Hi! I hope you had a great Labor Day!
Today we’re talking about Cottonwood. These trees can be identified by their heart-shaped leaves that have a silvery, almost white underside (they look like they’re shimmering when a breeze ruffles them), and if you smell a young leaf, they have a beautiful honey-like aroma. They like water, so look in damp areas.
The part used is the bud, which you can collect in the early spring. You simply snap off the buds of low branches. You will want to find a tree that is in a sunny location, because when they are in full sun, they put out branches within reach. If they are in a shady spot, you probably won’t be able to reach any branches. You may want to wear gloves, because the buds release sap as you pick them.
This salve is great for cuts, scrapes and bruises, and mildly dry skin (if you have severely dry skin, like I used to have, you might want some Calendula or Plantain salve. Both are healing and antiseptic. Just gently smooth it over your skin and let it soak in).
Cottonwood Bud Salve
1 cup Cottonwood buds
2 cups oil (Olive, Avocado, Sunflower, really any carrier oil works just fine)
Blend the oil and Cottonwood buds together in a food processor until the buds are just chopped up. Pour this mixture into a small saucepan and put it over very low heat (watch it carefully, you don’t want to deep-fry them :)) for around 45 minutes. After that, let it cool, then pour into a mason jar with a lid and let sit for 2-3 weeks.
Strain the oil, and put it in a small sauce pan. For every half cup of oil, you’ll want a half tablespoon of beeswax. This results in a very soft salve, if you want a harder salve, add another half tablespoon of beeswax. Pour this into tins or jars. Let it harden and label (include the date).
The salve smells amazing!
Have fun! I hope you make this salve. As always, if you have a question, feel free to leave me a comment.