With the creation of herbal teas, most of the best ingredients have been used for medicinal purposes in the past. Whether they were a strong part of Chinese medicine or if Native Americans used them as healing agents. Today, there are several different types of bark that can provide you with an outstanding number of nutrients and have been scientifically proven to be healthy to consume on a regular basis.
Importance of Tree bark
Tree trunk anatomy consists of various layers, outer bark, inner bark, cambium cell, sapwood and heartwood. As we are speaking of bark we are only going to go into that but I just want to mention that the cambium cell layer of a tree is also edible. Cambium is also likely to be present in your bark tea and is full of medicinal properties.
Outer bark as the name states is the outer area of the tree that acts as protection, trying to control insects, moisture(both outwards and inwards) and damage. Generally, this bark is not what you want for your tea as nutrients are not abundant here.
Inner Bark, also known as Phloem lays just under the outer bark. All food for the tree is carried here which means the inner layer is packed full of nutrients. Ideal for gaining those medicinal health benefits.
Side Effects of Bark
Please note not all bark is edible! Yew trees are more commonly known for toxic properties which can be fatal if consumed. Researching trees is a must if you plan on harvesting your own bark. You must take time in identifying trees 100% so you know you are not going to be consuming something that is going to have an adverse effect.
Different species of trees have different medicinal properties. For example, Willow bark is known for containing salicin acid which is very like aspirin resulting in pain relief properties. But consuming this tea can make you feel a little nauseous and perhaps give you stomach cramps.
The Purpose of Bark in Tea
There are a wide variety of reasons as to why you will want to consider adding bark to your regular cup of herbal tea every day ranging from your dental hygiene to providing relief from bleeding ulcers.
One of the most notable benefits of bark is the fact that it can help to ward off oral infections and other dental issues including gum disease and cavities. In fact, many types of bark such as White Oak have been used in Native American tribes as useful remedies for a variety of dental issues. You could also chew on the bark after it has steeped in the tea as an extra source of brushing.
Vitamins and Minerals
One of the most obvious benefits of bark tea is the fact that it gives your body all of the vitamins and minerals that it could ever need. With zinc, calcium, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, and more, you can rest assured that you’ll be getting a sufficient amount of nutrients with every cup. You won’t ever have to worry about taking nutritional supplements ever again.
It’s common for people to use different types of bark, particularly Willow, to help remedy fevers as a result of a cold, flu, or an infection. All that you have to do is put a few pieces of bark into warm water and allow time for it to expel its nutrients into the tea. By drinking 1 cup 2 or 3 times per day, it has a natural fever reducing property for mild to severe fevers.
Reducing Heart Attacks
You’ll find that in some types of bark there are special anesthetic properties that are similar to what you would get by taking aspirin. Known for its blood thinning abilities, aspirin helps to transport blood in and out of your heart to avoid a heart attack. Since bark and aspirin have the same properties, you can reduce your chances of suffering from a heart attack with a single cup of bark tea every day.
Reducing Migraines, Muscle Pain, and Joint Pain
Another factor that most types of bark have in common is their anti-inflammatory property. The 3 most common ailments that are a result of inflammation include migraines, muscle pain, and joint pain. By consuming 2-3 cups of bark tea per day, you’ll be promoting heightened levels of blood flow, which are essential for reducing swelling in your tissues. This helps to reduce your chances of dealing with a migraine and its accompanying symptoms. Bark tea has also been proven to assist with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
If you’ve ever been in a situation where you’re dealing with the tail end of a sickness and you can’t stop coughing, bark tea is phenomenal as an expectorant, particularly Wild Cherry Bark. While you have a cold you’ll immediately begin to feel a soothing feeling down your throat and in your lungs to help calm coughing and to help remove phlegm from your airway. With the help of the added tannins in both the bark and a tea blend, it will offer antibacterial properties to help get rid of infections in your respiratory tract.
Bark tea helps to make sure that your body has the opportunity to relax and get rid of extra stress at the end of the day. The less stress that you are under turns into better sleep at night, more energy during the day, and an overall happier lifestyle. You can enjoy a great cup of bark tea and settle down after work, putting your mind and body at ease.
How Do We Brew Tea From Bark?
Ingredients like flowers are relatively easy to extract health properties by infusing. But when it comes to tougher ingredients such as bark we need to use a method called decoction. This takes more time to extract health properties but we do get unique flavors, benefits and aromas from these ingredients.
So how do we brew it – A quick step guide on brewing bark tea:
- Boil up some water in a pan (Stainless steel or glass. Other materials can affect the outcome)
- Turn down the heat to a simmer
- Add in the bark and stir it so it’s not all stuck and clumped together, we want water circulation.
- Wait 10 to 15 minutes.
- Pour the tea through a filter and serve.
- If you want to sweeten up your tea try adding a raw honey
Different Types of Bark for Teas
Here are a few known bark teas that can help you get familiar with bark as a tea ingredient:
Wild Cherry: Some of the most common benefits of Wild Cherry Bark include: relaxation, respiratory support, cancer fighting properties, digestive support, and more. It adds a rich full-bodied flavor to your tea that is extremely floral and fruity at the same time.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon Bark is a natural aphrodisiac, offers antiviral properties, boosts your energy, and aids with digestion. Much like your typical idea of cinnamon, it adds a spicy and sweet flavoring to any beverage.
Willow: Willow Bark is recommended for people suffering from migraines, arthritis, fevers, and backaches, as it is mostly known for its anti-inflammatory properties. You’ll get an earthy flavor added to your tea with the help of this ingredient.
Slippery Elm: Commonly used in Native American medicine, Slippery Elm Bark is known for helping with sore throats, coughing, gastrointestinal issues, and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s useful for both internal and topical applications.
White Oak: The most common use for White Oak Bark is as an internal astringent, especially for people who suffer from bleeding ulcers and kidney problems. In ancient civilizations they would use White Oak Bark to help with dental hygiene. It has a subtle flavor that is very natural and earthy.
Cats Claw: Suggested for people suffering from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, Cats Claw bark is just as delicious as it is nutritious. It’s also quite popular amongst people that are dealing with digestive system issues, particularly in terms of inflammation of the intestines.