The iconic Paperbark tree, its name is derived from the tree’s bark that flakes and peels but has a softer texture than paper and is also thicker. Known by its botanical name Melaleuca meaning black & white, which is derived from the Ancient Greek melanos ‘black’ and leukos ‘white’ and Genus a name referenced by the European settlers by the way the bark was black at the base and white at the top due to bush fires.
Paperbark Tree Australia
The Melaleuca genus includes over 200 species most of which are native to Australia. Drought and fire-hardy plants can range in size from 2-meter shrubs commonly known as honey myrtle to 30 meters high the iconic paperbark. They are evergreen and produce beautiful flowers ranging in colours from yellow, greenish, pink to red depending on the species. All of which attract wildlife due to the high nectar content of these flowers.
Australia’s spiritual indigenous peoples erected a simple rainforest dwelling called a Bayu (pronounced Ba-Yoo), made of various rainforest materials including the use of paperbark from the melaleuca trees. The paperbark offered warmth and protection from the rain, the igloo shape made from the Calamus ( wait a while ) made the structure extremely durable. A small campfire placed just outside the Bayu brought warmth and protection from the mosquitos as well as being a convenient place to cook meals.
Australia’s Indigenous people made great use of the paperbark tree using its soft bark for bandages sleeping mats, cradles and for wrapping food for cooking in underground ovens known as Kap Mari or Kap Mauri. Oven temperatures are high but due to the lack of oxygen, the paper won’t ignite, keeping the food moist and tender. In some clans, they used the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia for its anti-bacterial properties commonly now known as Tea tree oil.
Paperbark Tree Spiritual Meaning
The bark was used for funeral ceremonies and spiritual occasions by the Australian aborigines, bodies would be wrapped in the bark before the ceremony commenced. The bark has natural magical and spiritual properties and is an excellent medium to scribe spells or to create a wish. Try writing your wishes in ink on the bark and bury it in the ground where it will not be disturbed. In three days dig it up and set it on fire, releasing the wish to the universe.
Tea Tree Oil Medicinal Properties
Melaleuca alternifolia is the main supplier of Tea tree oil which is a fantastic antibacterial and anti-fungal used mainly for topical applications. Growing in the wild from south-east Queensland to northern New South Wales. This tall shrub or small tree grows up to 7 m high and produces white flowers. Melaleuca quinquenervia was commonly known as the broadleaf paperbark, grows from 8 to 20 meters in height, has light-coloured bark, creamy or greenish flowers, and broad leaves. Found along the east coast of Australia between Sydney and the top of the cape york peninsula east of the great dividing range.
Melaleuca leucadendra or commonly known as the weeping Paperbark or Cajeput is a tall tree that produces white to creamy flowers has white bark and 20 cm long leaves. Found along the Australian coast from Rockhampton to east Broome but will grow in most parts inland and as far north as the Solomon Islands. The oils derived from this tree are used in many pet fish remedies relating to bacteria or fungi.
Melaleuca oils are used in many of today’s not only alternative medical options but also commercially, in fact, it is a major ingredient in burn creams and is also widely used as an anti-bacterial. So there we have it ladies and Gentlemen some more fascinating wonders of nature what an Oracle it is. Showing us that not all things come from supermarkets and that this wonderful planet has wonders aplenty. © Sentient Metaphysics