- Joanne Raptis
Spring is here and we are blooming! Through this period of renewal and growth, trees forevermore continue to play an important role in our lives as they show us how to adapt, ride with the trade wings, and change course with confidence. With so many incredible trees and their unique fragrance, here are a few of our favourites holding incredible gifts of compassion and healing properties. Let spring remind us how beautiful change can truly be.
Plink. That is the sound the tree makes as the sap runs strong in the late winter sun; a time we are encouraged to tap into the hidden wisdom of our dreams. For the tree, the gift of sap is drawn up in the cold months of winter to survive and recharge, and in early spring, this sap flows downward to replenish the roots for the season. Plonk. A sound that no longer feels common because of how sugaring has changed over the years. Although known as uniquely Canadian, maple syrup knowledge existed long before settlers arrived in connecting knowledge shared by Indigenous communities. Our ancestors didn't have trade kettles for boiling sap, but collected it in birch bark pails. When we look at the maple, it reminds us that in order to create the outcome we desire in our dreams, that change needs to embraced. As a leader, they guide so many generations and can grow up to reach 150ft, living up to 400 years old. The older your maple is, the more taps it will accept without damage. Just don't be greedy - they feed us in a time when we need food most. Sometimes, our fears and insecurities rise from the expectations and perceptions we place on ourselves. Ploink.
Birch tree bark always worked so well with sugaring because of its anti-fungal preservatives to protect the sugar for years. Every part of the birch tree is a gift to us. As one of the most ancient and abundant of trees, it is loved for its beautiful bark for writing and painting stories, building canoes, containers, and fire. The inner wood also for fire, but for food and tools, and the leaves for tea and medicine. While teas and medicinal remedies were made from the bark and leaves of the birch, a common practice was to place the leaves on hot rocks to create a vapor that helps cleanse the body. If drinking, birch tea can be used to treat skin conditions, arthritis, kidney, bladder and digestive problems. Even in its dying days, the birch tree continues its promise with one of the greatest medicines we are given - in the form of fungus. If you're lucky enough to find chaga, it has been cherished and consumed by our people for many generations to help treat cancer. As the last gift of the dying birch tree, it gives more life to us. We look to our birch tree to continue releasing energies of traditional ancient knowledge and lost wisdom.
A wise old tree. Known for its flexibility thanks to their branches, they thrive in the toughest of weather conditions. Alternatively, its roots system is solid to remind us to be grounded in times of healing and to enhance our connection with Mother Earth. The active medicine ingredient in willow bark is called salicin, an ingredient known to be used in tea for relief on body pains and arthritis. While it’s a tree that teaches us to grow strong, it also reminds us to remain open and flexible as we continue our path through life. This tree with droopy, sad looking branches is full of hope and purpose.
Try this wallet-friendly Facial Treatment hack:
- 1 cup distilled water
- 45mL white willow bark
Boil water to simmer. Add the willow bark and cover pot for approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to steep for 1 hour, then strain through a cheesecloth. Simply soak a cotton ball and gently apply to your face during your cleansing routine. Leave on for 10 minutes and expect a little tingling action. Rinse and apply moisturizer. Avoid contact with eyes. Now, you can go on with your makeup routine! Store the remaining liquid in a glass bottle in a cool place for up to 6 months. The benefits? Reduces inflammation, brightens your skin, and gets rid of dead skin cells.
Want to help us save our trees? This year, we're proud to continue supporting One Tree Planted as they embark on their mission to restore our forests. This season, we are supporting their reforestation project to achieve their goal of planting 1 million trees to produce 50 thousand tons of carbon by 2050. After the Hanceville fire in British Columbia destroyed 1 million hectares of forests, with natural regeneration ultimately suffering, the One Tree Planted reforestation initiative is helping to restore the landscape.
It’s not just the trees. It has also severely impacted our people and local indigenous communities. With the fire destroying the Yunetsit'in land, it has impacted our peoples ability to hunt and gather food as a community. As for the elders who grew up and lived on the land their whole life, they cannot recognize it any more. Planting trees is the first step to protect our lands and restore its ecosystems. It will help us see the berries grow back, the medicines grow back, and for the animals to return. Protecting trees, particularly old growth forests, is vital to ensure the health and heritage of Canada's ecosystems.
Our team put together a limited number of Spring Give Boxes in support of One Tree Planted and their mission. By doing our part to plant 1 million trees in Canada, we're bringing hope and life to our lands that have been decimated by fires. Cheekbone Beauty will donate $100 from every purchase to One Tree Planted to help the global reforestation effort. With every $1 donated, one tree is planted. Your support in planting trees will not only re-establish a healthy forest, but to plant species that will be resilient in the face of climate change, and to help our Indigenous communities. Through beauty and self-care, we are planting trees!
The Spring Give Box includes:
- Prados Beauty: Sustainable Face Pads
- Sequoia Soaps: Bath Bomb
- WELL TOLD: Bye Bye Bloat Tea
- Cheekbone Beauty: SUSTAIN Eyes - Plum
- Cheekbone Beauty: SUSTAIN Eyes - Raven Black
- Cheekbone Beauty: SUSTAIN Lipstick - Kéyah
The team at Cheekbone Beauty