The best time to harvest poplar buds is at the end of winter, when the days are getting warmer and the buds become fat and sticky and smell sweet. I just love their pleasant balsamic scent and the spicy bitter taste. During the last few days, I was able to gather the first buds of the season. Since I am a modern alchemist at Castel Fragsburg, I am constantly restocking and updating my medicine cabinet. I am going to prepare an infused oil to make an ointment out of them. Its wound-healing and anti-inflammatory effect reduces pain and is excellent for sore muscles or rheumatic conditions. It also makes this remedy perfect for skin injuries and chilblains.
Step by step guide to make your own poplar bud balm
Put the fresh picked poplar buds in a jar and cover them entirely with olive oil.
To extract the sticky sap from the buds and incorporate it into the carrier oil, put the jar into a hot water bath and let it simmer on medium heat for 1 hour.
Strain the oil with the buds by using a cloth.
Add 10 g of beeswax for every 100 ml of infused oil, return to the hot water bath and stir until the beeswax is melted.
Get your tins or jars ready and carefully pour in the ointment.
Let them rest open until hardened and cooled.
Label your balm “Poplar bud balm with olive oil” and add the date of preparation.
Store it in a cool place and use as needed to massage sore muscles or aching joints.
Other uses for poplar buds
Instead of making a poplar bud balm, the buds can also be prepared as a tincture or tea. The beverage will relieve rheumatism, urinary tract diseases, chronic bronchitis and inflammations. When ingested, the healing properties are released due to its salicin and essential oil content of nearly 50 different components.