What happiness to walk in the woods in the spring, nature wakes up and releases multiple characteristic smells that do me so good. My favorite scent comes from balsam poplar. Its buds are full of resin that literally smells of spring.
The active ingredients contained in its buds have healing and anti-inflammatory properties and can treat various skin problems such as psoriasis and eczema. These properties have been known to locals for ages and have recently been reaffirmed by scientific studies: hope bud against psoriasis.
The resin can be extracted by macerating the buds in vegetable oil. Just let it macerate for a month before straining and bottling the oil, which smells of sweet woody resin. This is the oil I use to make my balsam poplar soap, my favorite.
In addition, the buds have powerful bactericidal properties when its active compounds are extracted with alcohol. Basically, the fresh buds are macerated in twice their volume of 40% alcohol for 3 weeks, stirring each day. I have been using it as a flu breaker for several years and this mother tincture still amazes me with its effectiveness. In fact, we call it gemmotherapy, bud medicine. The active compounds responsible for this biological activity were identified by the Lasève laboratory in 2012 and belong to the balsacones family (bioactive potential of balsam poplar buds).
So, the next time you go for a walk in the woods, remember to spot that balm smell that characterizes spring awakening and has so much to offer us!