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The dogwood tree and it's medicinal pourpose


The Dogwood grows in various parts of the United States, but more abundantly in the middle states. It flowers in April and May, sometimes earlier and sometimes later than this, depending upon the climate. The fruit matures in autumn. This is one of the most conspicuous and handsome of our native trees when in bloom, and is frequently cultivated for its singular beauty. Its leaves turn red in the autumn. The wood is very compact and hard, and capable of receiving a high polish, and may be employed for many purposes. The American Indians extracted from the twigs and roots of this and other species a scarlet coloring matter for dyeing purposes.

Medicinal Properties

headaches, fatigue, Astringent, febrifuge, stimulant, tonic  malarial fevers and chronic diarrhea.

Dogwood bark is best used as an ointment for ague, malaria (substitute for quinine), fever, pneumonia, colds, and similar complaints. Used for diarrhea. Externally, poulticed onto external ulcers and sores.

Formulas or Dosages

Use only dried dogwood bark. Fresh bark upsets the stomach and bowels.

Infusion: steep 1 tbsp. bark in 1 pint water for 30 minutes and strain. Take 1/2 cup every 2-3 hours.

Tincture: take 20-40 drops in water, as needed

The leaves, ripe fruit and bark of the Dogwood tree offer many health benefits and have been used for medicinal purposes for many years.

The inhabitants of Virginia love dogwood so dearly that they have named this species as their state tree. One of the early natives of America, George Washington had mentioned in his diary way back in 1785 that ‘a ring of dogwood' has been planted near the old cherry close to the south garden house. Another well known personality from Virginia who is known for his flawless taste and appreciation of things beautiful, Thomas Jefferson too planted dogwood close to Monticello - his treasured home.

When dogwood started blooming during the spring, the attractive creamy white bracts that have resemblance to petals gave a signal to the native Indians that it was the right time to plant corn. In addition, the dogwood tree was also a source of medications for these Native American Indians. They boiled the bark of dogwood in water and utilized the extract to ease sore and painful muscles. In addition, they also prepared an herbal tea with the bark to stimulate perspiration and, thereby, cure a fever. In fact, this traditional remedy was also adopted by physicians and herbalists at a later period. When the southern ports were blocked during the American Civil War making it difficult to obtain cinchona bark - the source of quinine used in treating malaria, people used the bark of dogwood as an effective substitute.

The fruits were widely used to treat dysentery and diarrhea. The method for doing this is as follows. About 9 Dogwood  fruits were mixed with some pears and nutshells and a tea was made from these. This remedy was found to be effective for diarrhea.
 All the parts of the plant have astringent properties. This is because all the parts of this tree contain Tannin.

A tincture can be made out of either the leaves or the bark of the tree and can be used to treat various ailments such as eczema, skin infections, intestinal parasites, veal skin, and gout.
The tincture should be prepared in the following: mix 50 g of the ground plant in 250 ml of alimentary alcohol. Filter this mixture for 15 days. It is advisable to consume about 10-15 drops of this tincture (after diluting in water) about three times a day.

Dogwood is also useful in treating colic in babies and children.
Dogwood petals can be used for tea to bring about relaxation in sick persons.

The bark of the dogwood can also be used to treat external hemorrhoids. All you need to do is to boil about 4 tablespoons of the bark in about 1 liter of water for about half an hour. Filter this mixture and then apply on the affected areas for relief.

The leaves of the Dogwood tree are also effective in treating ringworm. A decoction should be made by boiling cornus leaves along with hag berry leaves. Consume this decoction in order to treat ringworm.

It is important to note that the sap of the dogwood tree can be toxic. It is important to not to cut the tree while collecting it's bark.