Homage to Tree Barks
DRINKING TREE BARK
In examining the expansive array of benefits provided to humans by plants, it’s interesting to note how specific parts of the plant work differently within human physiology. For example, delicate flowers generally offer us their subtle energetics and are best taken by drinking their mild infusions or essences under the tongue. Chamomile flower tea, for example, made simply from boiling water poured over the fresh flowers, can quickly and temporarily soothe the nervous system. The seeds and roots of plants increase slightly in intensity in their effect on the body as well as needing a slightly longer extraction time. A tree’s bark is unique to other plant parts in its chemistry and anatomy. When consuming the extractions from barks, you are ingesting the most complex expression of the plant. Tree barks interplaying quite profoundly with our internal systems and can strengthen our emotional/energetic body on a deeper level than other plant parts.
The preparation of tree barks is either in the form of a decoction or an alcohol-based extraction. Making a decoction is just like making tea from herbs, but the solids are boiling from 15-20 minutes minimum. It takes this long to pull the active alkaloids out of the strong barks. After the 15-20 minute mark, the brew is left to steep for an additional 10 minutes covered. These decoctions are nice and stable and will last several days on the countertop. They can be decanted of simply drank from the pot. My personal preference is to then use the decoction (in addition to taking straight) in all other liquid applications such as making rice, boiling medicinal mushrooms, coffee, soups, whatever.
The usage and dosage of each plant vary but I recommend a 2-4 week period of daily ingesting at least 500 ml of decoction to feel the full effects on the body. The uses and benefits of most tree barks are broad and wide.
TREE BARKS AND THE POST-DETOX DIET
I use tree bark decoctions to compliment the post-detox diet because it is in this phase of the detox program where the real magic happens. The clean body craves clean food, a clean experience and energies. If we allow the clean body to guide us with its innate intuitive desires for our most optimal self, all the guesswork slides away and a thriving existence is far easier obtained.
The objective of the post-detox diet is to fill the new clean spaces created within the body with strong plants and nutrient-dense foods. This in turn lays the rock-strong foundation, so fundamental to the lasting benefits of the detox process.
TAHUARI (AKA PAU D’ARCO)
When sold commercially tree barks can look like wood chips swept off the floor. The shavings in my photo above are the powerful Amazonian Tahuari bark, more commonly known as Pau D’arco. This huge flowering canopy tree bark hosts a plethora of healing power but is most well known for its ability to control Candida overgrowth.
Just for fun, here is a list of the uses of Pau D’arco in Brazil found on raintree.com (the most reputable online sources of compiled data on Amazonian plants)
Allergies, arthritis, asthma, athlete’s foot, bacterial infections, bed-wetting, blood builder, boils, bursitis, cancer, cancer pain, candida, circulation (poor), colds, colitis, constipation, cystitis, diabetes, dysentery, eczema, fever, flu, fungal infections, gastritis, gingivitis, gonorrhoea, hernia, haemorrhoid, haemorrhages, herpes, Hodgkin’s disease, immune disorders, impetigo, inflammation, itch, leishmaniasis, leukaemia, liver disorders, malaria, parasites, prostatitis, psoriasis, respiratory problems, rheumatism, ringworm, scabies, skin problems, snakebite, sore throat, stomatitis, stomach problems, syphilis, throat (sore), tendonitis, ulcers, urinary tract infections, uterine disorders, vaginal discharge, varicose veins, warts, wounds, and as an astringent, diuretic, pain-reliever and tonic.
I think it’s fair to call Pau D’arco a panacea, but there are 4 main reasons I use it in my post-detox tree bark blend: 1. It strengthens immunity, 2. It strengthens liver function and 3. It fights inflammation and 4. It’s a powerful source of antioxidants. These are such powerful cornerstones to any full-body tonic, especially in a post-detox diet.
Although here I am focusing on Pau D’arco, there are dozens of important tree barks consumed throughout the Amazon: the majority of them known to bring vigour, stamina, sexual potency and other life-enhancing qualities.