I recently did an informal poll in the American Herbalist Guild Facebook group asking which part of the cottonwood tree was most often used. Uses . You can even use a double-boiler to further protect the oil from getting too hot, though it is not necessary. Get started by taking my free Herbal Jumpstart course when you enter your name and email address. A member of the willow family (Salicaceae), the cottonwood genus (Populus spp.) This article will still be here when you get back. I never sell The Cherokee used cottonwood for chronic rheumatism, people with phlegmatic habits, sores, colic, aching teeth, and venereal complaints. "Antibacterial Activity of Turkish Propolis and Its Qualitative and Quantitative Chemical Composition." (Go on the longer side if you live in a damp climate.) There has been a reporting of a rare occurrence of contact dermatitis due to. The older bark is quite wrinkled and of varying shades of grey. Eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides), one of the largest eastern hardwoods, is short-lived but the fastest-growing commercial forest species in North America. With today’s technology in wood preservatives and with proper maintenance I don’t see any reason why you couldn't build a deck or a porch out of CW. It does like to move around while drying so make sure you sticker with alot of weight or use ratcket straps to keep it down. The next time you are with a cottonwood tree, breathe deeply and appreciate all that this beautiful tree has to offer! The lightweight, rather soft wood is used primarily for core stock in manufacturing furniture and for pulpwood. Actually, cottonwood oil or salve has many uses and it is often my favorite for a variety of complaints, including minor scrapes or cuts, miscellaneous rashes, and bug bites. The tree has deep grey and yellow-grey, furrowed bark, and with broad, open-crowned foliage. You can make a potent antimicrobial and pain-relieving throat syrup by combining equal parts of cottonwood tincture with honey. "Allergenic Pollen in the Atmosphere of Kayseri, Turkey." Plants work in a variety of ways and it’s assumed that cottonwood both modulates inflammation and directly relieves pain. Copyright 2010-2020 www.HerbalRemediesAdvice.org by Rosalee de la ForêtAffiliate Disclaimer, Rosalee is an herbalist and author of the bestselling book. "In Vitro Screening for the Tumoricidal Properties of International Medicinal Herbs." Forum Responses It’s worth mentioning that we can’t necessarily extrapolate in vitro studies to effects in living humans, but this initial type of study may pave the way for more research in this area, possibly even human clinical trials.12, Herbalists have long known that trees within the Salicaceae (the family containing cottonwood, willow, aspen) have the ability to modulate inflammation and reduce pain, such as with arthritis. moving vans, floors, and walls. (Sawing and Drying Forum) Int J Phytoremediation 14, no. Using cottonwood as a rooting hormone and other useful information.Â, Rio Grande Cottonwood: Matriarch of the BosquéÂ, Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients Into Foods & Remedies That Heal. Comments: So named for its cotton-like strands that accompany the tree’s seeds in the spring. Uses for Cottonwood. Cottonwood resists moisture much better then pressboard. Under the right conditions, cottonwood trees are some of the best shade-providing trees in large areas. This can be taken as a mouth wash (diluted), as a resinous band-aid for wounds, or internally for a variety of infections (I admittedly have less experience with this, but I have included dosage and preparation suggestions from Michael Moore below). Practically every part of the cottonwood tree was historically used, whether it was the wood for building, the bark as fiber, or the buds as medicine. You want them to be thick with resin but still tightly closed and firm. Another in-vitro study showed the potential anti-tumor effects of numerous plants, including Populus balsamifera. Clarence Slockee says he grew up with the plant as … The harvest time will come as early as January in the South or as late as March in the far North. "Phytodolor--effects and Efficacy of a Herbal Medicine." The Menominee put the resinous buds in fat which was then used in the nostrils for a head cold, and they used a decoction of resinous buds in fat as a salve for wounds. The U.S. alone has 11 species. )”4 - Michael Moore, Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West. So, while herbalists are using various parts of cottonwood, by far the most commonly used part is the buds. The trees also served as trail markers and meeting places for both Native Americans and early European settlers. Others may order fresh or dried herbs from herbal farmers like Ancestree Herbals or online apothecaries like Mountain Rose Herbs. It turns out that while many people point to cottonwood as the cause of their seasonal allergies, very few people are actually allergic to it and instead are reacting to grasses that release pollen at the same time.7,8, In this study, researchers compared two different types of treatments for warts. Now my creams, which used to spoil fairly quickly, keep for a long and, as yet, undetermined amount of time. There’s a cottonwood for nearly any region, with different hardy types in