WEEK 5: The Headache Tree

Willow Shade-  Olympic Park 50x 60cm Niamh Cunningham 倪芙瑞莲 2016 (Wan Liu Properties collection)



The bark and milky sap of willows contains salicylic acid which is used to treat headaches and fever. Young deers can be found rubbing their new antlers against the bark to ease the itch. Even as far back as  400BC the famed ancient physician Hippocrates prescribed bark and leaves of salix  ( willow) to reduce pain and fever.  

In 1763 Edward Stone identified and isolated Salicylic acid of willow bark but the acid caused stomach upset and in 1897  a chemist named Felix Hoffman created a synthetic version which was gentle on the stomach and he produced it for his company, Bayer.  

Memory Palace of Trees is an ecological art practice which invites your participating to tell a story (or give some kind of information) about Trees. It is a social enquiry of how to live better with the planet and with people. You are cordially invited to tell me your story of a tree or trees. (email : niamh@niamhcunningham.com) I would love to hear from you . Each week throughout 2020 a story will be posted with either an artwork already made or perhaps your story will inspire me to make a new work!



Photo courtesy of Wan Liu Property Showrooms and Peking Art Associates