Medronheiro – Arbutus unedo




Qualities of the essence


Connects us with true joy and celebration. It can help one find one’s sense of childlike playfulness, and is a good remedy for children when they are sad or low.
Breaks up deep patterns of negativity that block joy, transforming negative beliefs. Unrelenting joy. Lightening up. 

Recognising negativity
The energy of the tree acts as a backdrop upon which negative beliefs and excuses for grumpiness are shown up more obviously so you can recognise them. Helps one to recognise when you are taking things too seriously.

Deserving. Patience with others as they too find their way.

For fear of being seen / standing out from the crowd (behaviours of hiding), and for not believing or seeing ones own beauty/gifts/attractiveness, or fearful of showing it. Allows one to recognise own beauty by being true to self, and supports the expression of this uniqueness and beauty into the world, allowing one to shine.
Good for supporting all kinds of creativity.

Psychic awareness
Can help open up psychic awareness, and connect to the unseen dimensions of elementals and plant spirits. Facilitates communication.

A remedy for grumpiness, stodginess, gloominess, feeling undeserving, feeling ugly. Hiding ones light. Blocked in creativity and expressing who you are in the world. Supports coming to a place of self-love and appreciation.

Tree characteristics

The Strawberry Tree is small, very resilient, evergreen, and drought hardy. It likes to grow with the oaks and chestnuts as an understory tree and is very important tree for forest regeneration in this area. 

It is a tree that brings me great joy on my winter walks. It flowers and fruits at the same time, and throughout winter months its colourful fruits and pretty white flowers brighten up the darkest corners of the forest. It provides and abundance of food for birds, animals and bees, and for us humans too. Some people don’t like the soft, granular fruits, but I love them. In Portugal they are used to make liquor – aguardente, called Medronho. Most villages around here will have their own small distilleries, using the same kind of traditional copper alambic stills as I use to make hydrosols.

The liquor is strong and slightly psychoactive.

Essence making notes

21 December 2018

I made this essence on the winter Solstice – somewhat of a challenge due to the lack of sunshine hours, and the fact that most of the trees are located in shady places. However I managed to select one tree, located next to a chestnut, with an open area nearby for infusing the flowers. However I could not start the essence making until the middle of the day once the sun had come round.

It was a bright winters day with a vivid clear blue sky, and very still. The ground was very wet and cold from a heavy dew.

After collecting some flowers, and setting down the bowl in a sunny spot and retreating to meditate, the first thing I am aware of is a dazzling brightness – a sense of light pouring out from the tree – and a feeling of being “drunk on beauty”. The tree has a seductive quality. Its fruits can nourish or intoxicate in how they are used by humans.

Below the ground I feel its roots strong, and firm. Its lightness is not flighty or insubstantial.

It is a beacon of light through the dark days and can help you find the levity and joy that may be hidden within you.

After about 30 minutes of sitting with tree I feel myself drawn deeper and experience a sense of slight altered perception and opening of psychic awareness. I see how this tree can be an aid to journeying / dreaming / dimensional shifting, whilst being anchored to the earth.

The tree shows me there is nothing worry about and gives me confidence to open to this psychic field, and to be present to beauty, wonder and magic.

After the process is complete and I decant the water into a bottle, I drink the remaining infusion and it has a delicious delicate sweetness.


The strawberry tree essence was the strongest so far. I started from a very deep place, feeling hurt and abandoned and I came to real uplift within and in the outside. The essence helped with the regular memory of compassion and joy by taking the drops, and a higher degree of equanimity about my emotions. More of just accepting what is in the outside and inside. And it felt like a very slow process how the heart and joy came back.

Other associations I had with the strawberry tree were fertility, spreading seeds-almost like sprinkling the seeds out, I associate it with female energy, surrendering.


Just as this tree has the fruits and flowers at the same time so my responses to the essence can be uplifting and moments of pure joy and a penetrating highlight of areas of habitual negative responses that are inviting healing. 

I’ve come to recognise these as the awareness, the call to healing being the flowers, and the joy as the fruit. And yes, I can experience both simultaneously! More than that, I now get a burst of joy when I recognise another healing opportunity instead of the past response of ‘Heyho. Sigh. Yet more work, more healing needed…when will this ever end?’ etc. I’m in the process of saying goodbye to my inner Eyore 😂 Hurrah! 


The strongest effect was the sense of being lighter, a lightness inside myself; experiencing the moment/challenges etc. even more in a way like: “thats the way it is”.

It is/was a sense of being connected to joy inside myself, and being grounded in a different light way at the same time.

It touched my pattern of “doing”, supported the sense that there is nothing to do – never.

– a sense of freedom and expansion

– a realisation that I can do whatever is joyful in each moment in my my life;

– a glimpse that there is a way of being /living life with 100 % joy on this planet – being joy , that there is joy in each moment