January 26, 2021 at 8:53 am #7209
Earlier this week I was lucky enough to get out early on a frosty morning, walk along the river and harvest Cottonwood buds from fallen branches. And now they are soaking in some yummy local honey. It smells and tastes wonderful already!
January 26, 2021 at 9:35 am #7212
Thank you, dear Heather! Yesterday, I was just wondering when they might be popping out! This is really helpful. With gratitude, Sita
January 28, 2021 at 9:47 am #7217
Ooooh, yes! I collected some on Wednesday and they’re bathing in a gentle water bath with some oil. <3 My first time collecting and infusing myself and I’m very excited. They smell so divine!
I plan on using mine for topical pain relief. Heather, what do you use cottonwood buds for?
January 29, 2021 at 12:57 pm #7258
Oh my gosh-I am so excited for you having this first experience with cottonwood buds. I remember the first time I found out that they could actually, truely be used as medicine-I was amazed that the wonderful smell I had been attracted to all my life could be preserved and used in so many ways! Isn’t it a fun thing to harvest? And it feels good to get out among the trees this time of year!
I LOVE infusing oil and using that for salves. My son is an arborist and he swears by my cottonwood salve for healing cuts and wounds quickly and preventing infection. He passes out the salve to all the folks he works with! And yes! It also is wonderful for pain relief for all owies and sore muscles. Are you planning to add other herbs to the pain salve you are making?
I also make cottonwood bud tincture-I find it to be an incredibly useful addition to sore throat sprays. I have some soaking in honey right now.
Are you signed up for Herb Lab? We are going to be talking about cottonwood and I am going to share some recipes! I hope to meet you there!
January 31, 2021 at 11:42 am #7322
Thanks for sharing Heather! It is such a fun thing to harvest. A bit addicting I must say… And oh my goodness my sticky hands smelled like heaven.
I’m not sure yet if I will be adding other oils to the pain salve yet… Still pondering it! Might do a little research to see what other herbs the buds like to get friendly with. 🙂 The tincture sounds great!
I saw the herb lab and it looks so fun! I am going to see if I can make it!
February 4, 2021 at 7:54 pm #7421
It really is the MOST heavenly smell! I keep thinking that I wish we had a way to share that smell through the computer for Herb Lab!
To get that persistent stickiness off, I have found that rubbing a small amount of oil (like olive oil) on my hands, wiping off and then using hand-sanitizer (the isopropyl alcohol) cleans my hands right up!
I hope to see you there! It’s going to be so fun to get to interact with everyone and I am sure there will be lots of questions and sharing of knowledge around cottonwood and doug fir and more!!
February 4, 2021 at 7:36 pm #7420
Question: Today, I harvested cottonwood buds for the first time… such a joy! It was very lightly raining. If I want to put the buds in oil, they need to be dry so mold doesn’t grow? Should I just let them sit out overnight? New endeavor, thank you! Also, I don’t have a crock pot, so was going to put them in a jar with olive oil. Other thoughts?
Yes, I plan to be at tomorrow evening’s herb lab!
With gratitude, Sita
February 4, 2021 at 8:01 pm #7422
Yay! Isn’t is a wonderful feeling to get out and wildcraft?! I am excited you are joining Herb Lab tomorrow! We are going to cover all things Cottonwood and I am sure there will be many more questions. I hope you bring it up because I know others will have the same questions!
But yes, as dry as possible so you can either leave the lid off your jar for a few days or spread them out a bit on a plate (not your good ones!)to dry. We can share some ideas for infusing oils without the crockpot tomorrow night. I hope to do an Herb Lab on all the different ways to do infused oils in the near future-question get asked a lot about proper methods!
See you tomorrow!
February 4, 2021 at 9:18 pm #7426
You’re an angel, thank you, Heather. Yes, I have them drying on parchment paper- and figure they will be good that way until I get my questions answered. They smell divine! (So I don’t mind so much how sticky my fingers are!) See you tomorrow. Much joy, Sita
February 10, 2021 at 10:07 pm #7512
@Sita-I don’t think you ever got your question answered about the crock pot!
If you don’t have one for digesting oils, some ideas you can try are: a heating pad (insulate the jar though so you don’t loose the heat), a coffee cup warmer (if you have one), a yogurt maker, or even a warm oven. Simmering in a water filled saucepan is not recommended on account of the possibility of introducing water into the oil from the steam.
Maybe someone else has suggestions? What else has worked?
February 10, 2021 at 8:32 am #7489
I went out for one last bud collecting trip and found a HUGE piece of tree down…. And now I have sooooo many buds! I will definitely try the tincture for throat sprays, and likely some honey.
This time I picked not only the buds but also some of the branch as advised. I am guessing I should chop this up before tincturing or infusing? When I made the oil with buds only I just split them all in half with my fingers. I was also thinking of putting the alcohol in my blender, and then adding the buds and pulsing a bit to break them up. I was hoping if I put the alcohol in first that it might not get the blender all sticky!
February 10, 2021 at 9:59 pm #7509
Kristen- I was SO happy to meet you in the Herb Lab on Friday!
You are so lucky to find a big Cottonwood branch down! I went to pull out my cottonwood oil yesterday and to my horror, realized I forgot I had used it all up in the fall. Eeek! I need it, I need it, I need it! So guess what I will be doing ASAP! The infused oil is amazing in salves. I send the salve to my son and his co-workers (arborists) and they love it for how quickly it helps cuts heal and prevents infection-it’s like nature’s neosporin except waaay better-plus it smells heavenly divine!
Honestly that spray is one of the best things I know for sore throats. If you don’t want to tincture cottonwood buds you can always just use the cottonwood honey for both the honey and tincture in that recipe I gave you!
I haven never tried putting cottonwood in a blender-I think I would be too scared it would gum it up. If you try it I would love to know how it works. I have dedicated mason jars for my cottonwood medicine if that gives you an idea…
For freezing the buds-as long as they are not wet when you freeze them they will be just fine. You can thaw them right in your menstruum. Frozen buds are so much easier to handle.
I hope this helps, Kristin! Wish me luck on finding a big branch too!
February 10, 2021 at 9:28 am #7492
Oh yes, also, if I have any left over I will freeze them. After freezing, do you have to do anything in particular before using them? Defrost in the fridge, etc.? Will you have to worry about moisture?
February 11, 2021 at 6:37 pm #7546
Heather – Wonderful, thank you! Yes, it was so lovely to meet you during the herb lab! I couldn’t figure out how to get to the recipes that you shared. Was there one for tinctures?
I wish you all the luck in finding some big branches!! I do hope it’s your lucky day.
February 12, 2021 at 9:47 am #7552
February 11, 2021 at 9:43 pm #7549
Thank you, Heather. I went to the thrift store and got two crock pots that were in perfect condition – and was able to make Doug fir oil. I will do cottonwood next. The other ideas are very helpful to know about, so thank you. 🙂
February 12, 2021 at 9:48 am #7553
Wonderful Sita! The crockpots are so much easier! XOXO
March 1, 2021 at 11:14 am #7636KristinajmarvinWildling
Cottonwood HONEY!!!!! this will be what I make next!! 😀 what do you use yours for Heather? Oh my goodness that sounds heavenly!
This would be a really great full day class to teach 😀
August 3, 2021 at 10:17 am #9315Kristinajm87Wildling
Long time no talk my beautiful loving herb family 😀 😀
I am starting to dream of FALL and you know what that means!!!!
About what time of the year do these buds start to form in fall?
I want to guess around end of October into November?
Do you chop up your buds when processing into an oil or do you keep them whole?
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