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Western Balm of Gilead

Western Balm of Gilead 🌳

Originally referenced in the Bible, Balm of Gilead is said to be from the region of Gilead ( NE of the Sea of Galilee -in modern day Jordan).

Many species of tree have come forward as the suspected medicinal gem. Commiphora gileadensis ( Arabian balsam tree), Pistacia lentiscus and more specifically Pistacia terebinthus ( Turpentine Tree).

🌳The Turpentine tree appears to have some of the strongest lineage and referenced in scripture in multiple languages.

In North America and Western Herbalism, we refer to Balm of Gilead as the beautiful resin from the Balsam Poplar buds ( Popilus balsamifera) or Narrowleaf balsam poplar ( Populus angustifolia)or Cottonwood buds (Populus trichocarpa) and this time of year is the best time to gather it!

This resin produces methyl salicylate, and is the highest in the late winter or early spring. This chemical compound is the precursor to acetyl salicylate which is what they use in aspirin.

When we are able to mindfully extract this and utilize it in tinctures, oils, salves and creams, you will find it has extremely powerful medicinal qualities.

Some of these include ;

🌿Analgesic ( relieves pain)

🌿Heals to wounds

🌿Supportive of arthritis and rheumatism

🌿Muscle soreness

🌿Mucous reliever ~works the lungs

🌿Cough relief

🌿Headache relief

🌿Fever support

🌿Eczema and skin ailments

🌿Can use with other medicinal remedies for synergistic effects

⚡️Foraging mindfulness techniques

🌳Correctly identify your trees

🌳Only forage from land that you have permission

🌳Do not over forage and only take what the tree can reasonably gift

🌳Do not damage the tree

🌳Choose closed buds

Next Steps 🌳

🌱Fill up a small mason 1/4-1/2 depending on size with buds.

🌱Use your chosen oil or alcohol depending on what extraction method you would like to do.

🌱Put lid on and label with date and identifier. You can place paper towel in between or a plate under as it can expand and overflow.

🌱Place in window sill or outside for solar infusion bonus for 4-6 weeks and shake occasionally when you pass by.

In the coming weeks I will post a recipe and directions to make your own oils and salves 🌿🌳

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