One of my absolute favorite trees in the Easternwoodlands is this guy; the Sassafras tree. Sassafras is a very common tree in the Easternwoodlands where it can grow to a towering height of over 100 feet and is easily discernable by its beautiful citrus like aroma. Sassafras was widely utilized throughout history for everything from medicinal and culinary purposes (its oil was used to make rootbeer at one time) to the construction of ships and structures due to its easily carvable, yet strong and durable wood.
Very easily to discern from other deciduous trees, the Sassafras has three distinct leaf patterns on its branches as pictured above. Aside from it being utilized as a primary construction wood; the tree has a myriad of medicinal and culinary uses. Many Eastern Native American peoples of this region including the Iroquois, Leni-Lenape, Susquehannock, Shawnee and Algonquin utilized the leaves to apply to wounds as Sassfras oil has many anti bacterial, analgesic and anti septic properties. In addition, the leaves can by poulticed for wound dressing along with the making of a strong tea. Additionally, the stems can be chewed and used as a primitive toothbrush. The stem, leaves, roots and bark can all be used in concoctions and decoctions to treat: "scurvy, skin sores, kidney problems,toothaches, rheumatism, swelling, menstrual disorders and sexually transmitted diseases, bronchitis, hypertension, and dysentery. It is also used as a fungicide, dentifrice, rubefacient, diaphoretic, perfume, carminative and sudorific."
Interestingly a more clanedstine use of this tree recently is utilizing the derivative of sassafras oil "safrole" as a precursor in the manufacture of MDMA (Ecstasy). I love burning Sassafras as its beautiful aroma tends to ward off many insects including mosquitos.
Just another amazing tree of the Easternwoodlands and one I actively look for... #bushlife #bushcraft #outdoors #outdoorlife #firearms #usa #men #archaeologist #primitivelnowledge #nature #ancientways #explore #adventure #neverstopexploring #neverstoplearning #americansavage #survival #survivalist #woodsman #instalike #bushcrafting #wilderness #instagood #conservation #Easternwoodlands #plants #trees