All posts tagged: Cottonwood

Cottonwood buds, Balsam poplar, Mount Talbert, winter harvest,

Cottonwood Ghee

what did I do with my pound of Cottonwood buds? I made it into amazing, golden Cottonwood Ghee. Cottonwood, or Balsam Poplar, buds are very resinous. They contain salicytates which are anti- inflammatory similar to aspirin and aromatic resins which act are antimicrobial, increase blood flow to the surface of the skin and promote healing. The oil or salve can be used for sprains, arthritic joints, burns. It is helpful for both hot and cold pains and swelling. “The salve has been used for burns by Native Americans and Europeans for millenia. It lessens pain, keeps the surface antiseptic, and also¬† stimulates skin regeneration” ( Michael More, Medicinal Plants of the Pacific West) Last harvest I made lots of Cottonwood tincture which is amazing for chest colds so this year I aimed for oil and salve. I did two different recipes based on Michael Moore’s instructions. First, I’ll share the one that went well even though I did it second.

Surprise Cottonwood Harvest

Cottonwood buds are usually the first harvest of Spring. In Oregon in February when the sap first starts flowing and the big winds blow branches break off the big trees and litter the forest floor. This year I harvested the sweet, sappy buds in December! On a balmy winter day I was out for a little stroll to one of my favorite, secret hills. Mt. Talbert in the fine town of Happy Valley is tucked away behind a freeway and retirement center. It is actually an amazing wildlife refuge and a unique area where the oak savanna is being restored. A loop around the mountain leads across a little stream, past the ancient Elder, through a dense Cedar forest, around the Oak savannah and a back via a Doug Fir forest. A fabulous variety for such a small area. Since dogs are rare there and people too birds are easier to see and I have lots of space to dream. I have been keeping an eye out at the leaf less trees to practice my …