The fragrant brown buds of the balsam poplar tree are by many highly prized as a remedial agent, their medicinal properties being due to their fragrant resinous constituents.
Balm of Gilead is classed as a stimulating expectorant, and is very useful in old coughs where the lungs are feeble and unable to throw off accumulations in the air passages. Half an ounce of them in the ordinary alcoholic tincture is sufficient to add to a pint of cough syrup. An infusion cannot be made, as the resinous substance is not acted upon by water alone. The use of Balm of Gilead would not be advisable in irritable conditions of the lungs.