Herb of the Week – Balm of Gilead

Balm of Gilead (Commiphora opobalsamum) is a particularly fragrant herb. The buds, from the Black Poplar Tree (Populus nigra), are also known as catkins and contain the phytochemical, psilocin, which is related to the same chemical found in white willow bark and more conventionally in asprin. This is mainly because both the Black Poplar and White Willow come from the same family.
Balm of Gilead can be ground and made into a tea for those suffering from asthma or colds. Because of the antioxidant qualities of this herb, it can also be made into a salve for rheumatism and inflammation.
In terms of magic(k), traditionally, Balm of Gilead catkins can be infused into a carrier oil for a ritual anointing oil for self and for candles. According to Rev. Paul V. Beyerl in his book, ‚ÄúCompendium of Herbal Magick”, anointing candles used in healing and protection rituals, Balm of Gilead infused oil is second to none.
For matters of love and romance, try mixing it with your favorite wine to create a “loving cup”. To mend a broken heart, carrying Balm of Gilead Buds in a sachet on your person can help. When burned in the cauldron, Balm of Gilead is especially helpful for spirit communications and when doing work for prosperity and manifestation.