Few spring seasons passed when there wasn’t a slow cooker full of Poplar Buds and olive oil in our house. Soft vanilla would scent the air and concentrate into a dark brown, medicinal macerated oil that would find application in all kinds of needed ways for rambunctious kids on a farm. Even before the maple syrup flows, the arrival of Poplar Buds have always been a sign that the cold Canadian winter was winding down and we could begin to shake the coat of hibernation off our shoulders, maybe even offer a little skin to the early sun. When my mother sent down her spring harvest of fresh Poplar Buds last year, she proclaimed it to be her last time foraging for them. I was a little sad because it had been a herbal legacy in our family and she had kept to that legacy my entire life. It was how we solsticed into the new season and healed so many bumps and bites and wounds of sometimes our own doing. We would make tea from the buds as did the Coast Salish Natives for colds. After the three days of slow cooking in olive oil, we would add beeswax from our farm or a neighbor’s and make salve that we called Balm of Gilead even though is wasn’t true Gilead. Balm of Gilead or Mecca Balsam is the common name for Poplar Bud Salve but true Gilead is from the Burseraceae family and not related to Poplar trees. Poplar Bud salve still brings to mind those sweet herbal experiences.
Our Poplar Bud Absolute smells just like my fresh bud collection and the ones of my memories. It is very thick, healing wounds and acne very rapidly because of the high percentage of naturally occurring salicylic acid. I find very little is needed to make DIY Poplar Bud salve or a macerated oil: a couple of thick drops in 15 mis to have an effective remedy. It comes from Eastern Canada and is a superb extraction of the resin. Poplar Bud absolute is a valuable tree medicine and when I work with it, I feel cared for, safe and healed.
Suggested uses: Add 2 -3 thick drops to organic carrier oil which can then be used to make a healing balm or salve. Can be used in olive oil to have a macerated Poplar Bud Oil.