Welcome to Trees as Healers

Hi. This is a blog about the healing power of trees. It is a collaborative venture between Donald Purves, (http://wildindigoherbal.wordpress.com) a Traditional Herbalist of more than 20 years' standing, and Rukshana Afia (http://rukshanaafia.wordpress.com), a visual artist who has worked for many years in textiles and ceramics.

Thursday, 17 May 2012


Trees have healing power in a number of ways.  As a working herbalist, my practical interest is primarily in the medicinal qualities of trees – physical properties which can influence human physiology when medicinal preparations from the plants are administered.  But the most direct way in which I experience trees as healing is getting out in a wood to hear and see the wind in the canopy. It restoreth my soul, especially if there is water nearby too!  Heidi, the country girl in children’s literature misses most the sound of the wind in the pines when she goes to stay in the city.
That relentless rustling and whooshing, way overhead when you are safe and sheltered on the forest floor is so reminiscent of the sound of the sea.  It’s accepted as evolutionary dogma that we all came from the sea (humans have common heritage with lungfish) but Elaine Morgan takes it further and convincingly posits that pre-human apes came down from the trees and onto the shore where, for a time, they lived as aquatic apes.
Do we live in harmony with the wood, at ease in its confines?  Or do the crowded trunks oppress, the dappled shade impart gloom, the shadows harbour unspeakable fears?  Undoubtedly, humans have felled many forests in quest for food-producing land.  Is there an extent though to which forests have been cleared in order to clear out atavistic fears and civilise savage lands?
Britain is a fairly sparsely wooded country.  Interestingly, the extent of land cover by trees (12%) roughly correlates with the proportion of common herbal medicines derived from trees (18%) and the proportion of tree remedies used by practising herbalists in healing (Purves 2003 Masters thesis)

However electronic our lifestyle becomes, we still act in proportion with our environment.
Donald Purves

This is the Chinese Year of the Dragon and I also read that dragons have Wood energy , the energy of early spring so this is a drawing of waking trees/stirring dragons . Trees affect me by their intensity . Those who claim the 'Real' exists behind or beyond the visible world have never really looked at trees .
                                                                                                                                         Rukshana Afia  


  1. trees are my *real *friends here in the great Smoky Mountains,WNC.
    They make me feel better:)
    I wish I was strong like they are...loVe how their limbs and branches amazingly
    resemble our veins, arteries, lungs, and inside brain shapes.
    So glad you dedicate this blog to the healing power of trees.

    1. Thanks.Glad to hear from you. Where is WNC?