Aspen Tree Uses
Tree Healing Therapy
Botanical name Populus tremula / Family Salicaceae
The aspen is a medium- sized, hardy, deciduous tree that is native to cool temperate regions of Europe and Asia. It is crowned with shimmering green leaves in summer and soft gold and yellows in autumn, which tremble in the slightest breeze. The male and female catkins appear on different trees; the capsules contain numerous tiny seeds shrouded in fluff, which assists wind dispersal.History, mystery and spiritual healing The aspen - which is world- renowned for its quivering, 'whispering' leaves - is often confused with its poplar relatives. Hades, god of the Underworld, planted an aspen tree in the Elysian Fields to honour his mistress, the nymph Leuce. The colourful aspen is also sacred to Persephone in her role as goddess of regeneration.
The aspen tree has been called the 'Judas tree', because it was said to be the wood used for the cross at the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It is noticeable that trees important to pagan religions appear to have been deliberately demonized in later Christian teaching. The aspen is a holy tree and it has been suggested that its constant trembling may be construed as awe at the grave honour bestowed upon it for supporting the earthly body of Jesus in his crucifixion agonies.
Celts made fighting shields from aspen wood for protection from physical and psychic harm. Basque shepherds carved signs into aspen trees as a means of communication and to record events. Most carvings are lost as the average above-ground lifespan of aspen trees is less than 100 years.
The aspen is an esoteric tree. Its pith is star-shaped, providing a pentagram symbol for what is up in the heavens (the macrosphere) connected to the microsphere of human life on earth.
Formerly, aspen was used in magic to cure fevers. A sick person's nail clippings were placed in a hole in the tree's trunk, which was then covered and sealed - a cure that reportedly worked only if done at night. A member of the willow family, aspen's bark and fresh dried leaves have been used herb ally as an anodyne, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge and stimulant.
Today it is generally used as a Bach Flower Remedy to treat 'vague fears of unknown origin', anxiety and apprehension The scientifically derived ingredients tremulacin, salicyltremuloidin and salicin are used in a few proprietary medicines for chronic prostate and bladder disorders. In 2007, research showed that Aspen could be used as a reasonable substitute for drugs that alleviate the pain and swelling of arthritis inflammation.
At the time of writing there are no known contraindications for the correct use of this plant.