The bark is silvery-white, smooth or lightly fissured when young, becoming dark gray and deeply fissured on old trees. This is a tree that is very abundant in my area and I have eaten small portions of cottonwood leaves before, but they tend to be very bitter. One good identification feature for cottonwood trees is their size, but that doesn’t help someone who is trying to harvest cottonwood buds or leaves. Cottonwood buds have anti-fungal, anti-microbial & anti-inflammatory properties. They used the resin to waterproof baskets, and anyone who has picked the sticky buds and had the black resin all over their fingers knows how effective it can be! Cottonwood bark. The bark of young trunks is similar to the pale greenish white color of other members of this genus. Imagine that, in your mouth. More beeswax (2 ounces, or ¼ cup) will make a firmer, lotion “bar.” It is handy to have a small container wherever you are most likely to use it – in the medicine cabinet, first aid kit, in your car, purse, with your gardening things, etc. Cottonwood Bud Balm // Pain Relieving, Moisturizing Botanical Salve with Wildcrafted Cottonwood Buds LindenTreeHerbals. Cottonwood buds and bark contain salicin which is a compound that likely breaks down into salicylic acid(asprin). The Fremont Cottonwood, also known as the Western Cottonwood or the Rio Grande Cottonwood, Populus fremontii, occurs in California east to Utah and Arizona and south into northwest Mexico. As the Latin term Populus candicans suggests, Balm of Gilead Buds are derived from a species of the poplar tree, indigenous to North America, where it is better known as the cottonwood tree. Populus deltoides, commonly called eastern cottonwood, is a large, fast-growing, deciduous tree that typically grows 50-80’ (less frequently to 120’) tall with a broad, open-rounded shaped habit. Preparation of cottonwoods buds or bark with oil, or alcohol can make a natural medicinal product with similar properties to aspirin. Also, the link to the book,  “Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast” is an affiliate link through Amazon. Cottonwood leaf buds contain tannins, as well as anti-inflammatory and fever-reducing salicylates. Harvesting poplar tree buds every March is one of my absolute favorite annual rituals. “Black Cottonwood and the Balm of Gilead (Populus balsamifer ssp. One way to do that is by spraying the tree with a growth regulator that contains ethephon. (L) denotes seeds that require light to germinate. Because it is so antibacterial, I think of it as “bee medicine.”, Resources: But aside from that, I just have to say this is one of my favorite plant ID books. Pojar, J. and A. MacKinnon. One of my favorite herbal medicines comes from these beautiful Bosque buds. This list is by no means all inclusive! Bulk Herbs: Balm of Gilead Buds - 1 oz (Cottonwood Tree) Organic Wicca Pagan Magick The eastern cottonwood tree (Populous deltoides) is a native North American tree that is common in eastern and central United States as well as southern Canada. Cottonwood Buds, resinous and shiny. Tightly seal and let the buds steep until the liquid turns a reddish color, which can vary depending on the kind of alcohol and the quality of the plants. Cottonwood buds and bark contain salicin which is a compound that likely breaks down into salicylic acid (asprin). They know good stuff when they see it. Preparation of cottonwoods buds or bark with oil, or alcohol can make a natural medicinal product with similar properties to aspirin. I haven’t tried cooking them yet. Cottonwood buds are also somewhat distinctive, in winter and early spring they are large, long, and pointed. Cottonwood trees do not have a flower - they produce a catkin. The bark, which is usually harvested in the fall after a tree's death, is generally very soft and easy to carve. When you pinch the buds and see resin inside, it … These 2 features are shared by other related species such as the tuliptree(Liriodendron tulipifera). Cottonwood bark is often a favorite medium for artisans. I think maybe the best case scenario would be sort of a glaze mixed vegetable dish with loads of garlic). Fill a jar half full of buds, cover with olive oil plus a bit more, but not to the top, as the buds will expand a bit and the jar will overflow if it is too full. It also works for cold sores and sunburn. Your contributions are gratefully accepted and make this site possible. I have found that the buds are still good even from those branches that have broken off earlier in the year. There is no need to reject these gifts of nature