1. Make an offering and ask the tree’s permission to collect the buds (remember that these buds will be this years leaves, so pick a few buds from each branch, don’t strip a branch bare!).
2. Place buds in a jar and cover generously with olive oil, or grapeseed oil. Allow to steep for 1 week-3 months stirring occasionally, or heat gently on low heat in a double boiler for 3- 6 hours. Strain and keep in a glass jar out of direct sunlight.
3. Melt 1/2 oz of beeswax in a double boiler and add 1 cup of your poplar bud infused oil, stir gently until incorporated ( I always stir clockwise, to infuse my gratitude and prayers into the medicine. My Grandma always told me to stir this way, “else you’ll stir the love right out of it” she’d say!).
4. Pour your warm salve into glass containers, label and allow to cool.
Poplar Bud Salve (aka Balm of Gilead) is anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anti-rheumatic which means it is great for skin rashes, irritations, wounds, muscle aches and pains, burns, and arthritis pain. If you consider that the medicinal component is the resin of the bud, then it is easy to see how this medicine can help regenerate and speed healing. I find that it’s scent also elevates depressive moods and helps us come out of our winter blues!
I can’t do without this wonderful plant medicine in my cupboard – I hope you enjoy it’s tremendous benefits as well!