This past month I have been harvesting poplar buds. Sticky sappy poplar buds are good plant medicine! They smell so fantastic- earthy and fresh; a beautiful teasing of glorious spring amongst this calm, scentless mid-winter! I will use these to craft skin soothing soap, flavoured healing honey for colds, a skin salve, and herbal cough drops.
The superb Boreal Herbal book by Beverley Gray states that "balsam poplar winter buds are emollient and help soften, soothe, and protect the skin. They are also vulnerary, helping heal cuts and wounds; and demulcent, helping soothe and protect irritated or inflamed tissue."
In this photo you can see the glorious sticky poplar bud resin rich in medicine!
I will pour 2 cups of olive oil over 1 cup of poplar buds in a double boiler and gently heat for an hour, while singing a sweet lullaby to the buds- giving thanks for the goodness they will gift to others! Once strained and cooled, I will bottle for future herbal use in soap, lotion, and salve.
See how these gorgeous buds opened up beautifully, releasing all of the goodness into the olive oil
Poplar bud oil is great as is for tired shoulders and applied to the chest for colds and congestion. For a salve add equal parts warm oil to melted warm beeswax. Stir together well and store in jar for use on cuts, wounds, and dry parts. Use within one year.
Repeat with honey, in lieu of olive oil for tasty, easy-to-use plant medicine during colds and coughs. Poplar bud can be tinctured to use in homemade cough drops.
Poplar buds tinctured in grain alcohol. For later use in cough drops
The sweetest photo bomb ever! My daughter (cancer survivor, reason and inspiration for Tanglewood Organic Soap) and her best friend photo bombing my poplar bud tincture photo shoot
As you can see poplar bud has so many marvelous uses! Happy healthy crafting with these gorgeous wild Canadian beauties!
Cautions: poplar buds can cause an allergic reaction in people with tree allergies.