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The Wonders of Cedar: Exploring Traditional and Modern Uses for this Remarkable Tree – S. M. M. Musabbir Uddin

Cedar are evergreen trees that belongs to the pine. It is a genus of coniferous trees in the plant family ‘Pinaceae’. It is found to the mountains of the Western Himalayas & the Mediterranean region at the altitude of 1500-3200 meter in the Himalayas and 1000-1200 meter in the Mediterranean. Largest Cedar is situated in Lake Quinault, Washington. It also found in Asia also. Cedar wood color mostly pinkish-red color. It has some purple tone.

Cedar, sacred for many cultures, is called tree of life because of its longevity and constant greenery. In its native North America, it can live up to a thousand years. The cedar is a symbols of eternity and inspiration for a sustainable and ecological background. At the end of Quran, the cedar is the tree that grows under the throne of Allah. It connects the Earth to the seventh heaven.

The cedar is a part of origin myth of Sumerian civilization. One of humanity’s oldest legends, deciphered from tablets from the archaeological site of the city of Ur, presents the cedar as the cosmic tree of the Sumerians. According to the epic of Gilgamesh, the cedar forests were sacred, reserved for the gods and forbidden to humans. They were guarded by Humbaba, a terrible monster. Gilgamesh defied the ban, defeated Humbaba and destroyed the cedar forests.

Cedar holds important spiritual and cultural meaning for Indigenous peoples in BC, and they use it for medicines, essential oils, spiritual ceremonies and other cultural uses. Indigenous peoples use almost every part of a cedar tree. Roots are dried and braided to make hats and baskets. Withes are strong, lightweight and naturally grow in long strands so they are suitable for ropes and lashing. Bark is dyed and processed into thread for mats, clothing, blankets and hats.

Bark is also used for ropes, baskets and fishing nets. Dried bark is an excellent tinder for matches and torches. Cedar wood is used for totem poles, carvings, masks and longhouses, as well as canoes, paddles, hooks, spears and fishing floats. Fishes are preserved in cedar smokehouses or dried on
cedar racks.

Cedar is also used by Indigenous people to make bentwood boxes to store food or other goods. The boxes are made from a single cedar plank which is steamed until pliable and then bent. The two sides are pegged together. The boxes are decorated with paint or carving.

Cedar used as a traditional medicine. Cedar can help to cure cough, bronchitis, joint pain, fluid retention and flatulence. It also improve appetite and digestion. Cedar essential oil known as anti fungal, anti bacterial and insect repelling properties. Cedar tea gives taste refreshment of body and mind. It also promote relaxation and improve sleep.

Cedar tree themselves aren’t typically harmful. However, some workers may experience allergy reaction to cedar pollen which can causes symptoms such as sneezing, itching and congestion. Moreover, cedar natural oil cause skin irritations and respiratory illness for sensitive individual when they handling and inhaled in large quantities.

Cedar is now exist in the world. It involves culture, religion and geographical areas. People have beneficial for this tree. It is found in Himalayas but not other in South East Asia due to environmental condition.

Rarest Tree in Earth The Dragon’s Blood Tree – S. M. M. Musabbir Uddin

The dragon’s blood tree is a dragon tree native to the Socotra archipelago, part of Yemen, located in the Arabian Sea. It is named after the blood like color of the red sap that tree produce. It is considered the national tree of Yemen just like Mango tree is considered the national tree of Bangladesh. The scientific name is Dracaena cinnabari.

Flourishing in harsh desert climate, dragon tree have been stepped in myth long time ago. Indian, Greek and Arabian culture believed this tree, with its umbrella shaped crown & spiny leaves bleed the blood of dragons. Since antiquity, people have sought the sap for its supposed medicinal and magical properties.

In Hindu myth, the gods Brahma and Shiva fought in the form of a dragon and elephant respectively. The dragon bit the elephant and drank its blood. After that elephant crushed the dragon & their blood mixed to form this tree’s red sap.

In Arabian myth, the dragon tree originated where two brothers, Darsa and Samha fought each other. There are lots of myth about the dragon’s blood tree.

Dragon’s blood tree has some medical ingredients that helps to cure many disease included skin ulcer and diarrhoea.
The plant resin was formerly prescribed cure-all properties. Moreover it was once thought to speed wound healing and some physician and healer used it for respiratory issue. It was also helped for different gastrointestinal conditions for example diarrhoea, dysentery, pancreatitis etc.

Dragon’s blood tree also used as antimicrobials benefits. Research about this tree showed that the growth of microorganisms was inhibited because of the phenolic compound in dragon’s blood resin.

Dragon’s blood resin is rich in flavonoids. These naturally occurring plant compounds hold anti oxidant qualities and help body scavenge cell damaging free radical which can threaten to our health.
Anti oxidant are helpful for skin health as they protect from UV(Ultra Violet Light) damage and skin inflammation.

All plant resins have the potential to be irritating to the skin. In some cases, irritant contact dermatitis may occur after contact with dragon’s blood powder or dragon’s blood resin.

Skin creams containing dragon’s blood have been dermatologically tested for tolerance and are far less concentrated than the pure version This means they are less likely to cause reaction, although reactions are still possible.

It is now about to extinct in our planet because loss of their habitats to ranching and farming. Changing climate that is drier than in previous years, with shorter periods of low-lying clouds and mist, is causing some dragon trees to stop flourishing in their original habitats. However, the tree is
widely cultivated; and although it is slow growing. So, International Union for Conservation of Nature categorise this tree as a threatened species in the world. So, it is considered one of the rarest tree in this planet.

S. M. M. Musabbir Uddin

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