Trees are Life
Full of variety, nourishment and growth, can’t even imagine a life without trees.
The Embaúba (Cecropia obtusifolia) is a Brazilian tree known for regenerating the forests! The species produces a large quantity of seeds: it is estimated that about one million of them can be found in only one kilo. This tree is found in riparian woods mainly of the Atlantic forest, and three other biomes: “Cerrado” thick forests, “Pantanal” wetlands, and Amazon Rainforest.
They are trees of hollow trunks, their leaves are divided in 9 to 10 lobes with a white bottom, and its fruits are pointed. It can reach up to fifteen meters high. Embaúbas are light, not very demanding on soil and very common in the recovery process of deforested areas. They have fruits that are attractive to several species of birds. As they have hollow stems and branches, they live in symbiosis with ants, especially those of the Aztec genus, that live in its interior which protects them from predators, herbivorous animals.
The Embaúba has medicinal properties beneficial in the treatment of respiratory diseases, high blood pressure, menstrual dysfunction, diabetes, wounds and bruises. It can also be used in the preparation of teas, infusions, juices, syrups and healing ointments.
Caesalpinaechinata or Pau Brasil is a native of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Its trunk is covered with thorns in shades of gray or red. It was originally found on the Brazilian coast from Rio de Janeiro to the Northeast of Brazil. The name of this tree inspired the name of the country! Pau Brasil was almost extinct due to the exhaustive extraction of wood, that began in 1503. The red pigment extracted from the tree was used to dye sophisticated garments and fabrics. In the forest, Pau Brasil reaches the height of 30 meters and 1.5 meters in circumference. When the Portuguese discovered the trees on the coast of South America, they also discovered a very valuable and profitable commodity for the tree’s ability to make dyes. The name Pau Brasil, Derives from red (Brazil) and Pau (wood).
Pau Brasil is also known as “Pernambuco” to violin bow-makers. With the tree level depleted due to exploitation as a result of the global demand for violin bows, it pushed the species to dangerously low levels. There is no other known wood that matches the quality and acoustic properties in bow-making. A reforestation program has been established in the state of Pernambuco, where the tree grows in 17 years. This initiative is now sustainably supplying the wood for violin bows manufacturers.
The yellow “Ipê” (TabepuiaAlba) is the best-known, most cultivated, and undoubtedly the most beautiful Brazilian tree. It is actually a complex of nine or ten species with more or less similar characteristics, with white, yellow, pink or purple flowers. There is no region of the country without at least one species of it, but the existence of Ipê in natural habitat in the present day is rare among most species. It has 8 to 30 meters of height and occurs mainly in Atlantic Forests. The inland inhabitants of Minas Gerais, Goiás and São Paulo states used to prepare a tea with the peel of the pink “Ipê” which has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor medicinal properties.
Sustainability is the coexistence of simplicity with complexity in this everchanging world. We must take care of Mother Nature with all her forests, lands, rivers, waters and glaciers.
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