Latin name: Populus balsamifera L.
Botanical family: Salicaceae
Growth habit: Tree
Vernacular name(s): balsam poplar, black poplar (Eng.)
peuplier baumier, peuplier noir, liard (Fr.)
osimisk (Cree)
ewebibu'k (Malecite)
man'asa'di, asa'di (Ojibwa)
t'oo (Dene)
mathamitos, maymiytos, mayi-mitos, mayi metos, metos (Cree)
mah-nah-sah-te, ma-saté (Chippewa)
t'ooladzé (Dene)
Uses:
Used for internal blood diseases [Ojibwa: 86].
Buds :Gathered unopened in early spring and boiled to extract the balsam, skimmed off and then boiled with bear fat to make a salve applied to frost-bitten members and on sores and inflamed wounds [Chippewa 85]. Gathered in the spring and steeped in very hot bathwater until a layer of extract forms on the surface and the water is cool enough to bathe in, and also rubbed on afflicted areas to treat skin diseases such as eczema or psoriasis [Cree, Metis 13]. Collected in the spring to make a tea taken for cold [Dene 99]. Rubbed on the gums of a teething baby, or a cooled infusion used to rinse the baby's mouth [Dene 13]. Rubbed on a sore tooth [Cree 13]. Decoction drunk to treat heart problems [Cree 13]. Boiled for 41 minutes with trembling aspen branch bark and the decoction given to treat diabetes [Cree 13]. Gathered in the spring to make salve [Algonquin 69]. Applied directly to the nostril to stop nosebleed [Cree 95]. Smashed with roots of Arctium lappa and applied to sores [Malecite 65]. Seeped before opening and used as a poultice in sprain or strained muscles, or boiled in grease, strained and kept for use when needed [Ojibwa 47]. Cooked in lard or bear fat, cooled and used as a salve on cuts, wounds or bruises, also rubbed inside nostrils to clear congestion from cold, catarrh or bronchitis [Ojibwa 87]. Steam used to treat nasal and chest congestion caused by cold [Dene 100].
Sap :Drunk to treat diabetes and high blood pressure [Cree, Metis 13]. Used on cuts [Dene 99]. Boiled and tea drunk to ease chest pain Smeared on a painful body part [Dene 101].
Bark and sap :Used to make a tea for asthma in children [Cree, Metis 13].
Bark :Mixed with another plant in a decoction given in seizures [Cree 13].
Leaves :Applied fresh to a sore [Cree 95]. Chewed and applied to insect stings and bites [Dene 100].
Roots :Scrapings steeped in hot water and used as a poultice on open sores and infected wounds [Algonquin 69]. Decoction made with equal portion of roots of Cirsium sp. taken internally to treat weakness and back pain in women. Mixed with roots of Populus tremuloides, steeped and given to slow heavy menstrual flow [Ojibwa 47].
Inner bark :Used in diabetes [Cree 77]. Boiled and taken to treat stomach problems [Dene 98].
Catkins :Boiled and rubbed on swollen areas. Tea drunk for breathing problems [Dene 101].
Rotten wood :Powdered and used for skin rash [Dene 101].