Common beech Tree Uses
Tree Healing Therapy
Botanical name Fagus sylvatica/ Family Fagaceae
The beech is a magnificent large, deciduous tree, which is broadly native to most of temperate Europe as far as north-west Turkey. It matures at 120 years, with an average lifespan of 150-200 years, and has a long, smooth- barked trunk, with erect branches up to a slender crown. The golden-green leaves darken to stunning yellows, reds and oranges in autumn. The seeds form small triangular 'beech mast', with two nuts to each 'cupules' (hardened bract).History, mystery and spiritual healing The word 'beech' is Anglo- Saxon. In several north- western European cultures the word for 'book' and 'beech' was identical. Recent evidence indicates that the beech arrived in England C. 4,000 SCE, following the Ice Ages.
Myth logically and historically, beech is connected with learning and intellect. It is said that its wood provided the first 'paper' - slivers or tablets of beech used to inscribe runes and literature - and it is likely that it helped to form the first -ever book.
The beech has been valued for its mast, used to feed pigs (and an important food source for birds and small mammals). The pale-brown, hardwood is not generally suitable for outdoor use, but is used for furniture, plywood and veneers, toys, craftsmen's tools, chopping blocks, clothes pegs, parquet-flooring and was used in France for wooden clogs or sabots.
healing In traditional medicine, a strong infusion of cooling, astringent beech leaves was used to bathe sores and wounds; a leaf poultice helped to reduce hot swellings and heal scabs. Stuffing a sickbed mattress with beech leaves was thought to aid the healing process, while natural water collected from the hollows of ancient beeches was believed to heal skin complaints. The bark was also used to help reduce fever, and a tea made from the powdered bark and leaves was used as a tonic to aid stomach troubles, ulcers, diabetes and to improve the appetite and to benefit the liver, kidneys, and bladder. Beech ground charcoal was also used in vermifuge remedies for tapeworms and roundworms.
Initially used by herbalists, the fresh wood is used by the pharmaceutical industry for distillation to produce an antiseptic, stimulating tar, known medicinally as 'creosote', an ingredient of medicinal soaps, salves and balms for skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Beech is one of the 39 Bach Flower Remedies. It is recommended to enhance sympathy, and physical, mental and emotional tolerance for conditions, people, places and things
At the time of writing there are no known contraindications for the correct use of this plant.