Populus balsamifera L., Salicaceae
Strolling through Saskatchewan's forests in the late fall, winter, and early spring is an unforgettable experience for your olfactory senses. When the air is filled with a strong and spicy-sweet fragrance that derives from a resin that's profusely produced by those sticky little balsam poplar buds, you know for sure that you are in balsam poplar country! Long been used medicinally by native peoples in North America especially to treat skin problems and lung ailments, the buds of this balm-bearing poplar species are used for oil infusions, deep-tissue massage oils, healing salves, ointments, perfumes, soaps, and in aromatherapy. Balsam poplar bud infusions or tinctures added to a relaxing bath alleviate aches and pains, such as sores, rheumatism, wounds, sprains, and inflammations. Facial steam inhalations or tisanes and syrups made with balsam poplar buds open the sinuses and are soothing for sore throats and coughs.
Balsam poplar buds are rich in flavonoids, aromatic acids and esters, terpenoids, and phenolic glycosides. Their healing properties have been shown to be anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and expectorant.
We hand-pick our wild-harvested balsam poplar buds from October through March in the wilderness of northern Saskatchewan.