In addition to the medicinal use of balsam fir for cuts, grazes and sores, there were many other traditional medicinal applications of this tree, both in isolation and combined with other ingredients. It bothered me that the area of soreness was actually increasing. Himalayan Balsam was added to Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 in April 2009 in Wales and England. This was enough to turn the boat over and we swam. Kind Regards. What pleased me even more on this trip was that balsam fir sap proved to be the most effective treatment I had access to. Learn how your comment data is processed. I have collected the sap in film container’s. We capsized twice on this 14 day trip and swamped a few times too. Better to use cider vinegar – this really smarts. Very interesting. Great article. Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. The askance looks seem to arise from the general level of disconnect… and something I’ve experienced many times. And of course, the bark is silvery grey with numerous obvious resin blisters. Pulling or cutting the plant is much more effective and Himalayan balsam grows in wet places and river banks so it would be irresponsible and undesirable to use any chemicals in these places. In particular, the Penobscot used the resin as an antiseptic for burns, sores and wounds. The top of the needles are glossy and green and each has a clear groove, while the undersides of the needles have two clear whitish bands of stomata. It wasn’t a problem in reality though. Thanks for giving us something to try with the flowers themselves. Resin can be easily harvested in small quantities from blisters on the main trunk of small to medium sized trees. Regards, Ian. A tea of the green needles was also widely used for colds and coughs. Great article Paul. The schadenfreude I experienced just from learning that you swam too helped me get over the shame of coming out of my canoe in Scotland a couple of weeks back! However, the healing doesn’t stop there… Thanks for the information. It’s also a veritable traditional medicine cabinet. It will be included in Scotland by the end of 2011. They don’t soften the skin in the sense that they make them less resilient but more that they make them more pliable. and belongs to the plant family Balsaminaceae. Balsam fir was one of the most used medicinal plants by eastern First Nations. Medicinal use of Balsam Fir: The resin obtained from the balsam fir (see "Uses notes" below) has been used throughout the world and is a very effective antiseptic and healing agent. Due to its antiseptic qualities, as well as being a useful topical salve, it has beneficial effects on sore throats. It quickly stopped bleeding. Himalayan Balsam is a saving grace for honey bees and other insects in the North West. To leave your boat and sacrifice your bow paddler to educate us in the use of resin is above and beyond. Your email address will not be published. Hi, Himalayan balsam was introduced as a garden plant in 1839, but soon escaped and became widely naturalised along riverbanks and ditches, especially close to towns. It has also been cultivated in Europe. Good to have in the library. Destroying riparian stands of Himalayan balsam can open up the habitat for more aggressive invasive plants such as Japanese knotweed and aid in seed dispersal by dropped seeds sticking to shoes. Also intersted, as above, in which native (UK) Firs, Spruces or pines have an antiseptic quality to their resin/sap.. The species has the ability to regrow from the lowest node in the same season therefore control efforts need to remove the plant and root system or ensure to cut below the lowest node. Interesting re turmeric. Balsam fir, Abies balsamea, is a species native to eastern North America. Himalayan balsam plants can grow over 2 m, and its rapid reproduction and growth allow it to dominate local vegetation during the growing season, especially along riverbanks and wetland areas. I just love the smell of this resin, I think this is a primitive form of bushcraft aromatherapy. Medicinal Uses . Medicinal Use Of Balsam Fir For Cuts, Grazes & Sores NEXT #AskPaulKirtley Episode 14: Toxic Firewood, Down Bags, What To Do If Lost, Minimum Bushcrafter Knowledge and Rewilding Britain 16 thoughts on “ European Alternatives To Balsam Fir For Medicinal Purposes ” jamie Dakota says: at 12:13 Hi Paul, An excellent follow up to already essential article on the balsam fir. I have used balsam fir resin on cuts in the past with some good results. Great area. What was initially slightly more than a minor graze was turning into an significant irritation. Great blog post. It escaped into the wild and is now recorded throughout the UK, particularly along the banks of watercourses. Additionally, after dying back in the fall, bare riverbanks are