discovered by our ancestors so long ago! Like what you read? One morning she showed me her gnarled and painful hands and said that she had forgotten to use the ointment the night before. The resin is the sap from the tree. See our privacy policy for more information about ads on this site, Let’s see: I feel full. Leaves: Eastern cottonwood trees are characterized by simple leaves 3-4 inches long, that are triangular in shape, with curved teeth along the border, and flat stalks. One problem I see with eating cottonwood leaves is the taste. Cottonwood Buds: Balm of Gilead & Tincture - Nitty Gritty Life I’m hoping someone comments with a way to make the whole experience taste a little better. Many people recognize this tree from the cottony substance that falls from the trees in early summer. Highly recommended. One last identification feature is to follow the cotton in early summer. This table is my working list of perennial herbs and shrubs that germinate better with a period of cold stratification. Let it sit from 6 weeks to a year or more. Description: They, too, collect the resin to make propolis, which is used to seal the hive and is used as a food source. I make a great ointment for arthritis with cottonwood bud, dandelion flower and sweet violet leaves. But because cottonwood buds aren’t easily found in commerce, finding and harvesting them yourself is an herbal right of passage. It is easy to spot the Black Cottonwood, growing in tall clusters along the riverbeds. Because cottonwood trees are so tall, only a professional can safely reach and cover the tippy top of the tree. The cottonwood buds in this salve make it a useful assistant for a variety of ailments. Cottonwood trees are known to grow very large, in fact they are one of the largest deciduous trees in North America, one tree in Pennsylvanian was recorded to be over 100′ tall. Thank you, Nick, for the OceanWP theme! Some of the buds on the branches of the tree are leaf buds, and some are catkin buds. I am hoping this list will be of help to others, but as always, be sure to do your own research! They kill very small animals, specifically the insects. There’s also a tree disease called Canker (cytospora canker)that affects members of the poplar tree genus, including cottonwoods. Medicinal: A salve or oil made from the buds is good for healing all kinds of skin irritations (eczema, rashes, burns, insect bites, dry chapped skin, sunburn, diaper rash, athletes foot, etc.). Scientific Name Common NameAgastache aurantiacaOrange Hummingbird mintAgrimonia EupatoriaAgrimonyAllium tuberosumGarlic chivesAlthaea officinalismarshmallow (have some; open to more)Aronia melanocarpaAronia (have some but open to other varieties)Astragalus membranaceusAstragalusBixa orellanaAnnatoBrassica oleraceaPerennial Broccoli (and other perennial veggies)Camellia sinensisKorean tea seedlingCamellia sinensisSmall Leaf Green TeaCampanula rapunculusBellflowersCanna edulisAchiraCaragna microphyllaSiberian Pea TreeCentella asiaticaGotu KolaCladrastis luteaYellow WoodCoreopsis tinctoriaTall Plains CoreopsisCorylus comutaHazel trees (have some; open to more)Cyclopia subternataHoneybush teaCyperus esculentusGroundnutsDiospyrus virginianaAmerican PersimmonDolichos lablabHyacinth beanElaeagnus commutataSilverberryEleagnus multifloraGoumiEleutherococcus senticosusSiberian GinsengEucalyptus subcrenulataTasmanian Alpine YellowGlycyrrhiza glabraLicorice rootGlycyrrhiza uralensisLicorice, Chinese – Gan CaoGymnocladus dioicaKentucky Coffee TreeGynostemma pentaphyllumSweet Tea VineHeirochloe odorataSweetgrassHippophae rhamnoidesSeaberriesInula heleniumElecampaneJuniperus chinensisChinese JuniperLinum spp.Flax (for spinning)Lonicera caeruleaHoneyberry (have some; open to more varieties)Lycium barbarum Goji berry (have some; open to more)Monarda didymaBergamot, bee balm, Oswego tea (currently have M. fistulosa)Paeonia lactifloraPeony, ChinesePinus koraiensisKorean pineRudbeckiaRudbeckia; Black-eyed Susan (perennial variety)Sambucus caeruleaElderberry, black & bluesSassafras albidumSassafras TreeSchisandra chinensisSchisandra BerryShepherdia argenteaBuffaloberryStachys officinalisChinese ArtichokeStachys officinalisWood betony; woundwortTrachycarpus FortuneiWindmill Palm; Chinese Fan PalmViola odorataVioletsVitex Agnus-castusChaste tree, Monk’s pepperYucca filamentosaYucca, common, Fabrics and Fibers: Sewing, Yarns, and Dyes, Black Cottonwood and the Balm of Gilead (Populus balsamifer ssp. Measure out the cottonwood buds you want to use and add them to the jar. Native tribes revered the Black Cottonwood, found