Saturday, February 19, 2011

Cottonwood in Late Winter - Medicine in the Making

Cottonwoods are brittle trees. The huge one on the south side of my house is always throwing branches on the ground. Fortunately, there is some advantage to this in the early spring; the large swelling buds found on the tips of cottonwood branches are used for making the classic "Balm of Gilead". Watch the ground under any cottonwood tree for the next month or two. I will be doing the same!


  1. What is the Balm of Gilead used for? It sounds great.

  2. My understanding is that it is used for pain. I'd be glad to hear from other people who may have additional information. One way to use the cottonwood tips is to make an infused oil with them, and then make it into a salve with beeswax.