<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> RowanTree Herbs: Balm of Gilead  

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(Populus balsamifera)
Common names: Balessan, Balsam Cechan, Mecca Balsam, Poplar, Tacamahac.
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Parts Used: Buds Methods Used: Hot water, hot oil infusion, alcohol extraction.
Spiritual Uses: None identified to date.

Physical Uses: The salicin content of these buds makes them useful in the same manner as aspirin.

Used as a tea to relieve minor aches and pains as well as fever, it can also be used as a gargle to relieve the pain of sore throat. Use as an external wash to treat scratches, wounds and minor rashes. The steam from simmering buds is an effective inhalant to loosen lung and bronchial congestion.

A salve can relieve the discomfort of chapped skin, sunburn, chilblains and hemorrhoids. The same preparation may help with rheumatic joints and sore muscles.




  1. Boil one quart of water.
  2. Place cup of buds into bowl.
  3. Pour boiling water over buds.
  4. Lean over bowl and place towel over head and bowl. This forms a "croup tent" that concentrates the vapors.
  5. Inhale the vapors from the bowl.


  1. Put 2 cups of oil in the top of a double boiler.
  2. Add 1 cup of buds.
  3. Bring water in boiler to a boil, then turn down to a simmer.
  4. Maintain the simmer, uncovered, for 2 hours.
  5. Turn off and allow to cool in the pan.
  6. Strain and discard buds.
  7. Add 1 capsule of Vitamin E to oil.
  8. Add 1 ounces of melted beeswax and stir well.
  9. Place in dark glass container, cap tightly and store in a cool, dark place.
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