all along the northwest coast and extending inland. Give thanks. The marked counties are guidelines only. Trichocarpa)” Added to this rich sensory experience is the harvesting of Cottonwood buds, which produce sticky resin in February and March. The resin is also known to promote cell growth, making it good for healing wounds. Exercise caution anytime you use a new product externally or internally. Cottonwood Tincture. The air becomes redolent with the scent of bud scale resin. We benefit from the wisdom of a hundred millennia. The resin in the cottonwood buds is not water soluble, so if not using oil, another way to extract the medicinal properties is through a high-proof grain alcohol. Soak the cottonwood buds in oil to extract medicinal qualities. Black Cottonwood and Bees: Another great reason to love Black Cottonwoods: the bees love them! The buds, which are high in antioxidants and Vitamin C, can be steeped in a tea for respiratory congestion, tossed in soups, or eaten raw. As the Latin term Populus candicans suggests, Balm of Gilead Buds are derived from a species of the poplar tree, which is indigenous to North America, where it is better known as the cottonwood tree. Family: Salicaceae Leaf Buds - pain reliever; antimicrobial, heals sprains and contusions (infused oil) Cottonwood tree. Throw another dual networking plant into the mix, like a creeping wintergreen (ecto and ericoid) and you can link up a blueberry bush (ericoid) to the whole network. Extra buds can be dried or frozen (freezing is best). A salve made from the buds of a cottonwood tree is a great pain reliever for arthritis. From shop emprint. The resins from the buds also possess antifungal and antimicrobial properties in the form of flavones. Learn more … Continue reading Being a species of a poplar tree, cottonwoods are also related to aspens. It smells a bit like bee propolis, and indeed, the bees use it to make this antimicrobial bee medicine and also use it as a glue for their hives. One could also gently heat the buds and oil in a double boiler for an hour or so and then let it steep overnight, but the longer soak is preferable. The cottonwood buds contain the sticky resin that is responsible for the healing properties of Balm of Gilead. I used 6oz of high-proof alcohol. This video, explaining the cottonwood at length is part of an educational series, by the Friends of the San Pedro River. Disclaimer: I am obviously not a medical practitioner. If you click on it and buy it, it won’t cost you any more, but I will get a little kickback for the advertising (thank you for your support!). As the Spring arrives and the buds start to open it is the Cottonwood Buds that fill the air with their sweet balsamic honey perfume. Can be taken by the dropperful diluted in a glass of water several times per day. Put all these identification features together and you should be able to confidently identify cottonwood trees. Strain, bottle, label, and store in a cool dark place. Regardless, once you smell the cottonwood resin, you will always remember it. Are people truly allergic to this wondrous healing tree? Human bodies know what is good and what is bad, chemically and nutritionally, by TASTE. This was a surprise to me when I learned that not only are cottonwood leaves edible but they are extremely nutritious. ALL are TOXIC. Perhaps I have something on my plant or seed lists that you would like. I used 2oz of cottonwood buds, but you can certainly make a larger batch. From shop LindenTreeHerbals ... 5-pk Cottonwood tree letterpress notecards emprint. The buds in late winter/early spring are thick with a sticky strong-scented balsamic resin, commonly known as the Balm of Gilead (but that from biblical times actually refers to a different plant). This “cotton” acts as a sail to move the seeds as far from the parent tree as possible. Cottonwood trees are also large shade trees and their sprawling branches have a spread of up to 113 ft. (34 m). Eastern Cottonwood, like all members of the Salicaceae family are both endo -and- ecto mycorrhizal. 