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Natural Connections

May 25, 2023

In Wisconsin, Populus balsamifera aren’t as common as their cousins the quaking and big-tooth aspens. Their numbers increase as you head north.

The more scientists dig into the chemistry of balsam poplar, the more impressive it gets. In the poplar’s pharmacopeia, scientists have identified vasodilators that are important for heart health, and oxytocins that reduce blood pressure. These trees of the far north manufacture the molecular building blocks of the brown fat that humans use to shiver and stay warm.