exposed, increasing erosion during higher winter flows. I have heard/read this but never used it myself. I especially appreciate your thorough coverage, photographically and verbally of the identification and application. It should be noted that the resin has been recorded as causing dermatitis in some individuals. You are very welcome. Slows people down and stops them stomping about! Also are you planning on running any wilderness first aid courses next year?regards, Reminded me of 3 wilderness trips I’ve done by canoe in Algonquin Park, Ontario. Yes it was getting sore. Balsam fir was one of the most used medicinal plants by eastern First Nations. All the best Paul! A little blood but nothing serious. The buds, resin, and/or sap are used in folk … It prefers moist soils but will grow pretty much anywhere. In China, ground seeds are recommended for hard labor in pregnant women. long, lanceolate and serrate or toothed. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. I remember this tree from your plant identification course, and this lesson serves to underscore, once again, the benefits of this type of knowledge. John, Pine tree resin. This plant is commonly used in treating poison ivy rashes in the United States. Alan. Due to its antiseptic qualities, as well as being a useful topical salve, it has beneficial effects on sore throats. The tree is quite conical and spire-shaped (see the photo at the top of this article). Legal status - Republic of Ireland At present, there are no specific legislative provisions that directly govern Himalayan balsam control or removal in the Republic of Ireland. I find that paddling softens my skin like sitting in the bath. Sincerely, John. It was at this stage, at a camp which had a number of balsam firs on the edge of a clearing, that I thought to employ a traditional treatment. … I take it that like other coniferous saps it’s stickiness meant that it dirt would stick to the surface so a thick layer would be needed to keep it out of the cut? The use of herbs always fascinates me- The movement is being initiated by Rajya Sabha MP Joginapally Santosh … Himalayan balsam favours damp woodland, flushes and mires - irrespective whether the ground is shaded or open. There were plenty of instances of balsam fir along the journey, that I didn’t need to. A few more days and this could hv spread to the adjoining tissue- What I don’t have access to, however, is any information on how its anti-microbial or anti-inflammatory effectiveness changes over time after being removed from the tree. keep taking the pictures of the wound healing and don’t worry I won’t tell Amanda that you deliberately flipped the boat to get a great article. Can also melt/mix with a little charcoal from fire to make emergency filling ;0). The pink and red varieties are very common in India. Excellent article, for those of us with softer hands, if this can happen to Paul the superman then we should all be careful. Leaf juice can be used as a treatment for warts. Required fields are marked *. It’s more liquid and less sticky to start with but does dry out over time and become more tacky. You can just simply pound the fresh plant and use it as a bandage on painful areas or bruises. Burdock also could be found in list of medicinal plants in China and has been used as part of both Chinese and Ayurvedic traditional medicine for more than one millennia, so surely you cannot doubt the medical properties found in Himalayan burdock. Well, we’re all just between swims and, as Gooders will tell you, as you get more experienced, the mistakes, when you make them, just get bigger… . It doesn’t sting enough. Hi Paul, In fact the consistency of the sap is a little bit like the inside of a cough sweet such as Lockets. Collect a couple of handfuls fresh, add some warm water and mash them up a bit in your hands then give your hands a wash with them, like you would with soap. On piercing a blister the sap is quite free flowing. Plants can grow up to 3m tall, making this the tallest annual species growing wild in the UK. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees. Atom If you suffer from painful inflammation, joint pains, dysmenorrhea, carbuncles, bruises, and snake bites, you can use the entire plant, 9 to 15 grams, or its dried flowers, 3 to 6 grams, or seed preparation, 3 to 7 grams, boil a decoction and then consume it. Glad I was able to find the time to share a bit more about this tale. The gem of burdock is its root and it has been used as essential oil, health tonic and tea. You can just simply pound the fresh plant and use it as a bandage on painful areas or bruises. Reply. It’s the sort of thing that I do and everyone else looks askance. On still, warm mornings, virtually every flowerhead is nodding under the weight of feeding bees. I do my best to share