44 It is a common tree throughout the Pacific NW. I have often made a rooting hormone from willows, but did not realize that the Black Cottonwood ALSO contains natural rooting hormones that can increase the rooting success of cuttings. Usually to the liver and/or kidneys, sometimes other organs as well. And due to winter storms, limbs are often found on the ground making harvesting much easier. But now, the Cottonwood branches that lie beside the path are laden with tight closed buds. Your email address will not be published. Ingredients. In my opinion this plant could be an important edible plant because of its high amino acid content, especially for people that don’t eat meat. Available fresh-frozen or expertly dried. Just before they open, the leaf buds will exude a drop of red to yellow colored resin. Size (H x W): 60-200 ft high; 2-5 ft. diameter – tallest among the poplar varieties Poplar trees are also commonly referred to as cottonwood trees … [table id=12 /], My Wish List 2019 I feel like I am writing to Santa Claus! Trichocarpa), Two Buds and a Leaf: Poplar Buds, Grindelia Buds, and Fig Leaves. It is anti-inflammatory and great for aching muscles, bruises, and arthritis. There are no major cautions associated with the plant, buds or leaves other than that some people may be allergic to cottonwood sap. I think they’d taste better in pill form desu, maybe in a protein powder. it tastes like you literally opened up your washer, which had laundry detergent and bleach in it, and took out one of the t-shirts which you bleached extra hard, and just ate it. My aunt uses this on her hands before bedtime. Cottonwood buds are a very rich source of Salicin. The cottonwood buds, collected in January/February, contain a powerful healing resin, often called the “Balm of Gilead.” Cottonwood resin is VERY sticky – and it smells wonderful! Eat what TASTES GOOD! This is the smell of Spring in my world, the smell of hope, new life and joy. Cottonwood branch. An oil or salve made from this resin can bring relief to pain caused by swelling, arthritis, strains, and general muscle pains. Herbs with Rosalee: Cottonwood Benefits  The buds also contain salicin and populin, compounds that reduce pain, inflammation, and fevers. They taste terrible. The buds of the Balsam Poplar tree (P. balsamifera) are pungent and powerful. Feral Botanicals uses a mixture of cottonwood bud, elecampane, and mullein for dry, persistent coughs, which makes a lot of sense. Lemongrass: When life gives you lemongrass make tea! A. This bitterness might be able to be reduced by cooking or drying but I have not had the opportunity to experiment with that yet. They are a gift. I know this, that usually when you add garlic to these types of deals the bitterness cancels out and it turns semi sweet. Leaf buds appear on cottonwood trees in the late winter or early spring. What. In fact, it is like the buds can still gather energy from the branch, because as it gets closer to spring, even the buds on downed branches will start to swell. If it is a warm day, the resin will be more sticky, so it is good to gather when it is cold. The winter/spring leaf buds are resinous, aromatic, and reddish brown wads of oily goo. Tuliptrees have very distinctive leaves. Cottonwoods are the largest trees in Arizona. This is one of those plants that a lot of people are aware of but many people simply view as a weed tree. To locate a Populus tree near you, head to the nearest river, hardwood swamp, or drainage ditch. Next, pour the alcohol over the buds. Put 1 parts cottonwood buds in a jar and pour 3 parts alcohol over the top. The buds of the tree, which are available from fall to late winter, exude a resin that many call “balm of gilead.” What I like to do is make a rich, luxurious balm of gilead oil with the buds. Many medicinal uses. Its trunk is deeply furrowed, the leaves are alternate and shaped like a heart, the flowers are male and female catkins that form seeds that burst into fluff and fill the air with a springtime snow. thanks, for the story, Thats encouraging, I wish science would fund more studies into things like this. When to Harvest: Buds appear on cottonwood trees from late winter to early spring. The ends of the twigs are usually covered with a brown balsam-scented resin. Not only is this tree a native plant but it offers impressive nutritional and medicinal benefits as well. Soak your cuttings for a couple of hours before planting. It is only those that I now have growing, have grown in the past, or intend to start. This article primarily refers to eastern cottonwood, but this information likely applies to other cottonwoods such as fremont’s cottonwood(Populus fremontii) which is native to the southwestern U.S. but obviously they wont because there is no money in it. Copyright 2020 - Barbolian Fields. And it smells sooooo good. PayPal is a secure way to make this happen, and you don't need to set up an account. Other medicinal uses of cottonwood bark have been recorded such as treatment of whooping cough, tuberculosis, colds, and intestinal parasites. 