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CherryLichenBlog5

Nothing soothes the soul like time in Nature...........

If you hang out with me on facebook or subscribe to my Plant Journeys Page, you already know that I've taken to the woods lately. It's warming up here, and the trees call my name.

Today we'll walk through some details on Poplar trees and buds, and at the end I've got some special refreshed offerings just for you, so grab a cup of your favorite tea or glass of mead, and let's take a walk in the woods!

(Also grab a pen - there are two good book clues and an archery source in here!!)

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Collecting cottonwood buds, taking in still moments with trees, and filling all my senses with beauty and wonder, is about the best medicine there is.

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Cottonwood buds which have fallen (late February, early March here in New England) are either newer and green like here in the above photo, or a little drier and brown, as in the below photo. You can also see some of the gummy coating that the resin creates.

They smell like vanilla balsam propolis amazingness.

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It's my feeling/experience that various Poplar trees yield equally medicinal buds to use for medicine. I've used quaking aspen, bigtooth poplar, eastern cottonwood, black poplar, and have used the oil of the balsam poplar which is delectable.

If you're out gathering and you find a couple different looking species, there should be enough dried leaves around it to give you an ID. The buds are also telling, of you have a good tree book.

I'm fairly confident that most other types of Poplars around the US would give good sticky buds, it just takes a good day spent wandering in the woods, somewhere near water.

The Eastern Cottonwood (Populus deltoides) is distinct - it is often extremely tall, towering over riverbanks and putting out early swollen buds that you can see from a further distance than other trees' buds. The bark is, to me, like a ribbed sweater.

The wood is weak, and tends to litter many twigs and branches on windy days or from a heavy snow.

In the summer, they release clouds of "cotton" into the air, creating a magical summer "snow".

The quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) is a smaller tree, usually growing in groves with male and female trees close by one another. The early buds that open from the once sticky bug-like capsules, are soft fuzzy buds, like pussy willows. They are all under the umbrella of the willow family. Quaking aspens also have a lovely white "bloom" on their trunk, which is the sloughing of the bark cells, and it is rich in lactobacilli. Bark expert Michael Wojtech told me that you can make a sourdough starter from it!

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Eastern Cottonwood bark, - Populus tremuloides -

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Black Poplar buds opening, early March

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Pussy Willow, budding in early March. -Salix discolor-

Q Aspen

Quaking Aspens with catkins

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Collecting the buds does indeed take a while. It's not rushed work. And it's nicer when you have kindred spirits with you, too.

This is my green sister Dena (Maple's mommy) from North Wood Traditional Archery. We soaked up the day to the fullest!

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Forest time with my Goddess-child Maple <3 Her with her pine needle baggie, and me with poplar twigs. Heart medicine!

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When all is home, I lay the buds out in a cardboard box to dry out for a day or two before oiling them, so water content can escape. (See my Infused oil article in this month's issue of Plant Healer Magazine).
If tincturing or making a liniment in rubbing alcohol, you can put them up right away. If making a honey, give them half a day or so. Make sure not to put them in too warm a spot otherwise the resin will melt and leak out.

When ready, I separate the buds from the twigs. This year my son and I did it together while we watched Alice and Wonderland.

With my first harvest, I made a vat of coconut infused oil, which scented my whole house with the sweet, vanilla like resinous aroma. My daughter said it smelled like a vanilla tree, and my son said the buds looked like bugs. :)

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But I knew I had a winner when I finished the gorgous cottonwood-amber salve, and they put it on their faces exclaiming "mmmmwooahhyyummm - you should give one to me for .... Easter!"
(See that? it went straight to a special occasion gift, as opposed to "cool mom, can you put one of those in the bathroom?")
LOL

I think my Lady's Slipper Members will be extremely delighted with this one.

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And clean up? I find rubbing alcohol to be the magic trick. It cleans it all up in a wipe.

I wish housecleaning were this easy!

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Cottonwood buds (aka Balm of Gilead) are a potent and useful medicine. Internally the extract can effectively clear congested lungs caused by bacteria or virus, and can help soothe inflamed tonsils, especially if used in a throat spray with raw honey, yarrow, and other helpful throat allies.

Externally it's healing power can be used for countless applications; from razor burn, to cuts and scrapes, fungal issues, diaper rash. and muscle rubs.

I am currently using it with superb results on my "writers wrist" (my in denial name for potential carpal tunnel).

I can't recommend this salve enough - keep it around!

More uses for poplar buds include dental recipes, incense, liniments, chest rubs, cough syrups, and blister treatments.

Enjoy the harvest before they bloom!

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Beauty Blessings to you!

Love,

Ananda

PlantJourneys.com

Amrita Apothecary on PoppySwap

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Pink rose bud

Amrita Memberships

A note aside.....

My deepest apologies to those of you who graciously clicked my pink rose only to find a blank page! How annoying!

Without the messy details - i'll just say I had to go back in and do some more logistical Judo to make sure all the timing and the buttons were aligned correctly. I also had to clear away some personal stuff that was holding me back from showing up in my fullness.

I hope you will forgive me my glitch, and enjoy my refreshed offering of Devi's Temple Devotional Perfume Membership - and a very brief opening for New Lady's Slipper Members!!

Please read the details to be sure you choose the correct option.
You know what to do - CLICK ON THE PINK ROSE and I Promise the pages will be there. <3

Love,

Ananda

plantjourneys.com
plantjourneys@gmail.com

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