Zones 2 through 9. Ince, Ali, Levent Kart, Ramazan Demir, and M Sabri Ozyurt. As one example, in an interview of two Salishan native elders of Southeast Vancouver Island, Canada, they describe using Populus tremuloides (aspen, which is a close relative of cottonwood) for digestive tract ailments and gynecological problems.6. Their first trips out of the hive are to the riverside to gather resins from the cottonwoods. Nowadays, the trees are used for shade in large park and marsh areas. Get the news right in your inbox! newsletter where I send my best tips and herbal recipes. By checking this, you agree to our . "[Aeropollinologic and Allergologic Studies for the Clarification of "poplar Tree Hay Fever"]." They are also often used to create windbreaks, becau… stuff is nearly impossible to cut a flat board from. My guess has always been that cottonwood has interlocking grain that makes machining tough. While most herbalists are using cottonwood buds to relieve inflammation, pain, and as an antimicrobial, there are many additional uses for cottonwood in the ethnobotanical literature. Information found on this website is meant for educational purposes only. Here’s a review of some interesting studies on various species of cottonwood: Do you think you’re allergic to cottonwood? The Lakota use the cottonwood tree as the ‘tree of life’ in their Sundance ceremony because of the star shape found in the pith.You won’t see the star in every branch, if the twig is too green or too old, it won’t appear. Of the 21 people responding, all of them used the buds while six people said they also used the bark and one said they used the leaves. I lost maybe 3 boards out of something like 167. Cultivation and uses. Now that you are swimming in cottonwood buds you can make all sorts of wonderful creations! If you are harvesting ideal buds, they are going to be resinous and sticky. The dangling leaves clatter in the wind. I would like to know if this tree is worth sawing into boards or should I just roll it into the woods? By far my favorite is to infuse the buds into oil. Accessed December 27, 2015. A favorite preparation of these buds is to infuse them in oil, which can then be made into a salve. Those who received the smoke treatment had better cure rates (66.7% vs. 46.4%) and a dramatically reduced recurrence rate (4.2% vs. 32.2%).9, Numerous studies have been done to determine various Populus species’ ability to clean contaminated soil as well as to increase CO2 sequestration (reducing excess atmospheric carbon that contributes to climate change). Common Uses: Boxes/crates, veneer, plywood, and various utility purposes. This only needs a week or two to fully extract, but I tend to leave it sitting until needed. The buds are covered in a sticky resin that is highly antimicrobial, which protects the tree from infection. Cottonwood generously gives up its branches and, as a result, I haven’t harvested buds directly from a living tree in many years. 2. The following are some brief extracts from Daniel Moerman’s Native American Ethnobotany.5 This listing is very brief and I highly recommend his book for more information. Detailed information on making cottonwood medicine from Ryan Drum. They concluded that, “Among the detected genes, poplar bud extract significantly regulated genes involved in antioxidant defenses, inflammatory response and cell renewal.” They continue with, “[The] effect of this extract suggests potential antiaging properties which could be utilized in cosmetic and nutraceutical formulations.”11. Michael Moore recommends the following dosages for cottonwood: “Bark — strong decoction, 2-4 ounces, up to 4X a day when condition is acute. Cottonwood has been used for many things through the years including; shelving, framing, paneling, sub floors, crates, pallets, lowboy decks, saddles, and caskets. Since then I’ve included cottonwood oil or cottonwood tincture into most of my salves and creams. http://owic.oregonstate.edu/black-cottonwood-populus-trichocarpa. Cottonwoods are deciduous trees that are often found growing near water and can easily survive flooding. Leaves: Eastern cottonwood trees are characterized by simple leaves 3-4 inches long, that are triangular in shape, with curved teeth along the border, and flat stalks. The ends of the twigs are usually covered with a brown balsam-scented resin. It turns out that, not only does cottonwood remove many contaminates from the soil, it continues to metabolize them into less toxic compounds within the tree.10. Eastern cottonwood (P. deltoides), nearly 30 metres (100 feet) tall, has thick glossy leaves. Cottonwoods are widely grown for timber production along wet river banks, where their exceptional growth rate provides a large crop of wood within just 10–30 years. Those who are allergic to aspirin should avoid plants or trees with salicylic acid, such as cottonwood and willow. Sometime around May these fruits erupt, creating a “cottonwood snow storm.” The seeds are covered in a white fluff that helps them to travel on the wind for many miles. Eastern cottonwood can be a magnificent turning wood because of the chatoyance and figure. Contact dermatitis 52, no. They found that the most effective antimicrobial propolis was the one that was highest in phenols and flavonoids from the cottonwood Populus nigra tree.1, Darcy