Make Your Own Cottonwood Balm For Muscle Pain and Wound Healing

cottonwood balm

Kim was in Oregon for an early spring trip and on a hike along the Columbia River found a grove of young cottonwood trees in full bud.  Cottonwood is in the same family as willow, the tree from which aspirin comes, and also has pain relieving and antibiotic qualities.  This is really good stuff for muscle aches, bruises, after surfing massages and also for cuts and scrapes.  Smells really good too.  Really easy to make- here’s how:

Pick a bunch of young cottonwood buds, the sooner after they come out in the spring, the more potent.  They should be sticky with sweet greenish-yellow resin.  About a ½ gallon should be good for this recipe.

Put the buds in extra virgin olive oil, enough to cover the buds when they are compacted down (could be about 2 cups) and heat on stovetop, LOWEST heat (or use a double boiler) for 1 hour or more.  Don’t let them boil or really cook, just long gentle heat.

The only other thing you need is some bees wax to make the consistency right- a thick balm.  I used a bees wax candle I bought at Whole Foods- easy to find and cheap.  They had some scented bees wax candles at Whole Foods too, so I got the patchouli for full Hippy effect.  You may need a half to a whole candle depending on the ambient temperature where you live because in cooler places the balm will set and become solid easier- for example, a half candle in Alaska and a whole candle for Nicaragua (that’s the two places I’ve had it).

Strain the cottonwood buds from the olive oil and then melt the bees wax into the oil and stir.  When the mixture is cool enough, BUT before it’s congealed, pour it into its final containers- Tupperware or whatever and let it cool.  It should be a nice smooth green color and smell really good.

Rub it on anything that hurts…good stuff.

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1 Response to Make Your Own Cottonwood Balm For Muscle Pain and Wound Healing

  1. I might have to try this for my son. He just attended a high school football camp at at our local college and he has some pretty sore areas today. We’ve got a grove of cottonwoods behind the house. Thanks for sharing!

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