Poplar has continued to guide me into and through my work as an herbalist, healer and teacher. Last week I had the privilege of initiating a group of herbal students into the magic of the Poplar tree; what an honor! What magic. Poplar is a magic magnifier.
As a spiritual plant ally, Poplar helps a person to stand in the fullness of their heart's truth, most especially when that truth is difficult for the mind to accept. It's an ally to call on when the voice of the heart and soul has begun to awaken and a person has begun to heed the call, yet they are encountering mental resistance in the form of self-defeating thoughts or long laundry lists of all the reasons why the answer is "No" even though the heart and soul are insisting "YES!" Poplar helps to ease, align and integrate this process.
I LOVE adding a few buds to a jar of water and drinking this as an early spring tonic. It smells, tastes and feels like spring in a cup. And it is! This is truly magic.
For the physical body, Poplar is an amazing anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antiseptic. It has this incredible resin that is loaded with salicylic acid (active ingredient in Aspirin) and other disinfectant aromatic constituents. These buds are truly amazing. The Balm of Gilead, an infamous healing substance in many ancient texts including the Bible, was reportedly made with Poplar Buds. This panacea healing ointment is used for all kinds of skin conditions: sore muscles, injuries, bumps, bruises, cuts, scrapes, infections, wounds... it heals, while it disinfects, soothes pain and decreases inflammation. Poplar bud salve is truly my favorite topical skin salve, and NOW (early spring, before the leaves unfurl) is the time to harvest them.
Poplar Buds are also infused into high-proof alcohol to make a tincture. I use drop doses of poplar tincture in this way for heart opening and for heart cleansing; it is helpful for grieving, for opening up the heart and creating space when there is energetic or emotional tension and resistance in the heart. Poplar taken internally is an excellent decongestant and disinfectant for the lungs.
I encourage you, as soon as the Poplar buds unfurl their heart-shaped leaves, to go visit them! Watch them dance, listen to their song, perhaps they will teach you about your own authentic dance and how to enjoy the life you have been gifted.
May you always and ever know the beauty of your shine.