Hazel Tree Uses
Tree Healing Therapy
Botanical name Corylus avellana /Family Coryloideae/Betulaceae
Hazel, a member of the birch family, is a deciduous shrub that is native to Europe and western Asia. Typically a number of shoots or trunks branch out at (or just above) ground level, giving it a dense, spreading structure that has led to hazel's extensive use for coppicing. Its bark is a smooth, shiny, greyish-brown, and it has single-sex, wind-pollinated catkins. Fertilized female flowers grow into nuts (fruits), produced in clusters. History, mystery and spiritual healing The Botanical name Cory/us comes from korus, meaning 'helmet', regarding the shape and hardness of the nutshells. There is a legend that Joseph of Arimathea built the original English abbey of Glastonbury in Somerset from hurdles of hazel branches.
Hazel is said to be the quintessential Celtic tree because of its legendary position at the heart of the Otherworld, where nine magic hazel trees hang over the well of wisdom and drop their purple nuts into the water. Hazel is also the preferred wood for water divining and dowsing. In Celtic mythology, hazelnuts equate to concentrated wisdom and poetic inspiration.
Hazel was used magically to protect against disease. In Ireland, a hazelnut in the pocket warded off rheumatism or lumbago, which was thought to be caused by 'elfshot'; a double-nut prevented toothache.
The delicious edible hazel kernel (seed) is used raw or roasted, or ground into a paste, and extensively used in confectionery and more recently 'hazelnut butter'. Americans and Eastern Europeans are also partial to hazelnut vodka-based liqueurs, and aromatic hazelnut-flavoured coffee is popular in the West.
healing Hazel leaves have been used as a remedy to relieve haemorrhoidal symptoms and varicose veins. The antioxidant, cardio-protective nuts are a wonderful food containing two to three times more Vitamin E than olive oil, plus Vitamins C, B3, B2, B1 and K, and fatty and amino acids. Its minerals include calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium and zinc. Aromatic, nourishing hazelnut oil is slightly astringent, but is easily absorbed into the skin and is used for facial and body massages and in moisturizing products.
In January 2008, Italian researchers confirmed the presence in hazelnut shells of ant carcinogenic compounds (though less than in the leaves), which are considered waste material by many food industries.
Those with allergies to nuts should avoid using hazelnuts and their products.