Benefits Of Beech Tree (Fagus Grandifolia) For Health

Benefits Of Beech Tree (Fagus Grandifolia) For Health


Beech Tree (Fagus Grandifolia)


Beech Tree (Fagus Grandifolia) is known as American beech, North American beech, Beech...

The tree known as the beech is a native of temperate regions of the world. It is a medium to large deciduous tree that can grow to one hundred feet or greater. Beech wood is used as a hardwood for construction in many parts of the world; the bark of the beech is smooth and has a color from light gray to blue gray. The beech has leaves that alternate along the branches and each leaf is about two and a half to five and a half inches in length, these leaves have sharp toothed margins and pointed tips at the ends. Once the beech matures, it gives off yellowish flowers from April to May, these turn into spiny fruitlike structures which open late in the summer and contain two triangular nuts - which can be considered the fruits of the beech.

Benefits Of Beech Tree (Fagus Grandifolia) For Health
Beech Tree (Fagus Grandifolia) Picture 

The nuts of Beech, called 'mast,' are chiefly used in England as food for park deer. In other countries they are valued for feeding farm animals: in France for feeding swine and fattening domestic poultry, especially turkeys, and pigs which are turned into Beech woods to utilize the fallen mast. Beech mast has even been used as human food in time of distress or famine.

The beech is a native tree of the American continent and has long enjoyed a good reputation in temperate America as a source of many traditional and folk medicines - both with the natives and the early colonizers. A lotion to counteract the poison ivy was prepared by the Rappahannock Indians from the beech, these Native Americans steeped beech barks in saltwater to produce the lotion - the effects of poison ivy could be counteracted by this lotion when it was rubbed on affected areas of the body. The sap obtained from the beech was one of the ingredients in syrup compounded to treat tuberculosis in Kentucky not so long ago. Traditionally, herbal decoctions made either from the leaves or the bark served in folk medicine and was used as an ointment to treat burns, all kinds of sores and ulcers, when these were consumed, they acted as a treatment for disorders affecting the bladder, the kidneys and the liver. Herbal beech decoction made using the root or the leaves of the plant was believed to help treat intermittent fevers, persistent dysentery and problems like diabetes, at the same time, the beech oil sourced from the nut was used in the treatment of intestinal worms and other parasitic infections.


Benefits Of Beech Tree (Fagus Grandifolia) For Health


All the recognized medicinal properties and beneficial effects of the beech bark and leaves are due mainly to the astringent and antiseptic properties they possess. The leaves and the bark of the beech were traditionally used in many different herbal preparations for the treatment of a variety of disorders affecting different parts of the body.

The boiled beech leaves and bark were also used to prepare a decoction and this was used as a wash or made into a poultice to treat different problems such as frostbite, all kinds of minor burns and in treating poison ivy rash.

Benefits Of Beech Tree (Fagus Grandifolia) For Health
Beech Tree (Fagus Grandifolia) Leaves Picture

The beech nuts were also normally eaten as a vermifuge to rid a person of intestinal parasites. Beech bark was also made into an herbal tea and this was used in the treatment of disorders that affected the lungs. The herbal beech bark tea was also used to induce an abortion in pregnant women suffering from problems in the early stages of pregnancy.

Beech oil sourced from the seeds has also been used traditionally as a fuel for old style oil lamps - these lamps were very common early in the history of colonial America. The wood of the beech is strong, heavy and hard, it is a very fine grained wood, however, it is difficult to cure and not durable. The beech is harvested on a commercial basis as a major source of timber; the wood is used to make furniture, as flooring wood, to make tool handles and crates. Beech wood is also used in artwork and makes an excellent charcoal. In parts of Europe the Beech is converted into charcoal and burned for heat. The leaves and fruit from the Beech tree provide extracts for fabric dyes.