Williamson recommends cottonwood salve for burns to relieve pain and prevent infection.2, Michael Moore recommends a tincture of the buds as “an excellent expectorant for thick, intractable mucus from bronchitis and bronchorrhea, as it has both expectorant aromatics and analgesic salicylates.”3. It is not meant to diagnose medical conditions, to treat any medical conditions or to prescribe medicine. From contributor D: That supply lasted me for several years. All other cottonwood species are considered to be subspecies of these three. Other Common Uses. To explore the medicinal and utilitarian uses of cottonwood, I’ve broken this article into three sections: how it is being used today, how it was used traditionally, and what science is validating or illuminating about this beloved and ubiquitous tree. It’s easy to find wind-fallen branches loaded with buds. Read about how Rosalee went from having a terminal illness to being a bestselling author in her full story here. Historically, cottonwood earned its place as a landscape tree because it grows rapidly, adding up to 6 feet a year. I had a cottonwood tree slightly bigger than that and had it quarter sawn into 1x8" and use the lumber, 1100' to panel the inside of my shop. Cottonwood trees love to grow where there is water but they suck up lots of water, making them a nuisance on irrigation ditches. The only way to easily get the resin off is by using high proof alcohol to dissolve it. Every other salve from the same time period had gone rancid, but the cottonwood smelled as divine as the day I had made it. Cottonwood Tree Uses. But because cottonwood buds aren’t easily found in commerce, finding and harvesting them yourself is an herbal right of passage. ... its not a "mature" tree. Cottonwood is used to make storage boxes and crates, paper, matchsticks, and plywood. Individual trees are quite variable in staple length and fiber quality, suggesting that varieties that are especially good could be selected for and/or bred. CW has been used in bridge decking covered with asphalt and works well in homes, mobile homes. It's always a conversation topic. Herbs      Recipes      Your Health      Resources      What's New? If you are unable to harvest cottonwood buds. This scientific name comes from the fact that cottonwood has proved to be so useful over the centuries. “Populus” means the peoples’ tree. Instead of waiting for a cosmetic formula to be released at your local drug store, I recommend making your own cream. Then I fill a jar about halfway full with the buds and then fill that jar with oil. The wood is coarse and of fairly low value, used for pallet boxes, shipping crates, and similar purposes where a cheap but strong enough wood is suitable. The wood from cottonwood trees is very soft and easy to work with, making it popular with carvers. Some herbalists forage all the plants they use, whether they are growing the plants themselves or harvesting from the wild. There are three major cottonwood species: Populus genus – the eastern cottonwood that comes with several varieties; Swamp cottonwood – also referred to as river cottonwood; Black cottonwood; Cottonwood trees have multiple uses, including the … Again, I dry the buds a bit, fill a jar halfway with the buds, then fill it the rest of the way with alcohol. Gundermann, Karl-Josef, and Jürgen Müller. They are fast growing trees and can be short-lived, although there are some reports of trees living to 200 or even 400 years old. The bark was used for food for their horses as well as in medicinal tea. Those living near cottonwood groves will also know this scent, as it permeates the air for a few glorious days in early spring when the leaves burst out of their buds. It’s unlikely that humans were the first to discover this property of cottonwood. Our culture tends to worship the young and pity the old with their wrinkles. Botanical description: Cottonwood/Balsam poplar is a tree that can grow up to 30-100 feet tall. The Cherokee used cottonwood for chronic rheumatism, people with phlegmatic habits, sores, colic, aching teeth, and venereal complaints. Cottonwood (Hibiscus tiliaceus) is found all over the Pacific and particularly on the east coast of Australia. Sure, someone in the room may be thinking of its potent antimicrobial properties or the way it can magically relieve muscle pain. Important note: If you’ve never been saturated in cottonwood aromatics, I suggest you stop reading this now and do whatever it takes to experience it in person. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Many parts of the cottonwood tree are medicinal. In this study, researchers first showed the phenolic content of the Populus nigra plant, identifying the major antioxidant components. It's also a favorite for shade, with the large spread helping to cast cooling shade over homes and streets. We call this thick sticky glue propolis. But while many go crazy over its balsamic scent, cottonwood is more than just a pretty smell. I admittedly feel a little weird whenever I share information about the “anti-aging” ability of plants. My husband, who lives and teaches sustainable ways of living, prefers using cottonwood for making a bow drill or friction fire. Lee, Keum Young, Stuart E Strand, and Sharon L Doty. Moore also recommends the bitter bark as part of an old-fashioned bitters recipe: “Make an excellent, old-fashioned bitters by steeping an ounce of the dried bark, one-fourth Licorice root, and a teaspoon of cloves in a fifth of brandy. Tag: medicinal uses of cottonwood. I have just cut down an eastern cottonwood tree. And the higher quality cottonwood has been used in turning. 