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Old 16-02-2012, 23:06   #1
3fires
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Default Balm of Gilead

I thought this was interesting and figured I'd share it. You can get medicine from Cottonwood buds and other poplar trees as well. I was wondering if anyone her had some experience with this as I'd like to learn more about it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3oZ3feW0LQ
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Last edited by 3fires; 17-02-2012 at 09:15.
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Old 18-02-2012, 07:52   #2
Xylaria
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Default Re: Balm of Gilead

We dont find balsam poplar hybreds in britian unless it is in collections. I have collected the american kapok that other poplars, it is the wadding first settlers used for american quilts. I will have a good look at local poplars to see if they have sticky buds as this recipe looks really interesting. British poplars do work to close wounds and treat bites as they have simmerlar chemicals to willows.
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Old 21-02-2012, 23:53   #3
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Default Re: Balm of Gilead

I was talking with another from the UK Xylaria and he told me they don't have Cottonwoods over there. I was surprised to hear it as it's such a common tree where I live.
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Old 22-02-2012, 15:33   #4
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Default Re: Balm of Gilead

A big bunch of us used to camp in a wood called swift valley in the midlands. Hybred poplars were planted there, very fast growing, they coated the wood floor with down in may. I cant remember the smell of them been very balsam like, but when the wood was burnt green it was by far the most acrid smoke i have ever seen. I thought they were a hybred of western balsam poplar, they were planted as a commercial crop. I have certainly came across sticky buds on poplars, they look pretty dormant at the moment though.

I am really interested in finding out more.
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Old 24-02-2012, 00:21   #5
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Default Re: Balm of Gilead

Interesting! the buds have a very spicy aroma that's for certain, unlike some other poplars which have no smell to me. The other poplars taste bitter too, from the salicin, almost like aspirin, but the cottonwoods and balsam poplars have a spicy sweet taste which seems to hide the bitterness.

There is a strong aftertaste and smell from the balm of gilead which can linger for days.

I've heard people say they can smell them in the spring when they start budding out, but I haven't noticed that myself. I'll have to pay more careful attention this spring and see if it's that noticeable.

The poplars in general seem to be a very worthwhile species of plants to become familiar with, both in a medical and also in a bushcraft sense.
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