Rowan / Mountain Ash
Rowan / Mountain Ash (Hua Qiu)
Botanical Name: Western – Sorbus aucuparia, Pyrus aucuparia. Eastern – S. phaushanensis, S. hupehensis.
The rowan is a sacred Tree of Life in Celtic mythology. The entire shrub/tree is useful, including the bark, leaves, and fruit (berries). Often called mountain ash, it is not a true ash, even though it has similar leaves. The bark can be used to treat diarrhea and as a douche to treat leucorrhea. A gargle made from the berries is used to treat sore throats and the berries themselves are used to treat scurvy and malaria.
Watch a short video, from Ann Christensen, Founder and Creator of White Rabbit Institute of Healing™ – Ancient Psychic Powers of Rowan…
Below is an overview of rowan / mountain ash, combining the best of Western Science, Oriental Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore, and a wide range of healing modalities. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of rowan / mountain ash.
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Western Name: Rowan / Mountain Ash
Also Known As: Rowan Berries, Rowanberries, Whitty Pear, Mountain-ash (not to be confused with true ash, Fraxinus ornus), Quickbeam, European Ash, Bilberry, Witchwood, Thor’s Helper, Wiggy, Delight of the Eye
Organs/Systems: Respiratory, Skin, Digestion
Key Actions: Antiscorbutic, Anticancer, Antioxidant, Antimicrobial, Diuretic, Laxative, Emmenagogue, Aperitive, Hypoglycemic, Emetic
Medicinal Uses: Kidney stones, urinary dysfunction, urinary tract infection (UTI), diarrhea, sore throat, digestion, skin health, healing wounds, cancer prevention, leucorrhea, cirrhosis, cystitis, gallstones, scurvy, bronchitis, asthma, pneumonia, diabetes, arthritis, menstrual complaints, inflammation of the mucous membranes.
Also Known As: Shan Hui
Meridians: Lung, Kidney, Stomach
Key Actions: Cools, Clears Damp Heat, Supports the Stomach, Promotes Urination, Reduces Inflammation, Heals Wounds
Medicinal Uses: Sore throat, fever, malaria, asthma, urinary dysfunction, kidney stones, gallstones, leucorrhea, hemorrhoids, nausea, diarrhea, urinary tract infection, foggy brain, heals wounds.
Basic Habitat / Botany:
Rowan belongs to the rose family, Rosaceae. There are dozens of different cultivars and species. The members of this genus are deciduous trees or shrubs, with most species tending to be more shrubby, especially in higher elevations. The leaves are pinnately-compound on bright red leaf stalks that turn golden orange in the fall. The small white flowers, which bloom in May and June, are held in flat-topped clusters that give way to bright red berries. They are “pomes” rather than actual berries, which grow as individual fruit.
Rowan trees like to grow on forest edges, including inhospitable hillsides, or craggy granite outcroppings. For thousands of years, they have grown in Scandinavia and Newfoundland. They like cold climates and are found in Northern Europe, high in the Balkans, and in Northern Asia.
Parts Most Frequently Used: Berries, Leaves, Bark
Flavors/Temps: Acidic, Astringent, Bitter, Cooling
Caution: The raw berries contain a high level of toxic parasorbic acid that is changed into beneficial sorbic acid after they have been heated or frozen. Eating high doses of raw uncooked or frozen berries is not advised. The seeds are highly toxic.
Key Constituents: Vitamins C and A, Sorbic acid, Fiber, Antioxidants (including Anthocyanins, Tannins, Polyphenolic compounds, Flavonols, Quercetin, Rutin), Malic acid, Sorbitol, Pectin. The fruit also contains Tartaric acid before ripening, and Citric and Malic acids after ripening.
History/Folklore: Rowan berries are high in vitamin C, sorbic acid, dietary fiber, and a unique blend of antioxidants that contribute to their medicinal attributes. The high levels of antioxidants make them a kind of super food for preventing cancer and premature aging, boosting eye health, and increasing cellular regeneration that can accelerate healing rates.
The high levels of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) stimulate the production of white blood cells. Vitamin C is known for its antioxidant, collagen, and muscle-building capacities, as well as blood-vessel repair and regeneration.
In America, the bark has been used to treat fevers associated with malaria or similar illnesses. Native American tribes used the tree for food. The berries were dried and then ground and added to flour to make bread and thickener for soups.
Depending on the cultivar, the berries can be toxic, though most of the toxicity diminishes in the heating or freezing of the berries.
The rowan tree is sacred to Thor, the God of Lightning, who rarely strikes the tree with lightning. Hence the tree’s reputation for being both lucky and sacred. It is purported to ward off evil and sorcery and is often planted near homes; sometimes its branches are pinned above doorways. The tree’s white flowers and red berries are symbols of the sacred blood and seed which are identified with the colors white and red.
In Greek mythology, Hebe, the goddess of youth, shared with the other gods an elixir of youth from a magical chalice, which she accidentally lost to the demons. The gods sent an eagle to recover the cup. The leaves of the rowan are said to be the wings of the eagle and the red berries drops of its blood that were spilled while fighting the demons.
In the Celtic Tree Calendar, the rowan stands for the second month of the year, known as the time of quickening. It is associated with the powers of intuition and communication with the spirit world. Druids would dye their lunar ritual robes and garments black with the bark and the berries. They also wove beds from the bark and small stems which they would lie upon to induce trance. Rowan trees are often found planted around the ancient stone circles used for sacred ceremonies and near churchyards to protect and guard the dead.
Rowan also is said to belong to the Great Goddess. It is the tree of the Queen of Fairies and is associated with the spirit world. It offers protection on spirit journeys and on journeys of the soul to the Otherworld. Rowan wood is the traditional wood used for carving runes or magic wands. In Scotland, use of any part of the tree, other than the berries, was taboo unless used to make ritual objects.
In Norse mythology, the first woman was made from a rowan tree. (The first man was made from an ash tree.)
Rowan symbolizes resilience, determination, defiance, and strength to face adversity. It is the tree of life that transmits the quickening power of fertility and abundance.
Its common name Quickbeam refers to Rowan’s magical power to transmit fertility. It is renowned for growing quickly and for its resilience.
At one time British farmers would drive their cattle through whoops of rowan to protect them. Bears, moose, white tail deer, squirrels, and many varieties of birds eat the berries.
The name Sorbus derives from the Latin, meaning ‘service tree.’ The European botanical name, aucuparia means to ‘catch a bird.’ Rowan means ‘becoming red’ and derives from the German word raudnian. The name “rowan” is also said to derive from the word “rune”. Runes are the letters used in the Germanic languages before the adoption of the Latin alphabet. Rune stones or carvings were used as tools for divination.
The berries are commonly used in alcoholic beverages, liqueurs, jams, jellies, and as a bitter side dish for certain game dishes. Rowan wine is considered an aid to inducing second sight.
Heat or Freeze
Girl and Boy
Rowanberry juice helps treat wheezing and asthma.
How to use Rowan / Mountain Ash (Hua Qiu) and take FULL advantage of it's healing powers!
Find out how to safely use this powerful herb and get specific recipes you can make use of immediately. Dive deep into Eastern and Western perspectives about HOW and WHY this herb works. Includes uses, benefits, essential oils, gardening tips, and much, much more.
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