Biological Name: Fagus grandifolia
Beech Family, Fagaceae
Other Names: Beech, American Beech
Parts Used: leaves, nut, bark and root.
The beech has enjoyed a long reputation in America as a source of medicines. The Rappahannock Indians steeped beech bark in saltwater to produce a poison ivy lotion. Beech sap was one of the ingredients used to make a syrup that was used for tuberculosis. Beech was used to make ointments for burns, sores, and ulcers. When administered internally, it provided a treatment for bladder, kidney and liver ailments. A decoction of the root or leaves are believed to cure intermittent fevers, dysentery, and diabetes. The oil from the nut was given for intestinal worms.
Beech bark and leaves have astringent and antiseptic properties.
A medium to large deciduous tree growing to 100 feet or taller. The bark is smooth and light gray to blue-gray. The leaves have saw toothed edges with pointed tips. The yellowish flowers arrive in April to May followed by a fruit that has two triangular nuts inside.
Safety: Large doses of nuts may be poisonous to humans and animals