Bark Medicine

Bark Medicine

The Health Benefits of Trees
Anna Berestecka
time 7 minutes

Slippers, chewing gum, and linden body wash – our ancestors made all of this (and much more) from tree bark. What about us? Let’s not forget about trees – they still have a lot to offer.

Our ancestors believed that trees were endowed with beneficial qualities, or even magical powers. But what is our relationship with trees today? On a daily basis, we tend to give them little attention, even though it’s really simple: we just need to go out, stop for a second, place our hands on their bark and enjoy their power.

To learn about the therapeutic – or even ‘magical’ – powers of trees, it’s worth consulting Plants in Folk Beliefs and Customs, published by the Polish Ethnological Society. This book, written by Polish ethnographer and ethnobotanist Adam Fischer, consists of entries dating back to the early 20th century, as well as the author’s later work. Drawing on old herbariums and ethnological research, Fischer put together a monograph about 200 species of plants. In the past, trees seemed closer to humans. We relied on them for protection, for cooking, and as an easily accessible medicine.

According to Fischer,


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In Your Prime
Photo by Johnny McClung/Unsplash

In Your Prime

Plants for Youth and Longevity
Dominika Bok

A subjective overview of plants, which – according to both Eastern and Western traditions – can help us enjoy our youth longer.

Youth is obviously neither a special achievement nor a lucky coincidence, wrote the philosopher and historian Leszek Kołakowski, “[…] and it isn’t something to be acquired, won, or regained, even though various treatments are meant to restore youth.” While over-reliance on such treatments should be avoided, the inevitability of ageing shouldn’t discourage us from searching for solutions that will help us stay in good shape, both physically and mentally. The body does age, but it’s also endowed with regenerative capacity, which can be well supported by plants, among other things.

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