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Bonsai remedies

Provide tree-based remedies via bonsai
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This is here to provide evidence for prior art and prevent patenting.

Herbal remedies from trees not derived from leaves, flowers or fruit can risk the tree. This can be addressed by pollarding or coppicing. However, the cultivation of bonsai trees could provide remedies from phloem, bark and possibly roots without risking the loss of a plant which has taken many decades to grow while increasing yield from a larger number of smaller trees, which would have relatively more phloem, bark and roots than larger ones due to larger relative surface area. It would also allow the local production of remedies from trees insufficiently hardy for certain climates and lead to earlier production of such remedies, and reduce the motivation to harvest remedies from unsustainable sources.

The composition of the plant parts should be studie to determine possible toxicity or actions not found in larger trees of the same species.

nineteenthly, Jan 10 2011

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       Just to make sure:   

       Are you taking bits from a bonsai tree in the same manner as you would an un-bonsai'd tree, or   

       are you trimming a bonsai tree in a bonsai manner, then taking the substances you want from the trimmings.   

       if you catch my drift.
FlyingToaster, Jan 10 2011
  

       Probably the latter. I suspect bonsai live a very long time. What about roots? Are they also trimmed or would that kill the tree.
nineteenthly, Jan 10 2011
  

       I'm sure I have no clue.   

       ps: spellcheck post: last paragraph
FlyingToaster, Jan 10 2011
  

       I think the point about bonsai trees is that they are made to grow extremely slowly. I can't imagine that this would be a practical solution, unless you want homeopathic quantities...
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 10 2011
  

       I don't really get it - you are saying that because collecting useful stuff off trees, can damage and kill the trees; So, in order to avoid this, we do it to smaller trees instead because, presumably, it doesn't matter so much what happens to them?   

       I think it would be a cool job to own a forest, and figure out ways to sustainably 'farm' trees for all of their natural goodness - the list of products* you could could gather from a 1 acre forest is immense, and if you used proper techniques, your management of said forest might actually get it to be more productive in 'green' terms as well.   

       * aspirin
charcoal
wood-gas
2/3 gunpowder (carbon and saltpetre)
fruits and berries
game
iron-gall ink
mistletoe
herbs
truffles
tannins
fungus
timber
wool (can you get goats or llama to inhabit forests?)
anyway, you get the idea.
zen_tom, Jan 10 2011
  

       Yes, you can do all that and more with a forest but then you have to own land which makes it unfeasible. As it happens, i own forested land in Bolivia but i have no way of doing anything with it.   

       [MB], maybe microscopic bonsai then?
nineteenthly, Jan 10 2011
  

       bit difficult to fit all that into the yard... some are pretty picky about where they grow.
FlyingToaster, Jan 10 2011
  

       [FT], that would be to some extent wildcrafting or permaculture. You would be able to do more but there are a number of products there available from herbs and shrubs with no need for trees, or in other ways.   

       Aspirin - Filipendula ulmaria, Achillea millefolium and a whole lot of others. The problem with salicylates is finding plants without them in cases of intolerance.   

       Charcoal - wood is just lying about everywhere. Some of it's treated but not all.   

       Wood-gas - see above.   

       Gunpowder - mostly from dung i think. Traditionally provided by digging up old floors. Soot is also everywhere.   

       Fruits and berries - berries available in a back yard.   

       Game - roadkill?   

       Iron-gall ink - ink from soot and mucilage is better and easier to make, and won't eat through the paper after a few centuries.   

       Mistletoe - fair enough, but also widely available in an urban environment,   

       Herbs - these are seriously easy to find almost anywhere.   

       Truffles - not so much, but we have plenty of fungi growing in this house.   

       Tannins - seriously? They've got to be the most easily available complex organic compound on the land surface of the planet. Potentilla, roses, Achillea, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries ... no trees required.   

       Timber - see above.   

       Wool - nice if you can get it, but not sure about using camels. I reckon rabbits would be a better bet, since they're sort of bonsai camels (not taxonomically of course).
nineteenthly, Jan 10 2011
  
      
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