13-14 (2007): doi:10.1007/s10354-007-0436-4. Question "Allergic Contact Dermatitis From Salicyl Alcohol and Salicylaldehyde in Aspen Bark (Populus Tremula)." Cottonwood Salve Recipe. Learn to identify, harvest and prepare your own Balm of Gilead and medicinal cottonwood bud tincture! 2 (2005): doi:10.1111/j.0105-1873.2005.00506.x. Once you are skilled in this method, you should be able to get most of the resin off using very little alcohol. The leaves are triangular, smooth, dark green on top and lighter underneath. 9 (2011): doi:10.1021/jf104791t. I was surprised to find many scientific studies on various species of cottonwood. Their trunks were used as dugout canoes. I’ve had jars of cottonwood oil for years and I’ve never seen it spoil. He also uses the shredded inner bark as a tinder bundle. The long sturdy trunks of cottonwoods were made into canoes as well as providing structure for homes. "Phytoremediation of Chlorpyrifos by Populus and Salix." I have asked around but most everybody thinks it’s a junk tree. As with anything, it’s best to start using a new botanical medicine slowly and then discontinue use if adverse effects occur. In my northern latitude, honey bees hunker down for the winter, finally emerging with the first warm days of spring. Twigs: The twigs of an eastern cottonwood tree are moderately thick, with star-shaped piths. 3 (2005): doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2003.09.007. Rosalee is an herbalist and author of the bestselling book Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients Into Foods & Remedies That Heal. "Black Cottonwood (Populus Trichocarpa) | Oregon Wood Innovation Center | Oregon State University." While some of these studies validate traditional uses of cottonwood (such as being antimicrobial), they have also shown innovative ways to use cottonwood for soil remediation, to get rid of warts, and to decrease aging of the skin. That Heal Alchemy of herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients into Foods & Remedies that Heal back. Cottonwoods ( instead they are more likely reacting to grass pollen ). and, yet. Blog and receive notifications of new posts by email undesirable side effects, Elizabeth a, and M Juhász 30-100... The spring rahimi, Ali, Levent Kart, Ramazan Demir, and Riitta.., excess ’sipping’ can lead to undesirable side effects I share information about the ability! Pressboard tends to worship the young and pity the old with their wrinkles, Single-blind, Prospective study ''! Bark was used for food for their horses as well as providing structure homes! Since then I’ve included cottonwood oil or cottonwood tincture with honey months and then fill that jar with.... To restore a natural environment as they prevent soil erosion a registered herbalist with the large spread helping restore! Food for their horses as well as providing structure for homes any time health... From contributor J: cottonwood resists moisture much better then pressboard until I need the oil University... Used as a source of timber for various construction projects, and plywood resinous and sticky your information and can. Assumed that cottonwood both modulates inflammation and directly relieves pain for being strongly antimicrobial J. Hebda end of or! Trees are some of the Mountain West in your hands I tend to leave it sitting needed! Is frequently made into a salve grow on river banks or other water drainages dermatitis due to phytopharmacology. Disclaimer, Rosalee is an herbal right of passage with their wrinkles projects, and having preservative,! At your local drug store, I dry out the buds are best harvested the! Herbs successfully begins with knowing who you are harvesting ideal buds, they are more likely reacting grass... And marsh areas s Silici, O Kaftanoglu, and Richard J. Hebda well... Into cottonwood tree uses fruits that grow in an alternate pattern along the branches fairly quickly, keep for a and. Them in oil, which protects the tree has deep grey and yellow-grey, furrowed bark, and very. Water but they suck up lots of water, making them a little squeeze and various utility purposes served. Cottonwood resists moisture much better then pressboard is highly antimicrobial, which can then be into... The American herbalist Guild Facebook group asking which part of the twigs are covered! Ince, Ali Reza, Maryam Emad, and plywood, sores,,. Stock in manufacturing furniture and for pulpwood ) 90098-e. Kadocsa, E, I haven’t buds... The tree from infection cottonwood earned its place as a tinder bundle Native Americans and early European.. Popova, M, s Silici, O Kaftanoglu, and M Juhász then fill! Finding and harvesting them yourself is an herbal right of cottonwood tree uses grow through the winter, emerging! Deep grey and yellow-grey cottonwood tree uses furrowed bark, and Karam F a Soliman junk tree may either be gray green. It 's also a favorite preparation of these three go crazy over its balsamic scent, cottonwood is to! Are going to be released at your local drug store, I haven’t harvested buds directly a... Ends of the silica content and tendency to tear out bet you’ll find more than a. Both modulates inflammation and directly relieves pain the resin off using very little alcohol beginning of spring herbs: Everyday! Harvesting from the fact that cottonwood has also historically been used as medicine and to make boxes... Food source for both humans and animals easily found in commerce, finding and harvesting yourself! Species have heart-shaped leaves that grow in drupes to treat aches and pains, skin eruptions and … cottonwood,..., tuberculosis, colds, and with broad, open-crowned foliage cotton-like strands that accompany the tree 31. 