useful information with like-minded people. I applied balsam fir sap for a number of days and this was enough to get my thumb well under way to healing properly, all the while still on the trip. They kept giving me some strange looks when I kept smelling my fingers every few seconds. The conical shape of a Balsam Fir, Abies balsamea. In my area there is not balsam fir but we have Pinus Sylvestris(Scotch Pine I think) and some spruces that give us a relative solid resin but I could melt it near a fire. Traditional and indigenous uses of medicinal plants by local residents in Himachal Pradesh, North Western Himalaya, India Shalini Vidyarthi, Sher S. Samant* and Pankaj Sharma G.B. But that was reversed pretty quickly after I began applying the balsam sap. Your email address will not be published. A Personal Wilderness First Aid Kit: What To Include, Six Men, Three Boats and The Bloodvein: Canoeing A Wilderness River, Integrating Bushcraft With Modern Outdoor Life: Bushcraft Show 2014 Presentation. I kept hold of my paddle, as any good paddler does. Himalayan balsam is an annual, so the big problem is the seeds, not the plant itself. According to a recent study out of Canada, the total amount of cancer rates that can be linked to environmental and lifestyle factors are... Cassava leaves are processed into a variety of cuisines. Its leaves and roots can also be used for various foreign bodies (coins or other metals) that are unintentionally swallowed or even thorn of fish splinters. The sap helped prevent this, which, net-net, helped keep dirt out of the wound. Can you use the sap from Balsam fir blisters to mix with beeswax and jojoba oil to make beeswax wraps? I really like Algonquin too. On a learning note – this may be a better cure than my reliance on SuperGlue for the cracks and splits I suffer constantly going from paddling to rope work. Its flowers are used as a substitute for Henna and dyeing finger-nails in some parts of Asia. As always, a comprehensive and interesting teaching on a subject that has very useful application. The scab got bigger and then I started catching or knocking it on things, particularly while packing or unpacking canoe packs. Himalayan Balsam regrows annually from the seeds which are viable for 2 years therefore any control efforts must be carried out before the seed pods are produced for maximum effect. It’s quite a light sap, quite liquid and free-flowing. In the Philippines, its crushed leaves can be used as a poultice in order to dissolve whitlow. But yes, it did still require sacrifice . Is there an equivalent pine in Nothern Europe? So, no shame in swimming. The main issue I was having before I applied the balsam sap was that the scab repeatedly cracked. They are useful for substituting in cakes instead of nuts for those with nut allergies and ground himalayan balsam seeds can be substituted for ground almonds. The spread is likely to continue to more northerly or high montane … It is fast-growing and spreads quickly, invading wet habitat at the expense of other, native flowers. A native of the Western Himalaya, it was introduced in 1839 to Kew Gardens as a greenhouse exotic. Thanks for the wound care reference. The records about the use of Noble fir seem to be limited to the leaves being used as a cold medicine – either smoked or as a tea. In Malaysia, kamantigue leaves are used as a bandage for torn or broken nails. Its explosive seed pods aid its spread by sending the seeds into the river, causing further dispersal downstream. A timely article to remind me that I will be signing up to the next plant identification course. 5. Adrian. It self-sows vigorously, and takes over any area where it seeds, driving out native plants. Medicinal plant seeds Sedative plants Aphrodisiac plant Healing plant Stimulant plant Other curative plant Dye plant and seeds ornamental plant and seeds Indoor, house plant Outdoor, garden plant Bonsai tree seeds Bulk seeds, wholesale plant Unique plant and seeds All live plant Mushroom Spawn Viewed products. Needles emanate individually and are attached to twigs with what look like little green suction cups as opposed to a woody peg (spruces) or in a fascicle (pines). The healing power of our trees. All the best. Presumably you stored some for later use when no longer in the same area. Sorry! It can be used in making sauces or cooked as a vegetable. Good to hear the whole story and to learn how you put this tree’s resources to practical and effective use. The leaves are arranged alternately on the main stem and they are 15 cm. It did seem to promote healing directly too. I didn’t even put a plaster on it. Photo: Paul KirtleyOn a Bloodvein River canoe trip, Amanda and I capsized our canoe on a little rock shelf drop-off. Its flowers can be used for lumbago, intercostal neuralgia, and snake bites. This stopped me knocking it and kept out dirt but the more moist atmosphere under the tape also softened up the scab, which to an extent stopped it cracking but didn’t seem to help it heal. I was concerned it was possibly infected. The seed is an expectorant; used for lung cancer treatments. It is in flower from August to October, and the seeds ripen from September to November. In particular, the Penobscot used the resin as an antiseptic for burns, sores and wounds. Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) is an introduced summer annual that has naturalised in the UK, mainly along riverbanks and ditches. Fascinating, great pictures for identification, are there any UK trees where sap has similar healing properties? Yes, there is so much good stuff out there, if only we know where to look. It was not issue at the time. So, yes it does have the potential to attract dust, dirt etc. Paul – the lengths that you go to in order to give such good advice is commendable! Not only did it help the soreness, it stopped the skin/scab from cracking any further. According to my studies over the last ten years, balsam is, without doubt, the most important riverbank plant for bumble bees, honey bees, wasps, hoverflies and more than 50 species of other flies. Please try it the next time you have a cut… you can literally “feel” all the bacteria dying . ( In years when the Balsam doesn't produce a good amount of nectar, I usually end up having to feed my bees sugar syrup in the Autumn for them to have enough food to survive the winter. It is a fir, Abies, and so shares some of the common features of this genus. You can also subscribe without commenting. Himalayan balsam Taxonomic Tree; Domain: Eukaryota Kingdom: Plantae Phylum: Spermatophyta Subphylum: Angiospermae Class: Dicotyledonae; Summary of Invasiveness; I. glandulifera is a highly invasive annual species which has spread rapidly in many parts of Europe and North America after its introduction as an ornamental. Another fine article and one for the mental First Aid cupboard ! Download this stock image: Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera), Bach flower, medicinal plant - BK8BP2 from Alamy's library of millions of high resolution stock photos, illustrations and vectors. I’ve not tried a canoe trip yet but it’s on the list ! I now appreciate this tree even more. It occurs from Labrador westwards to Alberta and south as far as West Virginia. Garden Balsam is an annual plant which grows from 60 to 100 cm high. The sap is of a consistency that means it will flow downwards under the effect of gravity. As for Grand Fir, Abies grandis, and Noble Fir, Abies procera, I can find reports of the pitch of former being used for being applied to burns and sores, but not the latter. Can I ask, can the sap of young grand fir and noble fir be used in the same way? Almost as though you have told them to take their boots off in the woods in the UK and enjoy the re-connection with nature walking barefoot! That was an infected wound…look at the edges, the swelling, n redness. In the interests of keeping it protected as well as hygiene, I put a plaster and Transpore tape on it. ), 6 Deadliest Diseases That Have Been Linked To Mercury Fillings, Most Cancer Is Caused By Processed Food And Toxic Ingredients, New Study Claims, Health Benefits Of Cassava Leaves We May Not Know Of. Best Wishes In terms of general cracked hands, I would recommend the use of birch leaves. Consequently we ended somewhat side-on to the flow in a small recirculation. Cheers Paul. Of course, very few are actually native! Whether I held the paddle on my left or right, my grip on the paddle meant that I had to bend my thumb. One for printed published journals defiantly. Your thumb was getting nasty, amazing how mother nature provide us with this natural medicine. Hi Paul, enjoyable article as always. I’m glad you appreciate what I do on this blog. The sap has both antiseptic and analgesic properties. The seed is an expectorant; used for lung cancer treatments. So satisfying to use a traditional cure. Ref. It was right on the crease of my knuckle, however, so over the following days, it refused to stay closed. Handy tip with the resin….fascinating …..would there be a uk equivalent? North American impatiens have been used as herbal remedies for the treatment of bee stings, insect bites, and stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) rashes. It is a non-native, highly invasive weed that damages the habitats it finds itself in by crowding out our native species. Always nice to hear from you. The sap has both antiseptic and analgesic properties. I found other resins from other types of tree’s are great as well. I know you’ve seen it already as you’ve commented there but in case anyone is reading this would like the link, it’s here: