Busera was used by indigenous peoples for a variety of medicinal purposes. It was brewed in teas for asthma and used as a poultice for wounds, cuts and lice. In fact the elephant tree is healing in so many ways that the American Indians came to call it a panacea, the most powerful of medicines. The leaves, twigs and sap were kept in the shaman’s secret stash, used only by him.
The definition of a panacea (from wikidictionary) is a remedy believed to cure all diseases and prolong life – that miracle cure sought by alchemists.
The term panacea is also used figuratively as something intended to completely solve a large, multi-faceted problem.
The elephant tree brought me to the concept of panacea, and I’d like to encourage everyone to remember the healing and life-prolonging characteristics to be found in a walk outside, alert to the many miracles of Nature. There’s no reason to give up on the idea of panaceas, heavens knows there’s plenty to be remedied! May 2012 be the year we all remember that Nature does heal herself and will heal us too.