One of my favorite things I learned this year in my herbal apprenticeship with Cedar Mountain Herb School was how to harvest and use pine (Pinus spp.) resin — aka pine pitch — from the abundant conifers we have growing all around us in North Idaho.
Pine pitch is stimulating, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory and is well suited to all sorts of topical applications. It speeds the healing of inflammatory skin irritations, rashes, burns and wounds. It also has astringent properties that make it useful for drawing out splinters.
Cottonwood buds are bursting with a wonderful, sticky red resin that many herbalists refer to as an “herbal band-aid.” Its anti-fungal, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain relieving) properties make it a top-notch first-aid salve that deserves a place in every herbalist’s medicine cabinet (and perhaps a place in their daily skincare routine!)