The “Tree of Life” or Lignum vitae is a common tree in the Caribbean and especially in Jamaica where it is their national tree. Plus it can be found in Central America, South America, California, Florida and in South Africa. And it has many wonderful health benefits including helping with HIV and arthritis and so much more.

Other Names - The Tree of Life is also called Palo Santo, Guayacan, Wood of Life, Guaiacum officinale, Guaiac, Holy Tree, Lignum vine, and other names.

Has Been Used - The Tree of Life has been used for hundreds of years for beautiful wood carvings, wood instruments, wood tools, and even in ship building and sometimes called Iron Wood. Unfortunately in lots of places these trees have been over harvested and it’s a very slow growing. And they should be planted more often because they have beautiful blue or purple flowers and amazing wood.

Contains - The wood of the Tree of Life contains guaiaconic and guaiaretic acid which has been used for treating arthritis because they are very good anti-inflammatory agents… and they are slightly stimulating. And it also contains terpenes, resin, saponins, volatile oils, and vanillin.

Skin - The leaves of the tree can be mashed and mixed with coconut oil to treat skin sores, blisters, boils, and abscesses.

Mouth Wash - The decoction of the wood can also be used as a good mouth wash for oral ulcers and for improving oral health.

Antibacterial - The Tree of Life wood is a good anti-microbial agent helping to prevent disease.

Anti-inflammatory - The Tree of Life wood is a good anti-inflammatory agent helping to treat arthritis, pain, swelling, and redness.

Lung Problems - The flowers of the tree can be made into a tea for treating asthma, bronchitis, coughs, colds, and flues and the build up of excess mucus and congestion.

Good Detoxing Agent - The agents found in this great wood also help to detox the body as a diuretic.

HIV - New studies in the April 2014 issue of Journal of Medicinal Plants, with the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland Medical School shows that the Tree of Life may be a low cost magic bullet for treating and healing HIV. More studies to be done.

Sprains - The inner bark of the tree can be use to make a paste to treat sprains and muscular pains.

Gout - The Tree of Life also helps to eliminate uric acid from the body thus helping with gout.

Toothache - The resin from the tree can be placed on the area of the toothache to get rid of pain and swelling.

Antioxidants - Tree of Life wood chips contain lots of antioxidants that can help to prevent cardiovascular disease, strokes, and cancer.
Lowers Blood Pressure - Tree of Life wood boiled and taken as a tea can also lower blood pressure.

Arteriosclerosis - Resin in the wood helps with arteriosclerosis.
GI Distress - The wood can also help with gastritis and gastric ulcers.
Laxative - Taking the wood powder works as a good laxative.

Tonsillitis - Taking some powdered and mixing it with water and gargling can help with tonsillitis.

Externally for Arthritis - Boiling some wood chips and applying that mixture externally helps with the pain, swelling, and redness associated with arthritis.

Making Tea and Dose - Take one teaspoon of Tree of Life chips and steep for 15 minutes in a cup of very hot water— drink this 3 times a day.

Capsule Dose - In capsules take 30 to 60 grains daily.

Tincture - The wood chips can also be placed in alcohol to make a extract for massaging into painful muscles and joints.

Finding - The wood powder and shavings can be found by googling “Buy Lignum vitae” and ask for it at your local health food store.

No Side Effects - To date there are no side effects noted, but of course it should not be taken by children, or someone who is pregnant or breast feeding.

This is a wonderful herbal remedy that has no side effects and will last for years in the herbal medicine cabinet.


Dr. Paul Haider - Master Herbalist

Author's Bio: 

Feel Free to Share - This information is meant to get you started… so you can do more research on your own… dig a little deeper and find what works for you. This article is for educational purposes only, I strongly recommend that you seek advice from your own GP, private doctor, or medical specialist for any ailment, illness, or medical condition.. this article not meant to be a scientific analysis in any way, shape, or form. 
Dr. Paul Haider – Master Herbalist and Spiritual Teacher for over 25 years, helping people to recover and feel healthy. You can also find Dr. Haider on FB under Dr. Paul Haider, Healing Herbs, and at – feel free to connect with him any time.
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