American Beech Tree (Fagus grandifolia)

Meet my favorite Beech tree.

She and I have been hanging out together since this past winter when I first noticed her gorgeous leaves still hanging from her limbs.

Beech - 2/2011

The leaves remain on Beech until after Winter is over and the weather begins to warm.  I love how she waits so long to release her old leaves to make way for the new buds which, for this tree, arrived in early March.

There is a great lesson in shedding our old selves after Winter.  I loved visiting and watching Beech go gracefully through her change.

Beech bark is mostly gray and smooth (unless there is some sort of disease on it)  The leaves are very thin and flimsy… soft and almost transparent.   Standing under her canopy is such a soothing experience.

Beech medicine really is quite amazing.  When I think about her qualities, I must say that I find her strongest medicine to be in her flexibility; her ability to have such fragile leaves, yet keep them firmly attached all through Winter… Her strength within her open-ness is a wonderful lesson as well; how often do we find empowerment when we have the courage to become vulnerable and open?

According to Bach Flower Remedies, Beech is the flower remedy of tolerance and sympathy.  People who are rigid and intolerant of others need this tree as an ally.   She softens the heart and soothes the nervous system.  Her medicine helps us to become more flexible and compassionate.

I tasted one of her buds this spring and I could, along with a slight astringency, taste a bit of mucilage and sweetness… very light… not as much as, say, Elm, but I definitely tasted a nourishing sweetness.  This tells me that Beech medicine is tonifying and nourishing.

Beech medicine is loving and accepting.

And each time I say goodbye to her, I notice how beautiful her base is; how she has herself so easily balanced, knowing that, no matter how hard the wind blows or how often her branches touch the earth, she is safe and secure.  I walk away feeling a little more like her.

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About Dana Tate Bailey

I am an Integrative CranioSacral therapist, Earth Medicine practitioner, and ceremonial herbalist, specializing in integrative mind-body therapies, and I work and teach at the Holistic Center in Tupelo, MS.
This entry was posted in Tree Medicine. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to American Beech Tree (Fagus grandifolia)

  1. Thanks, Dana….I have a beech tree in my yard that I love as well.
    Do you gather the leaves or bark and make medicine?
    Peace and Green Blessings, Julie
    http://www.crowsdaughter.com

    • Dana Tate says:

      Hi Julie! The only way to use Beech that I am familiar with is through Bach Flower Remedies. Do you know about Beech medicine? Right now I am just getting to know her, but would love to know how to use her medicine internally.

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