Balm of Gilead is easy to make and is a very valuable oil to have in your medicine chest. It is an oil you can use for many issues and also as a carrier oil for your favorite essential oils.
When I was younger we would go to my Grandpa’s ranch over Labor Day Weekend, for a family reunion.
The long drive down the road leading into the ranch from the county road seemed like it took forever. We wound around the meadow and just as you came around the bend you could smell the beautiful scent of the giant cottonwood tree that stood at the edge of the homestead.
When is it time to make Balm of Gilead
The first time I made Balm of Gilead, the smell of the cottonwood resin brought back a fond memory for me of wonderful days playing with cousins, fishing contests with uncles, horseback riding and floating the icy cold river on inner tubes, campfires, camping, and laughter of family.
This great memory is one of the reasons I decided to learn how to make Balm of Gilead.
Learn to make your own Balm of Gilead
I enjoy making a lot of my own concoctions and using them. Balm of Gilead has many claims to be antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and also work as a pain reliever. I like to infuse it into coconut oil and use it also as a carrier oil with some of my favorite essential oils.
I have given Balm of Gilead to some of my friends and family that suffer from arthritis. It has really worked for some of them. (I am not a doctor and I am not prescribing this for anyone. This is just something I like and do.) Most of my friends have learned how to successfully make their own.
Part of the fun in making Balm of Gilead is the enjoyment of the fresh air on warm spring days picking the sticky little buds from Cottonwood Trees or a tree in the Poplar family. I would like to share with you how I make Balm of Gilead.
Springtime is the time to start watching for those little buds
Since we live at a high altitude in the mountains our Cottonwood buds are not ready as fast as some. People in lower elevations in the warmer climates can start picking a lot earlier in the year than I can. It does take a while to pick the little buds but will be well worth the time spent in the end.
Look for buds on branches of Cottonwood trees or a tree in the poplar family. You can also take the buds off of the branches that have fallen through the winter. Be ready for some sticky fingers. These little buds have a sticky resin on them just before the leaves emerge. This is when they are perfect. You need to pick them before the leaves pop out.
How to make your own
You can use any size glass jar that you would like. I fill the jar half full with the buds and then I fill the jar with oil leaving about an inch from the top. I like to use coconut oil. When you first pour the oil over the top of the buds it will look more clear.
I put the lid on the jar making sure it is tight. Then I set the jar of buds and oil on the counter or somewhere I will see it. I flip the jar over every time I walk by. Actually, it is kind of entertaining to watch the little buds float to the top. (The secret is out, yes I am easily entertained.) I do this for about the first week, I flip it once a day after that. I like to put it in a place out of the sun.
After it sits for at least three weeks or more it should be ready. This is what it will look like. You can see that the color of the oil turns a pretty rich golden brown. I love the smell when I open up the jar. Smells just like that big old Cottonwood tree on my Grandpa’s Ranch.
Straining the buds
The next step is to strain it. I use butter muslin with a strainer underneath. I strain it into a glass bowl. After it has strained for about 15 minutes, to make sure I get all of the oil out, I use my wooden spoon to push the buds down to squeeze out the rest of the oil.
I pour it back into the bottle after I have used a spatula to clean the bottle out good and put a label on it. I put it in a cool dark place to store it.
I like to use these little dropper bottles to put what I will be using. The dropper makes it easy to get the amount I would like to use out of the bottle without spilling it.
While making Balm of Gilead can be a little time consuming, I know you will enjoy the results.
Enjoy your Balm of Gilead. Please feel free to share this with article someone that might enjoy making their own. I always love to hear your thoughts and comments. Please leave your comments below.