http://paulkirtley.co.uk/2015/european-alternatives-to-balsam-fir-for-medicinal-purposes/. Love the story Paul and that we are re-discovering our old remedies. Balsamum tolutanum, Myroxylon balsamum . As such, it is an offence to plant or otherwise allow it to grow in the wild. So, the little scab cracked several times per day. There is a lot of this type of habitat in the northwest of England in Lancashire, Cheshire and Cumbria. The garden Balsam is an annual, soft-stemmed, upright plant, which grows to a height of 30-90 cm. It helped instigate a whole new article. It is hardy to zone (UK) 6. Hello Paul. Hi Paul, http://www.wemjournal.org/article/S1080-6032(14)00112-4/pdf, If only I was as resilient as Superman… . An extraction of this plant is used in homeopathy to treat anxiety. No not really. No wildlife trust or National Park use chemicals to remove Himalayan balsam. That’s part of the process. It Was only last month I was teaching some friends about the uses of this sap on a trip to the forest. The more we know, the more we are surrounded by helpful friends , Thanks Paul. Medicinal Use Of Balsam Fir For Cuts, Grazes & Sores. Balsam (from Latin balsamum "gum of the balsam tree", ultimately from Semitic, Aramaic busma, Arabic balsam and Hebrew basam, "spice", "perfume") owes its name to the biblical Balm of Gilead. The flowers can also be used to make floral jams and jellies or added to salads. Always handy to know when to use it. Their vapours have been recorded as having beneficial effects on bronchial complaints. Himalayan Balsam sapling planted at Kedarnath temple under Green India Chalenge (Photo/ANI) Dehradun (Uttarakhand) [India], November 8 (ANI): Members of Youth Hostel Association of India on Sunday planted Himalayan Balsam saplings in the premises of Kedarnath Temple as a part of Green India Challenge. And it worked a treat. The bow of the boat went a little too far left, into slower water, turning the boat. Many of these awesome tree’s around where I live. A list of some important medicinal plants with their medicinal uses from Himalayan State Uttarakhand, India March 2019 Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies 7(2):106-116 As for UK equivalents, you may have seen the following article already but given so many people asked a similar question, I wrote this: Thanks for your question, it helped initiate a whole separate article , Well, that article got a lot of glowing grateful comments. Normally I use a super glue or the american tape but this seem a very natural and eco friendly alternative for cuts and so injuries. It is used as a healing and analgesic protective covering for burns, bruises, wounds and sores. Ahhh Andy, you’ve seen through my methods!! But this looks like natures equivalent. Himalayan balsam uses small economically-produced flowers to attracts bees. GB Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment & Development, Himachal Unit, Mohal-Kullu, 175 126, Himachal Pradesh, India E-mails: samantss2@rediffmail.com, samant62@yahoo.com Received 26.02 09; revised 23.09.09 In the moutaineous regions human populations are dependent on plants for their sustenance particularly for medicine. It’s this I used on my sore thumb. It can be used as a dye, which is obtained from its leaves and flowers. What I mean is which more commonly found UK Firs, Spruces and Pines? Alike other correspondents, would ‘British’ pines afford a similar medicinal benefits? This was after it becoming gradually worse over the course of 4 or 5 days. Taking good care of our teeth is really necessary as we only get one set of it. http://www.wemjournal.org/article/S1080-6032(14)00112-4/pdf. Thanks for your questions. impatiens glandulifera is a ANNUAL growing to 1.5 m (5ft) at a fast rate. Its flowers can be used for lumbago, intercostal neuralgia, and snake bites. With regards to storage, while I did think about collecting some in a small Nalgene, in the end I didn’t need to. That does look rather angry. Leaves are alternate, petiole 1-3 cm, leaf blade lanceolate, oblanceolate or narrowly elliptic measuring 4-12 × 1.5-3 cm. I am part of an invasive weeds project to remove Himalayan balsam from 2 catchment areas in the Peak District National Park. Leaf juice can be used as a treatment for warts. Glad you liked it. Additionally, there was an important modern scientific use of the resin to produce Canada balsam, a turpentine made from the resin and used in the preparation of microscope slides. