Elm Tree
The elm tree (genus Ulmus) is prominent in Teutonic mythology,
where it was said to have been given a soul by the god
Odin, senses by Hoenir, and blood and warmth by Lodur, becoming
Embla, the first woman. In Finno-Ugric mythology the
elms were believed to be the mothers of the fire goddess Ut. In
England the tree was associated with elves and sometimes
known as ‘‘elven.’’ At Lichfield, England, choristers of the cathedral
used to deck the cathedral, close, and houses with elm
boughs on Ascension Day.
It was believed that the falling of the leaves of an elm tree
out of season predicted a murrain (disease) among cattle. The
elm was also used to cure cattle disease by means of the ‘‘need
fire,’’ when two pieces of wood were rubbed together until they
ignited and a bonfire was built, through the smoke of which the
cattle were driven. The leaves were used medicinally as a poultice
for swellings, and the inner bark of the tree was used for
skin and venereal infections. The slippery elm (U. fulva or
rubra), mixed with milk, is still used by herbalists as a demulcent

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