If you find errors or additions, please let me know. To make a soft salve, melt 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons (1 oz) of beeswax and add 1 cup of oil. Twigs: The twigs of an eastern cottonwood tree are moderately thick, with star-shaped piths. 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. I think they’d taste better in pill form desu, maybe in a protein powder. I also have not tried cooking them. we will begin the spring harvest in March, 2021. They are a gift. Populus deltoides is a large tree growing to 20–60 m (65–195 ft) tall and with a trunk up to 2.8 m (9 ft 2 in) diameter, one of the largest North American hardwood trees. There’s also a tree disease called Canker (cytospora canker)that affects members of the poplar tree genus, including cottonwoods. My point is, if you forage for wild edibles, and something tastes bad, DON’T EAT IT. What. This “cotton” acts as a sail to move the seeds as far from the parent tree as possible. Named after 19th century American explorer John C. Fremont, it is similar to the Eastern Cottonwood, differing mainly in the leaves having fewer, larger serrations on the leaf edge and small … Cottonwood bark is often a favorite medium for artisans. “Black Cottonwood and the Balm of Gilead (Populus balsamifer ssp. 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. They know good stuff when they see it. This was a surprise to me when I learned that not only are cottonwood leaves edible but they are extremely nutritious. 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. It is only those that I now have growing, have grown in the past, or intend to start. See our privacy policy for more information about ads on this site, Let’s see: I feel full. 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. Not only is this tree a native plant but it offers impressive nutritional and medicinal benefits as well. Strain the oil through a cheesecloth. Cautionary Note: Those allergic to aspirin should not consume the cottonwood (as well as willow, related poplar species, and feverfew) because it contains the same compound. The resins from the buds also possess antifungal and antimicrobial properties in the form of flavones. According to a very reputable edible plant database (pfaf.org) cottonwood leaves contain a greater amino acid content then rice, corn, wheat, and barley. Preparation of cottonwoods buds or bark with oil, or alcohol can make a natural medicinal product with similar properties to aspirin. The cottonwood buds in this salve make it a useful assistant for a variety of ailments. The buds of the Balsam Poplar tree (P. balsamifera) are pungent and powerful. 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. The winter/spring leaf buds are resinous, aromatic, and reddish brown wads of oily goo. [table id=12 /], My Wish List 2019 I feel like I am writing to Santa Claus! This bitterness might be able to be reduced by cooking or drying but I have not had the opportunity to experiment with that yet. Prepare it the same way as with the willows: cut small stems (not leaves) into small pieces; cover with boiling water; steep overnight. 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. An oil or salve made from this resin can bring relief to pain caused by swelling, arthritis, strains, and general muscle pains. Leaf buds appear on cottonwood trees in the late winter or early spring. One last identification feature is to follow the cotton in early summer. Cottonwood branch. This means that they can share resources through their networks with something like an eleagnus (endo) on one side, and a hazelnut (ecto) on the other. Lone Pine Publishing, Vancouver, BC, Canada. 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!). Plants are indexed in a way that makes them easy to find, and I appreciate how the authors have included information on indigenous peoples’ uses of various plants, along with many other interesting tidbits that help you to feel the personality of each plant. Other active compounds include humulene, gallic acid, malic acid, mannitol, chrysin, tectochrysin, arachidonic acid, trichocarpin, and bisabolol. Herbs with Rosalee: Cottonwood Benefits  (L) denotes seeds that require light to germinate. Cottonwoods are the largest trees in Arizona. It’s a fungus-based disease that affects stressed trees, which would include cottonwoods that experienced a late frost. A salve made from the buds of a cottonwood tree is a great pain reliever for arthritis. This would be used externally or internally for pain relief, inflammation or fever. 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. Feral Botanicals Let it sit from 6 weeks to a year or more. I would encourage more people to experiment with eating cottonwood buds and leaves in different ways. The resinous, aromatic, unopened flower buds are harvested and dried. But because cottonwood buds aren’t easily found in commerce, finding and harvesting them yourself is an herbal right of passage. A closely related species (Populus balsamifera) is used to make a North American version of balm of gilead, a fragrant oil with medicinal benefits. The buds also contain salicin and populin, compounds that reduce pain, inflammation, and fevers. This is the smell of Spring in my world, the smell of hope, new life and joy. The resin is also known to promote cell growth, making it good for healing wounds. And due to winter storms, limbs are often found on the ground making harvesting much easier. 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. (It is not water soluble but can be removed with oil or alcohol.) 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. 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. Another good identification feature is their deeply furrowed bark. These benefits are likely very similar to eastern Cottonwood buds and bark. Visit their website for a lot of great information on the medicinal uses of this tree. From shop emprint. Once the leaves break the window for the harvest season is over. But this is a job you don’t want to DIY. Cottonwood tree seeds can make quite the mess, so it’s understandable to want them gone. I just like to share what I learn. They kill very small animals, specifically the insects. This video, explaining the cottonwood at length is part of an educational series, by the Friends of the San Pedro River. You can smell the fragrance in the air on the first warm days. Cottonwood trees are recognized by many people but the edibility of their leaves and health benefits of cottonwood buds are often overlooked. Just before they open, the leaf buds will exude a drop of red to yellow colored resin. Like what you read? 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. Added to this rich sensory experience is the harvesting of Cottonwood buds, which produce sticky resin in February and March. That’s all something I’ve got to look into more. The wise old Cottonwood trees have been a part of this phenomenon for at least 2 million years as indicated by the fossil record. Texas distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture. 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