The Cottonwoods

Spring is a little late around here… but then, it usually is.

It’s late March and the winds have come through and knocked enough cottonwood stems and branches down for me to pick through! What am I picking? The buds!

The cottonwood tree (Populus) offers up their sappy/pitchy little buds every spring for us humans to collect and make ourselves a little bit of medicine with. πŸ™‚ Isn’t that nice of them? Yes. Yes it is!

My bag-full of collected buds!

Cottonwood buds have anti-fungal, anti-microbial & anti-inflammatory properties; used topically (infused oil for example) and through tea or tincture. The tree is usable/medicinal from it’s bark and leaves to those lovely little buds!

This tree is in the Willow family; Salicaceae, so… the medicinal properties are similar. Similar in the aspect of: aspirin – or – pain relief (high in salicylates). These trees are natures aspirin and great for topical use like a massage oil for aching muscles. I, myself, am a huge fan of utilizing Willow Bark tincture as my aspirin. So, making a little-somethin’ with Cottonwood offerings (the buds) sounds like fun! The more healing goodies in my apothecary the better… right?! πŸ™‚

* * * * * * *

Making an infused oil is the most common application. And, of course, I did just that! The infused oil can be used directly on the skin for any aches, pains, inflamed joints or even scrapes and burns.

The tincture is made with Vodka. And both jars will be filled the same: half way up with the cottonwood buds – then topped off with the liquid of choice!

Picking through my bag of ‘sticks’ – I pinched off all the pitchy-sticky buds. The collected bag of sticks n’ buds sat over night (and ‘aired-out’) before I picked-off the buds. Some people will remove all buds and then let them dry/air-out over night. Either way – it’s allowing any moisture collected to potentially dry/evaporate (so you aren’t getting water, or too much water, into that oil you are infusing).

Into the (clean) jar these go (glass is always best for medicine-making!) and topped one off with olive oil and the other with vodka. Label them, date them, and put them out of direct sunlight. (*Cold infusion method for the oil)

The oil will be a minimum of 3 months (the longer the better). The tincture – at least 4 weeks.

When they are ready – they will get strained and put into a glass bottle of some-sort for their storage on the shelf… ready and waiting to be used! The bonus about cottonwood is that it has preserving properties. It can last awhile and stay in great shape! πŸ™‚ From first aid to cold and flu – this is a great ‘do-all’ plant/tree!


**P.S. Removing the pitch/resins off your fingers can be done easily with a little bit of rubbing alcohol/isopropyl alcohol.

One thought on “The Cottonwoods

  1. Pingback: Cottonwoods Tincture/Infusion – Kerri: Holistic

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