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The African Tree Essences of Platbos Forest

Posted by admin on Oct 2, 2010

©2010 by Melissa Krige of African Tree Essences.

Platbos is a magical forest at the foot of Africa. Ancient and mysterious, it has special significance for all the world’s people. Many thousands of years ago, after a devastating ice age laid waste much of the Earth, our collective ancestors recovered and regrouped in this region.  This is the story of my personal experience of a remarkable forest and the healing potential its trees have safeguarded for us, its children at this critical juncture of the Earth’s unfolding.

Africa’s Southernmost Forest

platbosmapGnarled and wizened by the elements, the trees of Platbos comprise a strange and eccentric community, their tree tops draped in wispy old-man’s-beard, their trunks thick and squat and baobab-like. In winter, epiphytic ferns and mosses spring to life. In summer, the earth is parched and sandy and the trees must quench their thirst on the early morning mists that bathe them.

The forest’s existence, on so an unlikely fire- and wind-swept landscape, is a botanical mystery. The ancient roots of Platbos Forest date back millions of years to when much of southern Africa was clad in forest finery. Platbos withstood the gradual heating up of the Earth over the millennia. Most of the primal forests perished and the hardy, fire-dependant fynbos that characterizes the Cape Floral Kingdom, took their place. A survivor of these changes, Platbos is a remnant forest, a living memory from a time long past.

Mother Africa

Platbos grows in the heart of an archeological treasure-chest. This area was home to a tiny group of survivors of a devastating ice age who lived in a series of caves that hold the secrets of our cultural and spiritual beginnings. Blombos cave has revealed the earliest evidence of human art ever found – an engraved ochre tablet and shell necklaces dating back some 70 000 years. At another cave, Klipgat, within walking distance of Platbos, stone artifacts and human remains were discovered, estimated to be over 120 000 years old.

These findings suggest that all modern day people trace their ancestry back to African roots, and that it was here, at the very foot of Africa, that our consciousness was birthed. A number of the world’s top experts now assert that there is enough evidence to declare that the cultural modernity of human beings originated along the South African coastline.

From Africa came the spark that led to rational thought, art, philosophy and spirituality. And in the midst of this primordial home of modern humans, grew a forest sheltering an abundance of wild life and honey bees, whose trees held medicine in their leaves, bark and flowers. Platbos, recalling the time when all of the Earth’s children were one Sisterhood, one Brotherhood, is still alive today.

Hearing the Call

I realized that the forest was calling me to work urgently on this deeper level with the trees. I felt an almost palpable undercurrent of expectancy and whilst I had no idea of what form this healing would take, I understood that in time the forest would reveal this to me. During my journey, I have learnt that old growth forests have exceptionally strong and stable energy fields as they have occupied the same place for hundreds of years.

No doubt, Platbos’ great antiquity is the reason why the auras of the trees here are three times larger than normal. As the true alchemists of life, trees integrate what is above with what is below, transforming the elements – sun, earth, water and air – into life-sustaining matter. Channels of radiant light, trees provide not only for our material needs, they also support our spiritual well-being.

hard_pear_flowersI discovered that the key to understanding the healing of the trees was to be found through what I had long considered to be a personal burden–: a heightened sensitivity – known as clairscentience – that enables me to feel, within my own being, the energetic nuances of other life forms. By attuning to the tree energies through my heart centre, I have learnt to discern the healing properties of the trees; making vibrational essences from the tree flowers was the most natural way to harness their healing powers.

The African Tree Essences

There are thirteen tree species that comprise Platbos Forest. Thirteen is a magical number of transformation, change and renewal. The African Tree Essences work profoundly, healing ancient wounds – passed down through the generations – and locked within the body’s cellular memory and energy field. When these old blockages are released, the new energies can enter, unobstructed.  You can see the full list here: African Tree Essences, but these are some samples from the collection.

Saffronwood: Tree of Tears for tenderhearted souls who are easily bruised by life. Offers comfort for hurt, loss, grief or tearfulness. For children who are homesick or struggling to fit in at school. Helps with voicing troubles.

Hard Pear:  Tree of Forgiveness for releasing and processing unshed tears so that forgiveness and healing is possible. Letting go of grudges and bitterness. Helpful for post-traumatic stress.

Spike Thorn: Tree of Loving Kindness for gaining perspective and understanding in situations of feeling trapped, limited or stuck. For hard-heartedness, bitterness and meanness. Brings in compassion and enhances self expression.

bladnutBladder Nut: Tree of Self-Knowledge for centering and letting go of the need for pretence. For those who hide behind a mask, believing that their true self is less than lovable. Helpful for mood swings, poor body-image and the challenges of puberty.

Natural forests were our home before and after we fanned out from Africa to repopulate all the four corners of the world. Across cultures and continents, the mythologies of ancient civilizations have at their core a Tree of Life: trees were and always will be integral to our physical and spiritual wellbeing.

Platbos Forest safeguards a sacred truth: – it is held within its leaves, flowers and fruit; it is enclosed within its age-old roots that hold the earth: we, children of the world, are of one family, born of the forests. Each of us a golden thread and together we weave an exquisite tapestry that makes up the Golden Whole.

About the Author: Melissa Krige lives with her husband and two children beneath the canopy of Platbos. Melissa is a horticulturist with a life-long love and fascination for plants and their healing potential. In addition to co-creating the African Tree Essences with the Devas of the forest, she manages the Platbos Forest Tree Nursery and the Trees for Tomorrow Reforestation and Forest Conservation Project that she and her husband initiated in 2006. Melissa welcomes enquiries about the African Tree Essences and can be contacted by email: info@platbos.co.za . Their website also holds a wealth of information about Platbos: www.platbos.co.za itself and about the tree essences here: African Tree Essences.

Art Credits: these photos of Platbos and its trees are from the African Tree Essences’ website and are used with their permission.


I am delighted to read about these new essences and the impeccable process of their creation. Having heard the forest’s call, Melissa, through your entire body-soul, has made you a fine ambassador for the wisdom of the trees and the mysteries of the forest ecosystem. Flower essence producers do a great service in their deep connectedness to Nature’s energies, honoring and bringing these energies forward, in their pure essence, as a form of contemporary alchemy. I wish you all blessings as you bring this essential information and energy into the world. Celebrating the root-wisdom, of all civilizations, that you have tapped into and brought to us all… Andrea Mathieson

October 4th, 2010 | 7:34 pm

We too are delighted to welcome these masterful tree essences to the world of essences. We were fortunate to visit Melissa and this unique Forest in November of 2009, and enjoyed their ancient beauty while walking through a fine misty rain. I took many photographs as well! Blessings and thanks for contacting me, Melissa! Congratulations and Love, Patricia & Allan

October 5th, 2010 | 4:16 am

Thank you Patricia and Andrea for your wonderful messages :-) I am blessed to live in this incredible forest and feel so very honoured to be the vehicle through which Platbos can share her healing with people all over the world.

October 5th, 2010 | 5:06 pm

Melissa you have clearly found an incredibly special place on Earth, and I’m grateful for you bringing the consciousness of these magnificent trees to us via the Platbos Essences. We’ve only just started carrying them, but already our therapist customers are finding them to have qualities beyond anything we have encountered before. So much to think about in this… You are doing wonderful work. Thank you!

October 6th, 2010 | 5:31 pm