What’s So Balmy about February?

Winter seems so long and Spring so far away. Wouldn’t it be nice to have some balminess in your life right about now?

Cottonwood, commonly referred to as Balm of Gilead, is dropping his resinous buds right now! These heavenly smelling buds and twigs can make all sorts of Herbally goodness including oils, salves, vinegars and honeys. Cottonwood buds are used as an analgesic, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and much more!

(Photo by Ananda Wilson)

Herbal honeys are a great way to sweeten the medicine and make it go down easier. Making a herbal honey out of Cottonwood buds is a great way to soothe sore throats, doing double duty as this honey balm will ease the pain of a sore throat while the antiseptic qualities will fight the germs. And making a herbal honey is so easy too!

Honey Balm

Fresh Cottonwood buds
Raw honey, preferably from a local source

Double Boiler
Jar with lid

Fill a jar about 1/3 full with the buds.

Cover with honey and fill to the top of the jar. Gently stir with a chopstick to allow honey to completely cover the buds.

Add more honey if needed to fill the jar.

Pour the honey into the top of the double boiler, scraping out the jar with the spatula.

Gently heat the honey for about 20 minutes but do NOT let it come to a boil. You want to warm the honey enough to help extract the resin without killing the good microbes in the honey.

Pour the honey mixture back into the jar and screw on the lid.

Let sit for 2-4 weeks in a warm spot.

To use, you can eat a spoonful or make a hot lemonade:


Squeeze 1/4 lemon into 8 oz hot water. Add 1 tablespoon of honey balm and stir well. Or, simply eat a teaspoonful as needed. You can also add a teaspoonful to any herb tea.

Ready to learn more about Cottonwood? You can preview this month’s issue and order it right here:

February 2011 – Communing with Cottonwood

For greater savings, try out a year of Herbal Roots zine and get the entire 2009 Archive for Free:

Annual Subscription

And, if you’re printing off the issues and stuffing them in a binder, grab yourself a free binder cover from here:


You can grab yourself a free monthly wall calendar while you’re at it to display a full year of Herbal Roots zine!

2 Responses to “What’s So Balmy about February?”

  1. 1

    Thank you Kristine for another great issue “)

    I noticed your freebie front cover. What I have done with your 2009 and 2010 series is to use the cover that had all of the issues on it. It looks great and serves as a quick reference to what that years herbs were. I’m sure you don’t have all the artwork done for the whole year yet “) but when this year is over I would love to use that as my front cover for 2011 “)

    As always keep up the great work, my daughter and I just love your Zine “)

    Melissa C.

  2. 2

    great idea melissa! i will hopefully be done with the issues for this year by june so then i can get one up for you…and then next year’s should be ready to roll by january. i’m going to make some covers for 09 and 10 for everyone else right now!

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