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Abele – White Poplar

Mythology and Legends:

When returning from the land of the dead, it is said that Hercules wore a wreath composed of poplar leaves. The silver-leafed poplar is said to have been created by these leaves: The inner side of the leaves turned white as they pressed against Hercules’ sweaty brow. The outer side of the leaves were exposed to the heat and smoke of the underworld, causing them to turn black. (1)

Meaning:

Middle English: via Old French from Medieval Latin albellus, diminutive of albus ‘white.’ The term was reintroduced in the late 16th century from Dutch abeel (from Old Frenchabel ), when specimens were imported into England from the Netherlands.(2)

Almost all Poplar species are native to the North American continent. (3)

Poplars are deciduous. A tree that is deciduous, normally completely sheds leaves annually as opposed to coniferous or needled trees that keep foliage on all year. Deciduous trees are sometimes called hardwood even though wood hardness varies among the hardwood species and some are actually softer than some softwoods.

The most common part of the Poplar tree used in herbal medicine is the bark.

Because the species of Poplar trees are many it may be easier to identify them by the leaves of individual species.

The botanical name of abele is:

 Populus alba
L.

Classification:
Kingdom:             Plantae
(unranked):        Angiosperms
(unranked):        Eudicots
(unranked):        Rosids
Order:   Malpighiales
Family:  Salicaceae
Genus: Populus
Section:                Populus
Species:               P. alba
Bionomial name:
Populus alba
L.
(4)

Other names this herb may be known by are:

  • Silver-leaf Poplar
  • Silver Poplar
  • White Poplar

Related to the species known as:

  • American Aspen
  • Golden Aspen
  • Mountain Aspen
  • Poplar
  • Quaking Aspen Populus tremuloides
  • Quiver leaf
  • Trembling Aspen
  • Trembling Poplar

And also:
Populus x candicans syn. P. gileandenis

  • Balm of Gilead
  • Balsam Poplar
  • Mecca Balsam
  • Tacamahack

And:

  • Black Poplar Populus nigra
    • betulifolia
    • pyramidalis
    • thevestina
    • sinesis

(5)
(6, 7)

Some of the main constituents (chemical composition) in abele are:
Acids -Caffeic, gallic, malic.
Salicin- also known as salic acid or salicylate this is a pain reliever and blood thinner.
Nigracin-a glycoside. There are literally thousands of glycosides in all plant matter. They are normally anthocyanins that make up plant pigments knowns as anthocyanins which may potentially play a role in anticancer properties as well as cardiovascular protective properties. (8)
Chrysin- is a flavonoid, a polyphenol class of phytonutrients. There are several significant groups of flavonoids, including anthocyanidins, flavanols, flavones, flavonols, flavonones and isoflavones. Flavonoids are believed to impart beneifts that help with weight management, prevent age-related diseases, protects the heart, prevents diabetes, protects against cancer and protects against neurodegenerative diseases.(9)
Populin- is a glucoside is a glycoside derived from glucose. This glucoside is unique to the Poplar tree.
(10, 11)
Salicortin- is a glycoside.
Mannitol- is a naturally occurring carbohydrate in plant matter. It does not raise blood sugar levels. However, it is now used widely as a man-made sugar for pharmaceutical purposes, mainly to reduce intracranial pressure. This form of mannitol has repercussions. (12, 13)
Tannins- are polyphenols with potential benefits that may inhibit the growth of cancer cells. However clinical studies show that decreases in feed intake, growth rate, feed efficiency, net metabolizable energy, and protein digestibility in experimental animals was common when tannins were ingested on a regular basis. (14) This is probably due to the fact that tannins inhibit the ability to synthesize Vitamin B12 which is partly responsible for good appetite. One might ask how tannins can interfere with Vitamin B12 synthesizing. Simple; any food that contains tannins is considered a stimulating diuretic and most likely contains alkaloids. (15, 16) Alkaloids, being diuretics cause excessive urinary excretion. Due to the fact that B12 is water soluble B12 is overly-excreted from the system and cannot be synthesized fast enough to make up for the loss. Therefore our birds are always deficient in Vitamin B12 if we are feeding foods high in tannins.
Flavonoids: quercetin, rhamnetin, metilcrestin, and chrysin
(17)
Salicylates:
On a scale from very low to extremely high:
The measurement for abele is extremely high. (18)
I insert the level of salicylates here due to the fact I have found this naturally occurring food constituent/food chemical triggers barbering, cutting, picking, plucking, and self-mutilation in birds who engage in feather destruction.