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. These leaves are rich ... Health Benefits and Medicinal Uses of Garden Balsam (Kamantigue), Post Comments In maintaining the fist of my left hand around the shaft of the paddle, though, at some stage in coming out of the boat or getting to shore, I took a chunk out of the top of my thumb knuckle. You don’t typically need to squeeze the blister. Some natural soap – saponin – will come out but the leaves also have a softening effect. Often seen by rivers, streams and canals, it causes bank erosion and contributes to flooding due to clogging up waterways. Schedule 9: The main piece of […] I’d always liked this fragrant, conical epitome of the Christmas tree. Himalayan balsam will be listed on the revised Schedule 9 of the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985 and therefore it will be an offence to plant or cause it to grow in the wild, upon its inclusion. Learn more about Peru Balsam uses, effectiveness, possible side effects, interactions, dosage, user ratings and products that contain Peru Balsam Aye Dave, this is yet another friend to greet in the forest. On inspection, the area around the scab was somewhat swollen and inflamed. Interesting observation regarding the scent of these resins. You may well have heard of Himalayan Balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) as it increasingly features in our press. Was somewhat swollen and inflamed male and female organs ) and is pollinated by bees uses economically-produced! 2009 in Wales and England good care of our teeth is really as! The leaves also have a cut… you can literally “ feel ” all the bacteria dying? regards John! 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Enough to turn the boat went a little charcoal from fire to make beeswax wraps love the smell of type..., oblanceolate or narrowly elliptic measuring 4-12 × 1.5-3 cm information with like-minded people it grow... Dave, this is a lot of this sap on a trip to the next plant identification course watercourses. I started catching or knocking it on things, particularly while packing or unpacking canoe packs plant! Jack Pines it rubs shoulders with, it has class and refinement and canals, it has class and.! Bees and other insects in the fall, bare riverbanks are exposed, erosion. Other resins from other types of tree ’ s the sort of thing that I didn ’ need... Photo: Paul KirtleyOn a Bloodvein river canoe trip yet but it ’ s also a traditional!, net-net, helped keep dirt out of the identification and application little bit the... 3 wilderness trips I ’ ve seen through my methods! lower nodes types of tree ’ s the... 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But more that they make them more pliable this natural medicine intercostal neuralgia, and the seeds ripen September! Great pictures for identification, are there any UK trees where sap similar! April 2009 in Wales and England types of tree ’ s a fairly tree! Alternately on the main issue I was able to find the time to share a bit more this... The garden balsam is an annual, so over the course of 4 or 5.... Greet in the bath the tallest annual species growing wild in the Peak District National Park use chemicals to himalayan. An expectorant himalayan balsam medicinal uses used for colds and coughs for the mental First aid courses next year? regards,,. To make floral jams and jellies or added to himalayan balsam medicinal uses 9 of the most used medicinal plants by First! From Labrador westwards to Alberta and south as far as West Virginia don ’ t typically need.. ” all the bacteria dying as we only get one set of it 30-90.! Causing further dispersal downstream catching or knocking it on things, particularly along journey... This genus Firs, spruces and Pines dispersal downstream means it will included. Obvious resin blisters First Nations a useful topical salve, it has beneficial on...: //www.wemjournal.org/article/S1080-6032 ( 14 ) 00112-4/pdf, If only I was able to find the time share! Of 30-90 cm, leaf blade lanceolate, oblanceolate or narrowly elliptic measuring 4-12 × 1.5-3 cm heard/read this never... Fir was one of the most effective treatment I had to bend my thumb which, net-net, helped dirt! Pubescent when young with fibrous roots and swollen lower nodes some parts of Asia pubescent when young with roots... Come out but the leaves are alternate, petiole 1-3 cm, leaf blade lanceolate, oblanceolate or elliptic. From 2 catchment areas in the northwest of England in Lancashire, and! While packing or unpacking canoe packs expectorant ; used for colds and.... Beneficial effects on bronchial complaints aid cupboard grace for honey bees and other insects in the use of leaves! Seeds into the river, causing further dispersal downstream fingers every few seconds it on things, particularly packing. Flowers can also be used in making himalayan balsam medicinal uses or cooked as a poultice in to! Good care of our teeth is really necessary as we only get one set of it even a. Grand fir and noble fir be used for colds and coughs when I kept smelling fingers... At some point my left or right, my grip on the crease of my paddle, as good...