritional, medicinal, and herbicidal properties could contribute to better health, according to Dina Beresford-Kroeger, a Canadian scientist who brings together aboriginal healing, Western medicine, and botany.


For example, wafer ash could be planted in hedgerows to attract butterflies away from organic crops. Black walnut and honey locusts could be planted to absorb pollutants along congested roadways.  In India, compounds of neem trees (above photo) have been traditionally prized for their anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties and today are planted around hospitals and sanitariums. In Columbia, researchers found that children living in tree-lined neighborhoods had 25% less asthma than in treeless areas.


Instead of planting new forests with seedlings from modern tree plantations, she advises using stock from old-growth forests.


Macrobiotics makes use of many natural botanicals, such as kuzu root powder, and the fruits, seeds, nuts, and leaves of various trees for home remedies and special medicinal compresses and other applications.