Today, I was going to pick and use the bark to make an oil and a salve where it is useful for bruises.
Identifying the tree this time of year proved to be a problem to begin with. The leaves, berries and flowers that normally distinguish the elder tree are all gone, and what is left is just the twigs.
Many of the trees are bare, and I learned that identifying trees by their leaves is not enough this time of the year.
However, with some investigation, and some advice from several people in my herb group, I managed to find and identify some elder trees in the area. Now, when I go for a walk, I see them everywhere, their distinguishing feature is the main stem looks withered and aged, whereas the new growth grows vertical, standing tall, and looks fresh.
|Young Elder bark|
|Older withered trunks|
|Collected bark of the elder tree|
|Stripping the bark from the branch|
|Back and olive oil|
|Left to steam for 2 hours|
And left to steam for another 2 hours.
After this time, I sieved it again, and added some beeswax to some of the oil as I wanted to make a salve from some of it, and the beeswax helps to solidify the oil, plus it is a very natural moistening component of the salve.
|Beeswax in some of the oil|
|Ready for when someone gets bruised|
|The oil kept as a liquid without beeswax added|