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Balm of Gilead

 
Devon Olsen
Posts: 1059
Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
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so i recently discovered that cottonwood buds and bark can both be used medicinally to create Balm of Gilead.
now around here its too late to harvest the buds because they're already leaves, but i do have a lot of DEAD but recently cut cottonwood laying around that hasn't been used for hugelkultur yet, now before i do use it i want to make some of this with the bark, however, regardless of how many blogs and websites talk about how THEY made some, none really have a step by step how-to, does anyone on here know how to make medicines of any kind with the cottonwood bark?

if so, i would GREATLY appreciate any help on this, or a link to a site you found that gives a how-to, thanks
 
Devon Olsen
Posts: 1059
Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
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thanks for the link, i suppose i didn't connect the dots for a google search, i searched "how to make medicine from cottonwood bark"
perhaps that was my problem, there also seems to be a lot of links on what to do with the buds in the middle of winter(which i plan to do come winter) but not any could see of using hte bark, simply the mention of using the bark...
 
Jim Dickie
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In my neck of the woods (Eastern Canada), Balm of Gilead is another common name for balsam poplar (Populus balsamifera). Apparently Black Cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa), which I am not familiar with, is sometimes considered a subspecies of P. Balsamifera, so it would work. I know a man that makes an actual balm, with a base of half olive oil and half beeswax. He uses the spring buds of the tree before they leaf out, which exude a very sticky resin with a consistency similar to honey. I think you'd likely have to use a much greater quantity of inner bark or leaves than buds to get the same amount of extract.
 
Devon Olsen
Posts: 1059
Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
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thanks Jim, any idea of the ratios one would need of bark to whatever else i use?
 
Jim Dickie
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No, sorry Devon, I wouldn't really have a clue as I've never made tinctures of any kind. If you're using dead wood though, I would try to peel the bark off and scrape the inner bark off and use that. I can't imagine there's much of the active compund in the outer bark.
 
Permaculture isn't that hard to understand. Sometimes a little bump helps: richsoil.com/cards
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