More life saving tips regarding trees
by Winyan Staz
The more I learn about trees the more I feel I will be able to survive in any emergency I may find myself in while in the wilderness.
Several trees that grow all over the states are great for food and medicine. Here are two of my favorite medicinal trees that I first learned about in a book.
The inner-bark of Alder is boiled and drank as a tea to rid the tummy of gas, to lower high fevers, to induce circulation, to use as eye drops and to check diarrhea. We can use the fresh leaves as a soothing remedy for hot aching feet or brew them up into a foot bath. Alder twigs chewed on one end make a good toothbrush and a fire made from green alder wood burns hot enough to use for welding.
Birch leaf tea is great therapy for gout, dropsy, rheumatism, and can be used to dissolve kidney stones. You can use the leaf tea as a mouthwash.
Birch sap is another tree that makes a sweet syrup. To gather it (spring) do it the same as you would if you were gathering maple syrup. It must be cooked at a lower temp and for a lot longer than maple syrup as it has more water in it and it also tends to burn easily. The sap, fresh from the tree makes a great tonic and refreshing tea.
You can make a decoction from the leaves and bark to treat skin problems, as well as treat fevers.
The white, easily peeled outer layers makes excellent tinder and can be separated as used as a substitute for oiled paper. A brown dye can be obtained from birch bark and it will also yield oil of birch tar, which imparts durability to leather.
I have been using a wonderful little book called Alaska's Wilderness Medicines: Healthful Plants of the Far North to learn many new and wonderful things about trees and plants in the wilderness here in the Pacific Northwest. I strongly recommend this book. it's by Eleanor G Viereck.