Although it is one of the most famous trees in the world, many may not know that Redwood is a revitalizing and healing plant ally in a variety of ways. Sequoia sempervirons, called the qawh kyoh by the local Hupa tribe and keilth by the Yuroks, may be currently in a depleted biomass, but they still have a huge impact on our environment and on the energetic world. There are a myriad of medicines to be made with the needles, bark and essence of the Redwood, but it bears reminding to gather the plant materials with great sensitivity. We must love, care and protect these gentle giants as they have loved and cared for humans on the Northern Pacific Coast and beyond for thousands upon thousands of years.
Redwood is a member of the Taxodiaceae family and has a great many medicinal gifts to give us. Although most agree that it’s best to gather Redwood materials in the Spring when the needles are at their freshest and most aromatic, we find that it makes wonderful medicine any time of year. Anyone who has tasted the needles can tell you they are quite tangy and astringent, and the tea acts as a delicious expectorant and disinfectant in the recuperative stages of lung infection or cold, according to Michael Moore. He recommends a combination of Redwood, Balsam, Grindelia and Osha Root for a stronger expectorant if needed and just a basic infused tea of Redwood needles for a simple cold. Although we’ve never tried this particular remedy, Plants for a Future mentions that the heated needles can be used as a poultice for earaches as well.
The soft outer bark has long been used to make a beautiful brown dye and can be sustainable utilized without harming the tree. It is also used as a soil conditioner and stuffing material.
I have to say that my favorite form of ingesting Redwood is the essence. It can be made from the needles, branches or bark without harming the tree and is imbued with so many beautiful qualities of this majestic tree. As Pam Montgomery says, Redwood truly bridges Heaven and Earth! It is grounding, but also puts us in touch with the cosmos. It teaches us to accept and embrace the duality in our nature and to find strength in the balance that duality can create if we allow it to. It imbues us with healthy growth, both physically and emotionally. And perhaps most importantly, Redwood teaches us about care, connection and community in the way that the trees support each other and the environment around them.
Do you know any other Redwood medicine that we forgot? Share with us in the comments! We would love to learn more!
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