Natural Remedies: Top 5 ‘Cures’ To Harvest From The Forest

Native Americans and early pioneers made use of the natural remedies to help heal wounds, soothe pain, and to treat common ailments. A growing segment of society has decided to hearken back to the old ways instead of running to the local pharmacy when faced with mild or moderate medical issues.

Some folks are becoming fans of alternative medicine or natural remedies out of necessity. The high cost of health insurance premiums and deductibles, coupled with the ever-increasing price of prescription medicine, has simply made going to the doctor for non-emergency issues, unaffordable.

alternative medicine
Medicinal trees have long been used by Native Americans as ingredients in natural remedies created to treat common ailments. (Image by

A desire to ingest only natural or organic items is another reason why more Americans are being lured away from pharmaceutical drugs which contain synthetic and difficult to pronounce ingredients.

Off-the-grid families and “preppers” who want to possess an ample and easy to replenish supply of medication for themselves and loved ones, especially if disaster strikes, are also turning to the forest and their own backyards to discover natural ways to heal what ails them.

No matter what the reason for looking to the great outdoors to find alternative medicine offerings for home remedies, opportunities appear to abound. Using trees and plants for healing is also often referred to as holistic medicine, survival medicine, or wilderness medicine.

Medicinal trees grow abundantly throughout the United States. The practice of harvesting sap, bark, or leaves from trees to turn into tinctures, salves, and teas, has been around for centuries. Learning how to properly identify trees, being aware of potential poisoning issues, and consulting a doctor before embarking on any natural medicine regime, is highly advised. Making a mistake when identifying a tree or ingesting even natural ingredients which are only safe to use topically, could become a deadly proposition.

Top 5 Medicinal Trees

  1. Oak – The oak is often heralded as the “tree of life” by Native American tribes, Sacred Science notes. Both the white oak and the red oak are frequently used in herbal remedies. Tea brewed from the bark of the white oak tree has been used to treat sore throats, diarrhea, and mucus discharge. Tea made from red and white oak tree leaves have been used in wound washes to help disinfect the area topically.
  2. Pine – All known versions of pine trees have been used in natural remedies for centuries. The vitamin C content found in pine twigs and needles have made it popular for use in herbal teas created to help treat the flu and the common cold. The teas are also supposed to offer significant pain relief to sore throat sufferers. Taking a bath in the cooled water after boiling the knot of the pine tree may help soothe sore muscles and also have a calming effect for anxiety sufferers.
  3. Birch – Tea brewed from the leaves of the birch tree have been known to help soothe mouth sores, gout, kidney problems, and bladder issues. A cooled version of the tea used as a wound wash may help alleviate skin rashes. Sap from the birch tree is thought by some users to help fight cancer by reducing tumors, thanks to its high content of betulinic acid. Chewing birch twigs may help relieve headaches and moderate pain in general, Wood Magazine reports.
  4. Birch drink in a small bottle is considered a natural remedy Traditional Russian refreshing drink birch juice in a small bottle [Image by 5PH/iStock]
  5. Cedar – The bark from the cedar tree has been brewed into teas to help treat the flu, common chest colds, congestion, fever, and alleviate stiffness from rheumatism.
  6. Poplar – In the spring time, Native Americans frequently utilized the emerging buds on poplar trees to turn into teas and salves to treat scurvy, gout, skin rashes, bladder problems, and headaches. Teas made from Balsam poplar tree bark have been used to treat mouth sores, gum problems, and toothaches. The bark of the tree is known to contain high amounts of salicin, making in a valuable natural ingredient used in home remedies to treat skin burns, disinfect deep wounds, and to aid in the recovery from gangrene.

[Featured Image by Billion Photos/Shutterstock]