|Name: Balm of Gilead
Name: Populus candicans
Names: Poplar buds, Balsam Poplar, Balm of Gilead, Mecca balsam
Used: Closed buds
Phenolic glycosides; salicin, populin (benzoyl salicin) and chrysin
Volatile oil, the major constituent of which is a-caryophyllene, with cineole, arcurcumene, bisabolene, farnesene, acetophenone and others.
Miscellaneous; alkanes, resins, phenolic acids, gallic acid tannins and other ubiquitous substances
Stimulating expectorant, anti-microbial, vulnerary.
As it soothes, disinfects, and astringes the mucous membranes, Balm of Gilead is an excellent remedy for sore throats, coughs and laryngitis. It is used for treating laryngitis that is accompanied by loss of voice. It may be used in chronic bronchitis. Externally it can be used to ease inflammations due to rheumatism and arthritis, as well as for dry and scaly skin conditions such as psoriasis and dry eczema.
The herb is considered to be a stimulant, tonic, diuretic, and anti-scorbutic. A tincture has been beneficially employed in affections of the chest, stomach, and kidneys and in rheumatism and scurvy. With oil they form a useful external application in bruises, swellings, wounds, some cutaneous diseases, rheumatic pains.
Cultivated in Europe & N. America.
Balm of Gilead is a large, deciduous tree found on stream banks and planted along roadsides in Eastern US and most of Canada. May grow as tall as 100 feet. The leaves are dark green on top and whitish underneath, sometimes hairy on the lower veins.
Pour one cup of boiling water onto 1 teaspoonful of the buds and leave to infuse for l0-l5 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day or more often until effective.
Tincture: take l-2 ml of the tincture three times a day. Use as a syrup to make it more palatable.
Coltsfoot, Red Sage and White Horehound combine well with Balm of Gilead to enhance its actions on the respiratory system. Chickweed or Calendula will aid its work topically, reducing any irritation that may occur.
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