1 cup Cottonwood Buds (this does not need to be exact) 3 cups your favorite organic oil (my favorite is sunflower; safflower, olive, and canola can be ok) Less than 1 cup beeswax (flakes, strips, blocks, whichever)-Infuse your oil with the Cottonwood buds by heating oil very low on stove in a pot or pan (clean cast iron ok), placing buds in oil. My point is, if you forage for wild edibles, and something tastes bad, DON’T EAT IT. Recipe: Cottonwood Tincture I have been told you do not have to wait for the buds to start to swell, that the medicine is in the bud, regardless, but I think if you give the bud a little squeeze and you see the sap, you know it is prime time. 1994. I also have not tried cooking them. The leaves of Populus deltoides are simple, alternate, toothed and broadly triangular. Otherwise, the tree is so tall, the branches are far too high up – and, well, it is best to leave live branches for the tree, anyway. February and early March are often the best time in the Pacific Northwest to collect the sap-filled buds of cottonwood trees for making an antiseptic, pain-relieving, skin-healing salve. I would think it would be quite bitter, but it is good to know that it is edible and healthy for you. Prepare it the same way as with the willows: cut small stems (not leaves) into small pieces; cover with boiling water; steep overnight. Listen to the wisdom of your body when it says “don’t eat this.” We know when something is medicinally beneficial; there’s no need to *force* a medicinal plant into a the role of a food-plant. Perhaps you have something on this list. Buds are often resinous (sticky), but both buds and twigs are much lighter in color than P. balsamifera, the only other Populus species with heavily resinous buds. The wise old Cottonwood trees have been a part of this phenomenon for at least 2 million years as indicated by the fossil record. These benefits are likely very similar to eastern Cottonwood buds and bark. Other active compounds include humulene, gallic acid, malic acid, mannitol, chrysin, tectochrysin, arachidonic acid, trichocarpin, and bisabolol. Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast, Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, & Alaska. Cottonwood buds, sometimes referred to as "Balm of Gilead" have been used medicinally for centuries and for good reason, and here is why: The buds contain a compound called salicin which makes it an excellent anti-inflammatory for aches and pains. Yellowish twigs, coarsely toothed leaves and gummy end buds distinguish this from the other poplars. Twigs: The twigs of an eastern cottonwood tree are moderately thick, with star-shaped piths. That’s all something I’ve got to look into more. Along with spring nettle harvest and herring runs, when the sweet smell of poplar buds enters the air it feels like spring has really begun here on Vancouver Island. In springtime, when we’re craving green leaves, linden leaves are delicious; as are nettles and cattail shoots. Or is it that it blooms at the same time as plants that are true allergins? You can smell the fragrance in the air on the first warm days. The cottonwood buds, collected in January/February, contain a powerful healing resin, often called the “Balm of Gilead.” Harvest: The best time to harvest the buds is in late winter – typically in January/February – if you wait too long, the buds turn into catkins. 5 out of 5 stars (278) 278 reviews $ 16.00. Feral Botanicals I like your description of the taste. Cottonwood trees are a riparian species which means that they thrive in wet and semi-wet conditions, but these trees can also handle drought which makes them very well suited to a range of environments. These may either be gray or green in color. These trees are often seen along the edge of water bodies. Impressive Tree Pictures Collection of Impressive Tree Images. Cottonwood leaves in early fall with both green and yellow leaves. Once the leaves break the window for the harvest season is over. Additional Notes: Cottonwood trees are recognized by many people but the edibility of their leaves and health benefits of cottonwood buds are often overlooked. Cottonwoods love to grow on river banks or other water drainages. Radical Botany. It is both antifungal / antibacterial and a rooting stimulant. Those with chicken pox or who are on blood thinners should also avoid it for the same reason. Plants don’t want to be eaten, and they protect themselves by making bad-tasting chemicals, but also, usually, by adding in alkaloid chemicals with toxic properties. 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