Sarah Jaroskye recently posted a blog, which captured my heart, and I thought I would share it with all of you. She has begun harvesting Cottonwood buds and making therapeutic oils with them. Her spirit of asking permission before collecting the buds (a beautiful Native American tradition) and thanking the tree after (perhaps even with a gift of some kind) touched my spirit reminding me of the ever-flowing gratitude we each might offer Mother Nature daily.
The Cottonwood leaves have always captured my attention with their lovely soft, heart shaped leaves. What a timely post this was as we soon will celebrate Saint Valentine’s Day with hearts floating everywhere. Perhaps, if the season permits, some of you might find some buds of this beloved tree to harvest in honor of Valentine’s Day?
The rich and earthy resin of the leaf buds is often referred to as “Balm of Gilead”. One variety or another of the Cottonwood grows throughout North America and they are indeed a favorite in the blooming season of many bees (I love seeing those bees ever vibrant!). The herbal actions of the resin extract include: anti-fungal, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic (pain relieving).
Last year when I moved into my new home I inherited a mature jojoba tree and harvested its seeds with utter joy. I was able to enjoy a beautiful, soothing jojoba oil and also thrilled a massage therapist when sharing with her. Infusing oil is a simple process simply be certain the buds or seeds are completely dry and use a quality carrier oil. Sarah chose a simple olive oil for her Cottonwood buds. I used an organic apricot oil with the jojoba.
There is a rich connection we appreciate when we not only notice, rather with deep gratitude, collect and harvest the plethora of gifts nature spills upon our earth. It allows us to truly experience the deep roots we share and invite the entire realm of nature into our lives as a natural extension of ourselves.
You may read the full post and directions for the harvesting of the Cottonwood buds here: http://urbanfarm.org/blog/1645-cottonwood-bud-winter-wild-harvesting