Trees that are full of life are treated as lifeless objects which can be exploited for human gain. This trend is so prevalent that deforestation is common and not even considered wrong anymore. This becomes ironic in today’s scenario when every death caused by COVID-19 is mourned. but the lost lives of not even a single innocent tree make it to the news. If only trees could show their emotions by screaming or bleeding on being hurt, then maybe we’ll care about their life a little. Though not all trees are capable of displaying their emotions, there is one particular tree that bleeds when it is cut down. The ‘Bloodwood tree’ shed red thick blood when being cut, as a result, not everyone is comfortable taking its life.
The question that arises through this unbelievable fact is, how does this tree bleed? Is some supernatural power protecting it? Let’s learn more about the Bloodwood tree to learn the science behind its human-like blood. The Bloodwood tree commonly found in Africa releases a fluid on being cut. This fluid is a tree sap that looks similar to human blood in terms of its color and texture. Local tribesmen believe that the bloodshed by the Bloodwood tree possesses magical powers. Though some tribes avoid damaging the magical tree altogether, others use a branch from the tree to treat medical conditions like malaria, ringworm, and sharp pains. Some people also believe that it can be used by a woman to increase their production of breastmilk. The Bloodwood tree is a huge matter of fascination for tourists and researchers who visit the state. Not only does it bleed blood, but it also helps coagulate and seal wounds.
The magical properties of the blood-like sap are beyond our comprehension, but we can help you understand the reason behind the bleeding. The answer is tannins. Tannins are naturally occurring compounds that exist inside tree skins, seeds, and stems. These compounds provide color and bitterness to plant products. Tannins are the reason why your red wine feels sour. Usually, parts of plants such as leaves, skins, the sap contain 12 – 20% tannins in total. But, the Bloodwood tree has sap that contains 77% tannins. Also, other plants have a yellowish sap, but the Bloodwood tree has red sap.
Isn’t it sad, that a tree has to acquire human-like properties to save its life from humans? We hope that mankind starts respecting the lives of all trees and not only the ones that bleed like them.