Peach tree (Prunus persica)
Pick a peach leaf from a tree and crumble in your hands. Lean in and take a big sniff. Peach is related to almond and the leaves smell just like an almond liquor to me. The scent is just heavenly.
In Appalachia, peach leaves are a common medicine for cooling you down, calming the spirit and brightening the heart. Peach leaf is not only cooling, she is also moistening. That combination makes it a very valuable herb as far as inflammation is concerned. Peach is a fabulous nervine, excellent at calming not only emotional irritability, but works well at soothing red, inflamed skin.
According to one of our favorite herbalists, Kiva Rose, peach “is superior at easing nausea… relaxing tension, increasing moisture, modulating digestion and calming a hyper-immune response” (think allergies!). Kiva wrote a great article called “10 Reasons to Love Peach.” We encourage you to read it and explore peach for yourself.
And, in terms of the reference above to nausea, peach leaves can be used during pregnancy, but there is debate about this because peach leaves contain a little bit of cyanide (like wild cherry, etc). This is what gives the leaves their cooling affect. Some don’t blink an eye about using peach leaves for during this time (especially when there is no ginger around!). However, if you aren’t familiar with an herb already, we recommend that you use caution while pregnant.
You can also make a peach flower essence from those delightful blossoms. Peach blossom flower essence is all about unselfishness, nurturing and empathy. If you are interested in making flower essences at home, watch this video!
There is so much more to peach than just the fruit!