The Canadian hemlock tree is a member of the evergreen family. Its ability to prosper in cold climates and virtually any degree of shade means it can grow to large heights and exude a healthy look. This tree has an iconic status during the Christmas season and is often the subject of photographs and seasonal greeting cards. The strength and durability of the Canadian hemlock allegedly gives it certain healing properties according to many homeopathic enthusiasts.
The Canadian hemlock (tsuga Canadensis) is abundant across the North American continent. Native American people habitually used elements of this tree for a variety of treatments. The inner bark was used in concoctions that were then applied to the skin to treat such conditions as eczema and burns. It was believed to have “magical” healing properties by many of these tribes.
Early French explorer Jacques Cartier gets credit as the first outsider to see the tree’s properties first hand. His voyage to North America in the winter of 1535 was waylaid by scurvy. His ships became ice-bound near Quebec and the sailors were forced to eat food that had very low vitamin content. The resulting scurvy outbreak forced Cartier to seek local help from nearby Iroquois people. They gave him a supply of hemlock branches, which contain high levels of vitamin C, and told him use them. The cure worked and Cartier brought word of the healing properties of Canadian hemlock to the outside world.
The bark and leaves of this tree contain high levels of tannins and flavanols that are now known to have beneficial anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal qualities. Several essential oil products contain the oils derived from Canadian hemlock. One such product, identified as “Bella Mira Essential Oil” on the website abundantlifeessentials.com, is considered an effective anti-microbial and anti-infectious homeopathic remedy.
Other Healing Properties
Some homeopathic treatments include elements of Canadian hemlock for its anti-bacterial healing properties. Hemlock is often included as part of an overall treatment for certain related conditions.
Many homeopathic remedies have not been scientifically tested, and those using Canadian hemlock are no exception. Some people have claimed problems like hemorrhoids, dysentery, gall bladder stones and diarrhea can be treated with hemlock applications. Any such product should be investigated as thoroughly as possible before it’s taken for a specific need.