A medicinal tree is a plant from which substances of medical value can be distilled or extracted. While some types of medicinal tree are used only in alternative or complementary medicine, many also have found mainstream use. Humans have been using medicinal trees for thousands of years, and new uses are still found thanks to medical research and development.
There are several types of medicinal tree that can aid in fever and pain reduction. Willow and birch trees both contain high levels of salicylic acid, which can be refined into aspirin. In addition to lowering fevers, curing headaches, and soothing aches and pains, salicylic acid plays a major role in many skin medications for acne. Recently, doctors have begun recommending giving aspirin as a first response to a heart attack, as the drug can act to protect and stabilize the heart.
The camphor tree is an evergreen species native throughout Asia. Some popular mainstream medicines use the waxy extract of the tree as an ingredient to help suppress persistent coughing. Camphor has a long history of being used for medicinal purposes; for centuries, people suffering from colds or coughing fits would rub camphor solutions over their chests and throats to ease breathing and open the airways. Extracts from eucalyptus trees features similar uses, and also are used as a flavor agent.
One medicinal tree believed to be beneficial in treating skin problems is the tea tree of Australia. Tea tree oil, made by extracting liquid from crushed leaves, is often found in acne, rosacea, and hyperpigmentation treatments for the face and skin. In addition to antiseptic properties, the oil has an anti-inflammatory effect, reducing swelling and pain caused by infected pimples or blisters.
A coconut palm is a medicinal tree that can be used to soothe drying or flaking skin. Useful after sunburn or before sun exposure, coconut oil is full of fatty acids that replenish and protect the natural moisture layer of the skin. Extracts from coconut palms are used to treat burns and persistently dry skin, and are frequently added to sunscreens, hair conditioners, and body lotions.
Not all medicinal trees have been clinically evaluated for medicinal properties, making caution a requirement when trying natural or tree-based remedies. Even though trees are natural organisms, overdose is possible and allergies may occur. Consider consulting a doctor before pursuing treatment through use of medicinal trees; although many can provide excellent remedies, they may not be appropriate in all cases and may even cause adverse reactions in some people.