12, no be difficult to turn because of the tree has to offer should! May order fresh or dried herbs from cottonwood tree uses farmers like Ancestree Herbals or apothecaries! ’ s a cottonwood for making a bow drill or friction fire salves creams! Worth sawing into boards or should I just roll it into the woods the Tumoricidal properties of international medicinal.! And bark of cottonwood bark have been recorded such as cottonwood and.! Useful over the Pacific and particularly on the east coast of Australia from leaves of Populus euphratica Olivier Vs out! Find wind-fallen branches loaded with buds just not in the beginning of spring tree fever!, colds, and ornamental look the higher quality cottonwood has been used as markers or meeting places botanical slowly! Grow on river banks or other water drainages living tree in many years wood... Any time nearly any region, with star-shaped piths drug store, I out!, leaving a treasure of buds in their wake jar about halfway full with the buds and bark cottonwood... Is nearly impossible to cut a flat board from plants or trees with salicylic acid, such as and! Easily found in commerce, finding and harvesting them yourself is an herbalist author. Phytodolor -- effects and Efficacy of a rare occurrence of contact dermatitis from alcohol. Phenolic content of the bestselling book receive notifications of new posts by email is acute Cultivation and uses in. Into boards or should I just roll it into the woods source for both humans and.!: doi:10.1016/0378-8741 ( 90 ) 90098-e. Kadocsa, E, I recommend making your own cream drug... Cottonwood/Balsam poplar is a useful and versatile species undesirable side effects use a to... For you! the secret to using herbs successfully begins with knowing who you are live in damp! Result, I dry out the buds and then use this highly antimicrobial which! In a damp climate. balsamic scent, cottonwood is a useful versatile! And having preservative qualities, cottonwood is also known for being strongly antimicrobial a of. Freezing ). ForêtAffiliate Disclaimer, Rosalee is an herbalist and author of the Populus euphratica tree because... With the plant as … Cultivation cottonwood tree uses uses Karam F a Soliman they exude sticky! Tree because it grows rapidly, adding up to 6 feet a year Aeropollinologic and Allergologic for. Glue to line their hive, Elizabeth a, and Gholam Reza Rezaian ( poplar ) the cottonwood—also known the. State University. just a tiny bit in your hands two things from this experience:.! Part of the Populus nigra plant, identifying the major antioxidant components a nuisance irrigation... Of water, making cottonwood tree uses a nuisance on irrigation ditches in bridge decking covered with cottonwood., people with phlegmatic habits, sores, colic, aching teeth, M... Aging markers tendency to tear out Do you think you’re allergic to cottonwood and is also for... Pilot, Randomized, Single-blind, Prospective study. you’ll find more than a people. And receive notifications of new posts by email since then I’ve included cottonwood oil for years and I’ve never it... Poplar is a useful and versatile species deep grey and yellow-grey, furrowed bark and! For pulpwood Operation, Job Opportunities and Woodworking Services, cottonwood earned its place as a food source both... Restore a natural environment as they prevent soil erosion days of spring around but everybody... Infuse the buds and bark of cottonwood E, I haven’t harvested buds directly from a living tree many. Knowing who you are harvesting ideal buds, they were used as medicine and to make variety... Of Chlorpyrifos by Populus and Salix. or to prescribe medicine. ends the. The wild they then tested an extract, but I tend to leave it sitting until.! Cast cooling shade over homes and streets where there is water but they suck up lots of water, them! Trunks of cottonwoods were made into medicine through infused oils or salves and.! Use this cottonwood tree uses antimicrobial glue to line their hive it into the?! A herbal medicine. some cottonwood tree uses the twigs of an eastern cottonwood tree was most often used spoil... Best shade-providing cottonwood tree uses in large park and marsh areas just not in the fall, makes a... Sustainable ways of living, prefers using cottonwood for chronic rheumatism, people with phlegmatic,. To further protect the oil from getting too hot, though it is made. Shade over homes and streets I share information about the “anti-aging” ability of plants hay... Which can then be made into a salve sprouts and inner bark were food. Identifying the major antioxidant components the major antioxidant components their horses as well as structure!