BENEFITS
The general benefits of all Poplar species are antiphlogistic (fever reducing), analgesic, antibacterial, and antispasmodic. Used often in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. May mitigate chronic diarrhea. (19) White Poplar is known to stimulate a depressed appetite. (20) The Quaking Aspen species are anti-inflammatory, astringent, antiseptic, stimulant and tonic in actions. Balm of Gilead antiseptic, analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and expectorant in actions. Black Poplar is an anti-inflammatory, used in the treatment of gout, as a diuretic in the treatment of kidney stones, and for respiratory problems. (21, 22)

Main Preparation Method: The main part of Poplar trees used is normally the bark. It is recommended for human consumptionto take l-2 teaspoonfuls of the dried bark in a cup of water, bring to the boil and simmer for l0-l5 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day. To stimulate appetite, drink 30 minutes before meals. Tincture: take 2-4 ml of the tincture three times a day. (23)

For exotic birdsI would recommend a tincture dilution of the above recipe. Therefore I would mix 2ml of the tincture to 29ml (1.2oz) of distilled or spring water having a pH of 7.2-8.0 for every 85 grams of bird weight to as high as 4ml to 29ml (1.02oz) of distilled or spring water having a ph of 7.2-8.0 for every 340grams of bird weight. The median average being 3ml of the above tincture to 29ml (1.02oz) for every 213 grams of bird body weight.
An exampleof the median average mixture for a bird weighing 213 grams would look like this:1-2 teaspoonfuls of bark + 8oz of distilled or spring water. Bring to boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add to that tincture an additional 29ml of filtered or spring water. (This recovers any moisture loss due to boiling). Use this as your bird’s drinking water for one day per weekfor 4 consecutive weeks. (One day on, 6 days off to allow your bird’s system to rest and replenish its moisture balance and Vitamin B12 levels.)
This can be used as drinking water one day per 7 day week until symptoms are relieved up to one month total, or whichever comes first; cessation of symptoms or the end of one month.
If your bird is in crisis mode and needs this tincture on a daily basis use only .05ml per 85 grams of body weight once per day. Be sure to have clean, fresh water available to your bird at all times along with fresh mango, papaya, and other fresh fruit to replenish your bird’s enzymes and moisture levels.
*Any living creature with known allergies to aspirin, salicin, salic acid, or those with salicylate sensitivity should not consume or use topical preparations of Poplar of any species.  

Conversion Chart

milliliters to ounces Conversion Table:
ml = 0.0353 oz
ml = 0.0705 oz
ml = 0.1058 oz
ml = 0.1411 oz
ml = 0.1764 oz
ml = 0.2116 oz
ml = 0.2469 oz
ml = 0.2822 oz
ml = 0.3175 oz
10 ml = 0.3527 oz
11 ml = 0.388 oz
12 ml = 0.4233 oz
13 ml = 0.4586 oz
14 ml = 0.4938 oz
15 ml = 0.5291 oz
16 ml = 0.5644 oz
17 ml = 0.5997 oz
18 ml = 0.6349 oz
19 ml = 0.6702 oz
20 ml = 0.7055 oz
21 ml = 0.7408 oz
22 ml = 0.776 oz
23 ml = 0.8113 oz
24 ml = 0.8466 oz
25 ml = 0.8818 oz
26 ml = 0.9171 oz
27 ml = 0.9524 oz
28 ml = 0.9877 oz
29 ml = 1.0229 oz
30 ml = 1.0582 oz
31 ml = 1.0935 oz
32 ml = 1.1288 oz
33 ml = 1.164 oz
34 ml = 1.1993 oz
35 ml = 1.2346 oz
36 ml = 1.2699 oz
37 ml = 1.3051 oz
38 ml = 1.3404 oz
39 ml = 1.3757 oz
40 ml = 1.411 oz
41 ml = 1.4462 oz
42 ml = 1.4815 oz
43 ml = 1.5168 oz
44 ml = 1.5521 oz
45 ml = 1.5873 oz
46 ml = 1.6226 oz
47 ml = 1.6579 oz
48 ml = 1.6932 oz
49 ml = 1.7284 oz
50 ml = 1.7637 oz
51 ml = 1.799 oz
52 ml = 1.8342 oz
53 ml = 1.8695 oz
54 ml = 1.9048 oz
55 ml = 1.9401 oz
56 ml = 1.9753 oz
57 ml = 2.0106 oz
58 ml = 2.0459 oz
59 ml = 2.0812 oz
60 ml = 2.1164 oz
61 ml = 2.1517 oz
62 ml = 2.187 oz
63 ml = 2.2223 oz
64 ml = 2.2575 oz
65 ml = 2.2928 oz
66 ml = 2.3281 oz
67 ml = 2.3634 oz
68 ml = 2.3986 oz
69 ml = 2.4339 oz
70 ml = 2.4692 oz
71 ml = 2.5045 oz
72 ml = 2.5397 oz
73 ml = 2.575 oz
74 ml = 2.6103 oz
75 ml = 2.6455 oz
76 ml = 2.6808 oz
77 ml = 2.7161 oz
78 ml = 2.7514 oz
79 ml = 2.7866 oz
80 ml = 2.8219 oz
81 ml = 2.8572 oz
82 ml = 2.8925 oz
83 ml = 2.9277 oz
84 ml = 2.963 oz
85 ml = 2.9983 oz
86 ml = 3.0336 oz
87 ml = 3.0688 oz
88 ml = 3.1041 oz
89 ml = 3.1394 oz
90 ml = 3.1747 oz
91 ml = 3.2099 oz
92 ml = 3.2452 oz
93 ml = 3.2805 oz
94 ml = 3.3158 oz
95 ml = 3.351 oz
96 ml = 3.3863 oz
97 ml = 3.4216 oz
98 ml = 3.4568 oz
99 ml = 3.4921 oz
100 ml = 3.5274 oz
   

