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Also known as- Populus balsamifera, Populus spp, Populus trichocarpa and poplar buds. Introduction 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. Constituents 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. Summary Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, creams containing Balm of Gilead buds are used to treat frostbite, sunburn, superficial injuries of the skin, and external hemorrhoids. Precautions If you are highly allergic to aspirin, you may be mildly allergic to Balm of Gilead buds. Recommended for external use only.