Here, in the so called Allegheny Plateau or Valley or Ridge or Mountains – basically this area of western PA, Maryland, little parts of West Virginia, here is where wild cherry trees (and maples) dominate the forest. Here in this little forest, that is absolutely true.
I love their black bark, almost purple. I love the large ones, really only medium sized trees here. And I love the spindly little ones that are reaching up for the sunlight, but not quite making it.
Right now, I have a cough. So I’ve been chewing on the cherry twigs. These twigs release a sour, sweet, bitter taste. Yes! All of those tastes in one. It is a drying taste, it’s a relaxing taste, I feel my energy moving down. I know these twigs well, and I know that hopefully, chewing on them will calm this cough. I stay with the cherry twigs for 2 or 3 days before moving onto mullein, elacampaign and peppermint.
I’m interested in cherry medicine because of the plentifulness of cherry here- did we put cherry here in a past lifetime knowing that we would pollute and poison the air and would need some relief? I’m interested in how I can harvest cherry trees- and let’s not forget or gloss over the fact that I’m talking about cutting down a whole tree, that is a serious and somber fact. But how can I do that, harvest a whole tree for it’s medicine in a way that encourages the overall growth of my forest? How can I take out certain trees to let more light in for others to grow larger? To encourage an undergrowth? To become a more diverse forest? These are a lot of questions. I’m trying to figure out the answers.
I’m also interested in cherry past the traditional cough suppressant, cough syrup application. What an amazing aromatic bitter! Cherry and angelica and ginger sound heavenly together. What about the heart medicine that the rose family provides? Can cherry calm a broken heart? Make room for more ease? Again, so many questions. I’ll be turning towards cherry this year to answer some of them.