How to Use Aspen


Aspen or white poplar is an attractive tree with catkins in the spring followed by silver-lined leaves that rustle and quake even when the air seems still. Its continuously trembling leaves also explain the Latin name for the American poplar, P. tremuloides. The leaves of the white poplar tree are dark on one side and light on the other and so the tree has come to symbolize night and day, and the passing of time. To the Chinese poplar leaves represent yin and yang, moon and sun, and life in all its duality.

In Greek mythology the aspen was dedicated to Hercules who wore a crown of poplar on his descent into Hades. Groves of white poplar trees were plant­ed in his honour and represented the Elvsian fields while the black poplar denoted Hades. Aspen was associated with funerals. It was said that Jesus’ cross was made of poplar and the trembling of the leaves is linked to the shivering of the tree whose wood was cursed by his death.

Twigs and branches of aspen were used in the past for making arrows and hence had divinatory virtues. The buds and leaves were carried to attract money and apparently used by wizards in flying oint­ments. According to Pliny the aspen turns its leaves towards the opposite side of the sky immediately after the summer solstice, and when the leaves showed their undersides it heralded wet weather.

Herbal remedy

The flower buds, leaves and bark have been used as a bitter tonic, to stimulate the appetite and enhance digestion and absorption. They can be taken for digestive problems including flatulence, acidity, colic and diarrhoea, as well as liver disturbances. They make a good remedy for conditions associated with poor digestion or a weak liver, such as headaches, irritability, lethargy and debility. Aspen is good as a tonic after illness or when feeling weak and tired from stress or overwork, or from chronic diarrhoea.

Aspen contains salicylic acid and so has an action similar to aspirin. It can be taken for headaches, nerve pain and fevers and was used in the past as an alternative to Peruvian bark for intermittent fevers or malaria. It will help to relieve urinary problems such as cystitis and irritable bladder and acts as a diuretic. It is a good remedy for painful, inflamed joints and due to the presence of astringent tannins, it can be used for weakness of the vaginal and uterine muscles, predisposing to prolapse.

Externally, aspen tones the skin and makes a good anti-inflammatory for cuts and grazes, eczema and ulcers and an astringent for excessive perspiration.

Homeopathic remedy: Populus tremuloides

Populus tremuloides can taken for digestive problems such as acidity, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, indiges­tion and flatulence. It has a particular affinity for the bladder, relieving cystitis with tenesmus of the blad­der and urine containing mucus and pus. It is a good remedy also for prostate problems and for night sweats and intermittent fevers.

The flower essence

Aspen is the remedy for those who suffer vague or acute fears for no apparent reason. Such people are more sensitive than most — they rustle even in the slightest breeze like the leaves of the tree. They are easily affected by the collective unconscious and the realm of archetypes, by superstition, myth and legend, and by concepts of life and death and religion.

Anxiety and apprehension can creep up on aspen people both during the night and day. They may awake in the night in terror, and may dread going to sleep again. Their fears are often connected to thoughts of death or religion or a sense of disaster impending. The fear can be so intense as to become terrifying and cause trembling, sweating and butter­flies in the stomach.

The flower remedy increases inner strength and confidence, and helps to still fears and anxieties. It enhances the awareness of a higher power behind and above all existence, and the ability to trust more in the divine power of love, encouraging one into a wider range of experiences and adventures without fear holding one back.

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About the Author: Carl Tackett is a travel enthusiast. He has traveled to over 50 destinations all over the world. Currently, he is residing in England. He loves to write about traveling and helping fellow travelers.

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