Balm of Gilead

Balm of Gilead has been used topically for centuries for many health conditions. Some uses include anti-inflammatory and antiseptic.  Its aroma may be considered for use as a perfume for those who like the smell of this particularly aromatic oil.


Quick Method:

Place one cup of your freshly harvested Balsam Poplar buds in a double boiler with two cups of your preferred oil: extra virgin olive oil, refined coconut oil or sweet almond oil.  The oil should cover the top of the buds.

Slowly warm to a simmer and leave for an hour.  Be sure to check the water in the lower pot does not go dry.  Strain into a jar.  Let cool.

You can add an essential oil of your preference.  Commercially produced essential oils of Mint or Arnica are complementary to the muscle soothing properties of the balm.


Folk Method

Fill a mason jar to half full of buds, cover them with oil to fill the jar. Cover the jar and let sit for 4-6 weeks or longer.  Make sure there is enough oil to keep the buds covered to prevent them from getting mouldy.  Strain through cheesecloth or a nut bag into another jar.  Amber or cobalt coloured jars are best for preserving the oil from degradation from light.  Store in a cool dark place for best results.


4 oz. of infused Balm fo Gilead oil

1/2 oz. of pure beeswax, melted

2 oz. of coconut oil

1 oz of cocoa butter

In a pot, slowly melt wax, coconut oil, and cocoa butter together until liquid.  Add the Balm of Gilead oil and heat until the mixture is fully melted.  Don't allow it to simmer though.  Keep it just warm enough to make everything liquid.  Pour into two 4 oz. glass jars or a metal container. Cap tightly while still warm. Seal and label jar(s).