Yesterday, at the same place where I got the mini spray bottles for my yarrow bug spray (the post below this one), I also bought these containers for my cottonwood oil and salve. The containers for the oil have a roller ball in them so I can roll the oil onto my skin! How cool! Below are directions for making the oil, and then for making the salve.
I always keep tons of cottonwood oil and salves around, and often gift it to others. What is it good for? It is good for a number of skin issues, like dry skin, cuts/scrapes, minor burns (after the skin is no long hot, it helps the burn heal), bruises, etc. I use the salve as chapstick and to rub on other parts of my body that are dry, and always on my scalp where my psoriases is the worst. I use the oil on more isolated parts of my body and scalp that really need attention.
Making the oil: The medicine is made from the buds of the cottonwood tree. Harvest them in the early spring, when they are filling with sap. I have heard that there is also a fall harvest of buds, but I have yet to try that. Dry the buds, then soak them in cold pressed olive oil for one year (you can soak it a few months less than a year, but if you want dank oil, soak the buds for a year!). The measurements I use is to always fill whatever container I am using 2/3 of the way with buds and then fill to the top with oil.
Making the salves: So now that you have your one-year-old jar of cottonwood oil, you can make a salve with it. Get a pot and a cheese grate that you will only use for salve-making. The beeswax will destroy these items and they will forever have a coating of wax on them. You will be combining the oil and beeswax in the pot; the beeswax will melt and mis with the oil; the mixture will cool and harden, and become the salve. I measure by using a 1:1 ratio by volume of oil to beeswax. I heat at a very, very low heat and stir it frequently until all is melted (the temp should not get above 120 degrees). Then pour it into containers and let it cool.