Tree of Self-Knowledge ~ Black Bark (Bladder Nut)

tree of self knowlege african tree essence

The black bark teaches us that being our authentic self is all that is required. By removing the need to be other than who we truly are, our life force is liberated. Paradoxically, in our humility we access our true, authentic power. By bringing our awareness to those parts of ourselves that we find shameful or unlovable, black bark may enable us to gain a greater understanding of unconscious patterns of behaviour that we then have the ability to transform. The black bark can assist us with centering and enhances the sense of feeling at home in your own skin.

Affirmation: My inner Light is a gift to the world. I shine my Light and rejoice in its beauty.

Corresponding Colour: Gold

Supportive Essence: The saffronwood essence may act as a supportive essence to the bladdernut essence – particularly if the bladder nut 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

The Bladder Nut / Black Bark

Diospyros whyteana


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

The bladder nut is a small, evergreen tree occurring from the Western Cape of South Africa up to Ethiopia. It is found in forests, mountain slopes and shady mountain ravines. At Platbos, the bladder nut grows as a delicate, understory tree.

White, sweetly scented flowers appear in spring. Like bonneted young girls, the flowers seem to gaze shyly downwards. The red berries that follow are encased within a papery calyx – it is this inflated, bladder-like seed pod that gave rise to one of this tree’s common names, “bladder nut”. The fruits are enjoyed by many bird species and the attractive glossy-green leaves are browsed on by buck as well as livestock.

Black Bark Pendulums with Tiger's Eye Gem Stone BeadThe new leaves are covered in silky, copper-coloured hairs that bring life and sparkle to the shadows. The bark of the bladdernut is an attractive dark, grayish-black. The wood is heavy and evenly grained and makes beautiful household articles and implements. Wind-fallen branches are gathered at Platbos and hand-crafted into unique and beautiful pens, pendulums and pendants.

The seeds are roasted and used as a coffee substitute and the tree has a number of medicinal uses: bark extracts are used to treat infertility, impotency and menstrual pain, and leaf and root infusions are used to soothe skin rashes.

The bladder nut is a popular bonsai subject and it is used increasingly in landscaping – its neat form and attractive foliage make it a good choice for city gardens. It grows happily in the shade and in containers and is excellent as a clipped hedge.

Tree of Self-Knowledge ~ Black Bark (Bladder Nut)
Tree of Self-Knowledge ~ Black Bark (Bladder Nut)

Feedback on the Bladder Nut / Black Bark Essence:

I would like to add the testimonial of the most skeptical person I know about this matter: myself. I always had self-esteem problems and I wanted to try something non chemical to resolve this, so I stumbled upon the bladder nut tree essence. Have you ever experienced that an imaginary elephant is sitting on your chest when it is time to make a decision? Well, I have experienced that for almost all my life, but once I started using bladder nut essence, the elephant on my chest has left. Thanks African Tree Essences!! – Marco Vicini

BioResonance testing has shown that the Bladder Nut tree essence works to balance and harmonize all of the chakras – Melissa Krige

We welcome your feedback on the African Tree Essences: if you would like to share your experiences about this essence, please contact us.

References for Botanical & Traditional Medicinal uses mentioned generally in text for Platbos Tree Species:

Moll, Eugene and Glen.1989 Struik Pocket Guide Common Trees of Southern Africa. Struik Publishers

Palgrave, Keith Coates 1984 Trees of Southern Africa (Second Revised Edition). Struik Publishers.

Palmer and Pitman. 1961 Trees of South Africa.  Published by A A Balkema, Cape Town.

Pienaar, Kristo 1985 Grow South African Plants. Struik Publishers.

Schwegler, Mathia. 2003 Medicinal and Other Uses of Southern Overberg Fynbos Plants. Published by M. Schwegler, Farm Heidehof, Gansbaai

Van Wyk, Ben-Erik, Van Oudtshoorn, Bosch & Gericke, Nigel. 1997

Medicinal Plants of South Africa. Briza Publications

Van Wyk, Ben-Erik, Van Oudtshoorn, Bosch & Gericke, Nigel. 2000 People’s Plants of South Africa. Briza Publications.

Venter, Fanie & Julye-Ann. 1996 Making the Most of Indigenous Trees. Briza Publications.