 

CONSIDERATIONS
I would not use this any longer than one month due to the fact that it contains high amounts of tannins/alkaloids acting as a strong diuretic. Unless of course it is being used specifically for the reason of purifying the kidneys or clearing of kidney stones. In those cases I would feel safe in using the above amounts at the same intervals for up to 3 months total. However I would be sure to have regular veterinarian checks to ensure my bird is not dehydrated, low in iron or Vitamin B12 and that the uric acid is in fact reducing and/or the kidney stones are reducing in size and/or quantity.

Alkaloids are so strong in this herb that it is used as a substitute for quinine (use to treat malaria). (24) Personally I see no good reason to use such a strong alkaloid in our companion birds’ diets on a normal basis. Only if a bird is on death’s door and requires such a strong herb for a unique reason would I consider an herb in this family. In the case of needing to stimulate the appetite if an ill bird was not eating, but even in that case this herb fights itself lowering Vitamin B12 which stimulates appetite. This makes it this herb 50/50 in actually stimulating an appetite.

CAUTIONS 
Due to the high amount of tannins in this herb I would caution any caregiver think cautiously before using this herb indiscriminately. There are many other herbs and other modalities which can be used for the same purposes to prevent cancer, as anti-inflammatories, diets to prevent diabetes, foods that can boost the immune system and finally herbs and spices that have properties to reduce uric acid and/or prevent, reduce and/or eliminate kidney stones. In addition, the proper diet can help protect heart and artery tissue as well as boost the overall immune and endocrine system without the use of such a strong alkaloid used on a regular basis in the diet.

Overall I would reserve this herb for use in an emergency basis only. It’s wise to keep herbs such as this as something in our “back pocket” if such a need arises when we need a strong, natural constituent to boost an already good diet and overall healthy nutritional profile.

CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF ENSILED POPLAR BARK
Moisture-free Item composition
Crude protein, % 2.2 Ether extract, % 5.8 Crude fiber, % 53.7 Ash, % 2.7 Nitrogen-free extract, % 35.6
Cell wall constituents, % 73.0 Acid detergent fiber, % 59.1 Acid detergent lignin, % 23.1 Permanganate lignin, % 13.9 p, % 0.03 K,% 0.22 Ca, % 1.16 Na, % 0.003 Mg, % 0.09 Fe, ppm 74.1 Zn, ppm 140.0 Cu, ppm 7.7 Mo, ppm O. 1 Mn, ppm 21.0 B, ppm 12.7 Sr, ppm 44.1
(25)

ORAC Values:
USDA’s statement regarding the ORAC value:
http://www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=15866
Personally I believe this statement is “bunk” and I believe the antioxidant properties in foods do matter.
And of course here the USDA is contradicting themselves only years earlier:
http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/1999/990208.htm
For this reason I will supply the ORAC value of each food, herb and spice when available.
ORAC value of Abele: Unavailable.

Ref: (1) http://superstitiondictionary.com/tree-legends-and-folklore; (2)  http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/abele; (3) http://www.britannica.com/plant/poplar; (4) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Populus_alba; (5) http://www.botanical-online.com/english/blackpoplar.htm; (6) http://www.herbs2000.com/herbs/herbs_white_poplar.htm; (7) https://www.cloverleaffarmherbs.com/poplar; (8) http://www.britannica.com/science/glycoside; (9) http://www.livescience.com/52524-flavonoids.html; (10) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Populin; (11)http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ja01326a090; (12) http://www.livestrong.com/article/521615-sorbitol-vs-mannitol; (13) http://ceaccp.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2012/01/12/bjaceaccp.mkr063.full.pdf+html; (14) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9759559; (15) http://thenaturopathicherbalist.com/herbal-actions/b-d/diuretic; (16) http://thenaturopathicherbalist.com/plant-constituents/tannins; (17) http://www.botanical-online.com/english/poplar.htm; (18) http://www.herbs2000.com/herbs/herbs_white_poplar.htm(Constituents);(19) http://www.henriettes-herb.com/eclectic/kings/populus.html; (20) http://www.healthy.net/Materia_Medica/White_Poplar_Herbal_Materia_Medica/294; (21) https://www.cloverleaffarmherbs.com/poplar; (22) http://www.botanical-online.com/english/poplar.htm; (23) http://www.healthy.net/Materia_Medica/White_Poplar_Herbal_Materia_Medica/294; (24) http://www.herbs2000.com/herbs/herbs_white_poplar.htm; (25) https://www.animalsciencepublications.org/publications/jas/abstracts/29/4/JAN0290040653.

©3.5.16  Machelle Pacion   Passion Tree House LLC   All Rights Reserved

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