In keeping up with the challenge at hand from the A to Z challenge - here we are today with the letter D. As explained in yesterdays letter, for the purposes of this campaign, while trees are not herbs per say I am including them as they contain both practical and spiritual uses.
I am hoping that I can get this letter to you and not have a gap between letters as this is information you will need and use over the decades.
So here we go with the letter D.
is for Dogwood...
Origin and IdentificationAt this point I know you already know what a dogwood tree is. Mom has one in the front yard with the 4 petaled flowers that start as white and fade to pink on the edges. I can't imagine anyone in the lower 48 don't know how to identify one on site. The Dogwood species (or Cornus) actually consists of up to 60 different variations of tree. They are usually only found in North America and Eurasia / Asia areas. Old English names vary but an interesting tid bit of information is that one of the earliest names for this tree is the "whippletree" as referred to in the Canterbury Tales. The berries from the tree used to be known as dog berries or hound berries. (keep that in your hat for later in this letter)
Practical Uses of DogwoodThe dogwood tree has highly resilient wood, it is known for being to absorb a lot of energy/force without breaking or miss-shaping. (Possibly one of the main reasons it is used for what it is on the metaphysical side but I'm getting ahead of myself.) For this reason, dogwood is often used to make handles for things that need to perform that function such as golf clubs and tool handles. In the old days it was even used to make wooden teeth as well as some of the first effective chewing sticks/toothbrushes.
The inner bark can be used brewed into a tea for treatment of headache and fever. The fruits of the tree are used to treat diarrhea and other conditions. The fruit of the Cornus Kosa variety known is the most widely consumed that I have seen so far. The leaves or bark can be made into a tincture to apply to skin for use in treatment of skin conditions like eczema. The petals of the tree are edible such as the redbud variety and are often used in jams and candied.
Metaphysical Uses of DogwoodThere is a story about the dogwood tree in Christianity as it relates to the crucifixion. Allegedly the dogwood lumber was used for the building of the cross. As a reminder of its part in the crucifixion, it was deemed that the tree would forever grow short so as not to ever be able to be used in such a way again. The flowers were tipped in red to resemble it's part in the blood and two petals would grow longer than the others so as to form a cross. Pink dogwoods are said to be such for their shame in the spilling of the blood A great rendition of the story can be found at Creation Tips
To the Celtic, this wood is known as the hero's tree as it is associated Cuchulain (the Dog of Chullain) who was known for his loyalty and hero status. For this reasons the wood is used in times where heroism, protection or super-human characteristics are needed.
|By E. Wallcousins - Charles Squire, Celtic Myths and Legends, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3486105|
The Dogwood was chosen by me today for its two most well known metaphysical properties. It is known for protection and wish granting. Dogwood leaves can be pressed into a protection amulet or wood carved into an amulet itself. It is also said that the sap of a dogwood placed on a cloth during Midsummer Eve (6/19/16 in the US) and carried with you constantly will grant any wish you may have.
Well, that is about it for me today. I have much to catch up on and it is already mid-afternoon. Until tomorrow and letter E!
Much love and hope for a wiser you from a not so wise me,
Bigger Little B.