Tree Medicine, Tree Magic

The Celts used the great forests as a source

of meat from hunting, of berries, fruit and

vegetables, as shelter and as their Materia

Medica. That the creators of the first Irish

alphabet ‘Ogham’ named its letters after

trees is a testament to the great regard with

which trees were held

Birch: the leaves make a tea which relieves

rheumatism and breaks down bladder stones.

It is still believed that bad luck follows the

felling of a birch

Oak: ships were made with ‘hearts of oak’

and oaks are regarded as highly sacred.

Associated with strength and nobility.

Women hugged oak trees to ease labour.

Druids were known as ‘Oak Knowers’

Rowan: wood used for everyday hand

tools. Alternative name is ‘quicken’.

Branches used for protection against

evil spirits, berries used to smear the

lintel, protect farm animals.

Hawthorn: Even today, farmers will not

take out a lone hawthorn from the middle

of a field. Hawthorn blossoms were

believed to cause death if brought into

the house. Hawthorn is closely associated

 with holy wells, usually known for their

healing properties