Friday, January 28, 2011

Balm of Gilead

A follower of mine has asked a wonderful question in regards to my recent post on the Peaceful Home Spell Bag.  They want to know more about Balm of Gilead and if there is a substitute that can be used.  First I want to give you some background information on Balm of Gilead and then I will provide you with a substitution.

Balm of Gilead - Populus balsamifera, Populus spp, Populus trichocarpa and poplar buds.

Balm of Gilead or Poplar buds come from our predominant Cottonwood Poplar trees in the United States which produce a resinous, stick and tight bud that is highly aromatic. "There is a balm in Gilead," the old Black spiritual says, "to soothe the sin-sick soul." The Biblical allusion refers to two contrasting references to the herb in the Old and New Testaments of the Christian bible, suggesting a time when healing would be available to all who seek it. The dried, unopened buds of the poplar tree have been used in ointments and skin treatments for at least 3,000 years.

Balm of Gilead is mentioned in the Bible as a great comforter.  It is said to ease the plight of the Broken-hearted, to soothe the pain engendered by quarrels, argument, and lovers’ spats, and to ease problems caused by jealous co-workers and false friends who are trying to trouble your marriage or love-life.  Some folks place a pinch of Balm of Gilead in the four corners of the bedroom to bring Peace to the Home and put an end to marital and sexual problems.  Others tell us that they carry Balm of Gilead in a pocket or conjure bag for reconciliation with an estranged lover, friend or spouse, or that they burn it on charcoal with myrrh to open the heart of a lost lover to renew contact. 
Essential oil and salicylates.                          
Parts Used
Unopened flower buds, dried before use.
Typical Preparations
Balm of Gilead buds are added to ointments, typically in a ratio of 1 part buds to 5 parts cream. It is also used in conjuncture with white pine and wild cherry bark (among other variations) as a cough preparation.
Balm of Gilead have been effectively used in compounds for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory actions. Creams containing Balm of Gilead buds are used to treat frostbite, sunburn, superficial injuries of the skin, and external hemorrhoids. Of special note is that Balm of Gilead buds have been approved by the USDA for use in alcoholic beverages, but not in any other food items.
If you are highly allergic to aspirin, you may be mildly allergic to Balm of Gilead buds. Recommended for external use only. Not to be applied to broken or abraded skin.

I have several online herbal resources that I purchase from Sacred MistsMountain Rose Herbs and Penn Herb.  I prefer to purchase most, if not all, of my spell crafting and ritual supplies from Sacred Mists.  Lady Raven Moonshadow, the proprietress is also my Arch High Priestess and I trust all the items that I purchase from Sacred Mists Shoppe and can highly recommend the shoppe.  I also like both other stores and they have quality herbal products and are a great resource for herbs and herbal remedies and supplements.

Now, for the substitute, if you cannot purchase Balm of Gilead you can use rose buds in place of it.  I hope that you find this information helpful and as always, I am happy to answer your questions, so please feel free to ask away.  In Love and Light

1 comment:

Ponderosa Pagan said...

thank you so much! My partner went and did some more research to find out if we have the tree in our area and sadly not that type of cottonwood. But that is ok! Thank you for the substitue!
Blessed be!!