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What are the Different Types of Medicinal Tree?

Jessica Ellis
Updated May 17, 2024
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A medicinal tree is a plant from which substances of medical value can be distilled or extracted. While some types of medicinal tree are used only in alternative or complementary medicine, many also have found mainstream use. Humans have been using medicinal trees for thousands of years, and new uses are still found thanks to medical research and development.

There are several types of medicinal tree that can aid in fever and pain reduction. Willow and birch trees both contain high levels of salicylic acid, which can be refined into aspirin. In addition to lowering fevers, curing headaches, and soothing aches and pains, salicylic acid plays a major role in many skin medications for acne. Recently, doctors have begun recommending giving aspirin as a first response to a heart attack, as the drug can act to protect and stabilize the heart.

The camphor tree is an evergreen species native throughout Asia. Some popular mainstream medicines use the waxy extract of the tree as an ingredient to help suppress persistent coughing. Camphor has a long history of being used for medicinal purposes; for centuries, people suffering from colds or coughing fits would rub camphor solutions over their chests and throats to ease breathing and open the airways. Extracts from eucalyptus trees features similar uses, and also are used as a flavor agent.

One medicinal tree believed to be beneficial in treating skin problems is the tea tree of Australia. Tea tree oil, made by extracting liquid from crushed leaves, is often found in acne, rosacea, and hyperpigmentation treatments for the face and skin. In addition to antiseptic properties, the oil has an anti-inflammatory effect, reducing swelling and pain caused by infected pimples or blisters.

A coconut palm is a medicinal tree that can be used to soothe drying or flaking skin. Useful after sunburn or before sun exposure, coconut oil is full of fatty acids that replenish and protect the natural moisture layer of the skin. Extracts from coconut palms are used to treat burns and persistently dry skin, and are frequently added to sunscreens, hair conditioners, and body lotions.

Not all medicinal trees have been clinically evaluated for medicinal properties, making caution a requirement when trying natural or tree-based remedies. Even though trees are natural organisms, overdose is possible and allergies may occur. Consider consulting a doctor before pursuing treatment through use of medicinal trees; although many can provide excellent remedies, they may not be appropriate in all cases and may even cause adverse reactions in some people.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Jessica Ellis
By Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis brings a unique perspective to her work as a writer for WiseGEEK. While passionate about drama and film, Jessica enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics, creating content that is both informative and engaging for readers.

Discussion Comments

By sunshined — On Aug 31, 2011

I like to use stevia as a natural sweetener. It is nice to have a chemical free sweetener that is even sweeter than sugar. I like to buy the stevia extract at my local health food store.

There are also many other things you can use from the stevia tree that many people are not as familiar with.

Stevia has antibacterial properties that can help promote healing of cuts. When I was doing some research on stevia, I also found out that this ingredient is used in a lot of skin care creams because it also helps with acne.

Another thing I found most interesting is that stevia is also used in some shampoos to help slow down your hair turning gray and to help with an itchy scalp.

I think we will be hearing a lot more about stevia in addition to the alternative to sugar. There are so many helpful things that can be used from the leaf of a stevia tree!

By SarahSon — On Aug 30, 2011

I have always been interested in the correlation between plants and herbs and the medicinal things they are used for.

My grandmother was very wise when it came to knowing how to use natural remedies. One time I remember playing outside in the evening and coming in with a lot of mosquito bites.

She knew that there is something in the leaves of the mint tree that can be used to help with the itching from bug bites. Even as a young child I was amazed by this.

I often ask myself, 'I wonder what grandma would recommend for this' as things happen that need some kind of medical treatment.

Jessica Ellis

Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis...
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