Tree of Wholeness ~ Milkwood

The energy of the milkwood tree brings a deep sense of connection and belonging. The energy of the milkwood tree can assist us with feeling at home on the Earth – it connects you with your personal power, and reminds you on the cellular level that we are all one family. This is a nurturing and supportive tree and the essence may balance feelings of insecurity and lack of grounding. May be useful for adjusting to changes in the family structure brought about through loss or divorce. Milkwood essence may be helpful for nightmares and fears of the unknown.

This essence enlightens the root chakra.

Affirmation: I am One with the Earth. I receive and share her abundance with gratitude. I am worthy of abundance.

Corresponding Colour: Red

Supportive Essences: The white stinkwood and the spike thorn essences may act as supportive essences to the milkwood essence – particularly if the milkwood essence is being used to address a long-standing imbalance and an “awareness crisis” has arisen. An awareness crisis is an intensification of negative feelings or old patterns of being. It is the soul’s way of calling our attention to these old blockages that need to be acknowledged, blessed and released.

Botanical Info

Milkwood - Sideroxylon inerme

Learning about how this tree grows in nature, brings further appreciation of its essence:

Milkwoods are hardy, slow-growing trees with deep-green, leathery leaves and rough grayish-brown bark. Rarely are they found with a straight trunk. Instead their gnarled, sprawling branches create sheltering thickets that are home to a variety of wild life. By creating dense, low-crowing stands, milkwoods are one of the few trees able to withstand the salt-laden winds that batter South Africa’s southern coastline. Although also occurring inland, milkwoods are found mainly along the coast from the Cape Peninsula to northern Zululand. In days gone by, the site of a farmyard was often determined by the presence of a milkwood. Their thick, umbrella-shaped crowns created a perfect ‘roof’ for the meat chests that pre-dated refrigerators. Amazingly, all the milkwood trees at Platbos are genetically the same tree. Here they do not propagate themselves by seed dispersal – instead, when a milkwood grows old and falls over, a “new” tree sprouts from the fallen trunk. It is as though one enormous, ancient tree is slowly walking through the forest!


The delicate, pale-golden flowers of the milkwood are borne in clusters along the ends of the branches and they have an unusual sour-smell. The flowers are followed by juicy, dark magenta-coloured fruit that are enjoyed by birds and baboons. Once peeled of their outer skin, they have a grape-like taste. The milky latex, which gives the tree its common name, makes the leaves and the bark unpalatable to grazing animals. A superficial scratch to the bark reveals a bright red under surface – the colour of fresh blood. In the old days, trees that “bled” where held as particularly sacred trees. The wood is very hard, heavy and strong. In the past, it was used for ship building, bridges, mills and ploughs. It is very durable even when wet and it shrinks little with drying. Wind-fallen branches are gathered at Platbos and hand-crafted into unique and beautiful pens, pendulums and pendants.

Traditionally the milkwood has a number of medicinal uses: the roots have been used to aid the healing of fractured bones and an infusion of the bark is said to dispel nightmares.

The White Stinkwood tree has a very high vibration. This is an essence for aligning with your higher self, and for connecting with your soul purpose and
The energy of the Cherry Wood tree is soothing and calming. This is an essence that may balance feelings of shock, fear, fright or trauma. Cherry Wood
The Fine Ironwood essence may enhance receptivity and intuition, and may bring focus, clarity and perspective. This essence may assist us with seeing
The Saffronwood essence may be helpful for tender-hearted souls who are easily bruised by life, and for those who feel their emotions very deeply. The
The African Wild Olive essence may be useful in times of need, despair or exhaustion – when fortitude, strength and protection are required. African
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