Balm of Gilead

Balm of Gilead or Cottonwood Salve or oil

The Buds are used in ointments and skin treatments to reduce pain and inflammation, and to ease rheumatic pain. Salicin, a major constituent of this plant, is a painkiller, while bisabolol in the oil reduces inflammation and is antimicrobial.

So easy to make, IF you can find the right tree’s, its been a hoot this year trying to find my Eastern Cottonwood, you need to pick during Feb ideally and we started looking at tree’s along our local creeks/ then the local rivers as we were on outings, nothing.. finally last week I packed the bags up and we went on a trek to find the darn things and came home empty handed!  Nothing, nadda.. I finally just started walking from tree to tree on the river checking.. not what I was wanting.. with poor DH puttering behind me at 5 km an hour.. and I was a unhappy girl for the price of gas, I did not feel like just driving for the sake of driving.. ahhh.. Asked all the farmers around me if they had seen the tree further in the on their lands and could I follow the creaks, got the ok to do so, but found NOTHING.. by now I am think.. shoot, I’m going to have to wait till spring and find the darn things by finding the cottonfluffs..

Honestly I have never lived somewhere where it was so hard to find this tree? Normally they are all over the place by water?

DH comes home with three twigs from tree’s he thinks might be right from the park by his work, first one.. nope its in the same family group but not what I am looking for, pick up the second twig and its the right color shape, and the smell hits me.. and I give that bud a sqeeze and the sap comes and the sticky is just right.. the second twig from a second tree is right as well..

Yahoo!!!  DH went on his lunch hour the next day and picked me enough for one jar to be made, now we go back to see if we can track down even more in the area but if not, at least I will have one jar for this years salve, which by the time I mix it with the Bee’s Wax will make four small jars.

Maybe just maybe, I will be lucky enough that DH will find a few more tree’s and be able to bring me more home as I would love to have a couple jars full. It will be ready at a min of six weeks, and I will share the finshed product.. as I made mine with the best quality olive oil I own, it will be a green oil.

Side Effects: If you are sensitive to aspirin, you should not use Balm of Gilead, Recommended for external use only.

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6 Responses to Balm of Gilead

  1. Deb W says:

    Wow, FarmGal, this is awesome! Ever since I was a little girl my mother has told me about going out with her mother and grandmother to pick Balsam Poplar buds to make Balm of Gilead, a healing salve. I was going to ask you how you make yours, but decided to Google it first and found some really great instructions from this lady… She’s an incredibly generous spirit, and obviously a true healer ’cause, even though she sells kits to make your own, she still tells you step-by-step how to do-it-yourself here:
    Is this recipe fairly close to yours?
    BTW: These are the same trees that honey bees make propolis from. (Dad called it “bee glue”, ’cause they use it to cement everything together and fill cracks in the hive.) It also keeps them healthy, for all the reasons you mentioned, plus it’s also antibiotic, anti-fungal, germicidal… all-round amazing! I can hardly wait to make my first batch!! ( : D.

    • Hi Deb

      I just went and gave my soaking buds a stir and looked hard at them, I will give them another two weeks and then I will make them into salve and will post my recipe with photos in detail.

      The recipe given on your site is perfect for what I call my hand massage oil, and I love it, but I am going to show how to take that oil and make it with bee’s wax into a salve for use for peaple and critters.

  2. Pingback: Salve Making-Balm of Gilead Follow Up.. | Just another Day on the Farm

  3. Pingback: Cottonwood Buds Salve | Just another Day on the Farm

  4. Hey Val, just reread this one again and wondering g if you ever found any Balsam Poplar closer to home in the time since? Or maybe DH could bring you a few 6” cuttings off of those he found at work?
    In the same position here. The tree that was just down the road got taken down by new property owners and I’ve not seen the seed flying here since… :/) Spotted the fuzzy lint-balls rolling about in a nearby town last Spring, so thanks for this reminder that it’s time to locate that source soon!

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