This year has been a strange one for everyone. Somebody in China cut down that extra little bit of forest there to expose the first zoonotic disease. This is a disease that is communicable from an animal directly to a human, under ordinary everyday conditions of life. The creature from the forest was starved of food, shopped off to the wet market for sale. A store boy leaned over to weigh the creature by the pound. The creature’s breath mingled with the boy. A pandemic had begun. Covid-19 was on its way across the world.
Under normal circumstances, a forest will take care of its own. A harmony of health usually comes from the forest floor. In the soil, there is a true display of all of the biodiversity that exists coming from the trees. The soil is a mixture of vegetables and minerals. The vegetable portion is not understood and is difficult to study. It consists of a fungal mass of many mushrooms that reside in a sexually dormant form called hyphae. There are algae, all of the cyanophyte group. Science is unsure of these. They bind the soil together to give it plasticity.
Then there are all the viruses and bacteria, which are kept under control by the newly found bacteriophages. Something went very wrong in the soil in China, a piece of DNA was borrowed from an innocuous respiratory coronavirus and Covid-19 was born. It is an aerosol virus that uses breath as a mechanism for dispersal, unfortunately for us all.
But there is good news on the horizon. If the trees of the forest take away the benefits of living they also give us back a bounty of life. There is one special tree of the Boreal forest called the balsam poplar. Its correct Latin name is Populus balsamifera var. candicans. This tree is the medicine tree of the northern world of the boreal forest system. It is a favourite protective, travel medicine of the medicine men of the Cree and northern nations.
Surprisingly, all the flying insects who are pollinators across the planet know about these marvelous trees. This poplar has learned a lesson from its very harsh life in the north. In a bad winter, this sometimes has to face down -60 degrees C or F and still survive into the spring. A long time ago – millions of years, in fact – it started to manufacture an oleoresin. This aromatic resin is a strong medicine perfect to protect the nose and nasal passages from respiratory infections like Covid-19.
I use this salve containing this medicinal resin when I need it. Nowadays this seems to be every day I go out shopping for food. I place a tiny smear on each nostril, then put my mask on and I am good to go. The mask holds the aerosol medicines in place protecting my air passages from Covid-19. This salve contains about 20 synergistic medicines that mix and act as nasal vasodilators.
So my Christmas message to you is to be aware that the Global Forest is important to our health. I speak about this tree in ‘Call of the Forest’. I want the message of the film to go all over the world. It is more important today than it was when Jeff and I made the film. So, get to work and have a wonderful Christmas.