Fir needle essential oil has an alluring winter, woody scent that smells just like Christmas.
After all, fir needle essential oil comes from fir trees that are evergreen coniferous trees most synonymous with the winter holiday season. Memories of cutting down the Christmas tree come to mind.
It turns out that sniffing fir needles from the Christmas tree is extremely good for your health. Fir needle essential oil is used to fight sore throats, respiratory infections, cancer, fatigue, arthritis, and muscle aches. Fir needle oil is also great for detoxification and bone health. As a result, you often find fir needle essential oil featured in perfumes, cosmetic products, air fresheners, bath oils, and incense.
Read on to learn more about fir needle oil, its various health benefits, and how best to use it.
Facts and History of Fir Needle Essential Oil
The fir (Abies) tree has a genus of 48 to 56 different species of symmetrical evergreen coniferous trees that belong to the pine family (Pinaceae). Fir needle essential oil is made from fir needles—the flat, soft, needle-like leaves of a fir tree.
Fir needle oil will often come from the fir needles of fir tree species Abies alba (white or silver fir) or Abies balsamea (balsam fir). The Balsam fir is native to Central and Eastern Canada, and the Northeastern and Central U.S.
The silver fir tree, on the other hand, is native to the mountains of Europe, including Northern Greece, Italy, Serbia, and Bulgaria. It is commonly used as the present day Christmas tree. However, Native Americans once used fir needles in pillows for a restful sleep.
Some fir trees also have resin blisters on their bark. When punctured, the resin will drip over the wounds of tree trunks, and seal them from diseases, pests, and the elements like rain or wind. Fir tree resin is also used to make turpentine, which has been used as a topical and internal remedy since ancient times. Topically, turpentine treats wounds and allows cuts to heal quickly. It also helps treat lice, while it is common in many chest rubs.
Fir needle tea is also a great way to stay healthy due to the high vitamin C found in fir needles. Simply simmer a teaspoon of fir needles in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes.
Some of the other impressive health benefits of fir needle essential oil come from a combination of compounds, including alpha-pinene, alpha-humulene, beta-caryophyllene, tricyclene, limonene, camphene, borneol, myrcene, and acetate.
Health Benefits of Fir Needle Essential Oil
What are the health benefits of fir needle essential oil? Fir needle oil is loaded with anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antimicrobial, anticancer, expectorant, anti-rheumatic, cardiovascular, analgesic, antiseptic, antioxidant, and detoxification properties. As a result, there is a long list of fir needle essential oil benefits, and some of the most common include fighting a cold or flu, cancer, fatigue, and arthritis, as well as treating bronchitis and improving bone health.
Let’s take a look at some of the key health benefits of fir needle essential oil.
1. Fights Cancer
Research shows that fir needle essential oil is an effective anti-cancer agent. For instance, a study published in the journal Planta Medica in 2003 found that balsam fir oil was active against solid tumor cell lines.
The alpha-humulene in fir essential oil induces a dose-independent and time-dependent reduction in cellular glutathione (GSH) content, and an increase of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Results suggest that ROS production and GSH depletion may have an association with the cytotoxicity of fir essential oil and alpha-humulene.
2. Prevents Infections
Fir needle essential oil is excellent for the prevention of dangerous infection due to its high concentration of organic compounds.
A study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research in 2006 examined the effects of fir needle essential oil against the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus. The results found that three constituents of fir needle essential oil were active S. aureus, including beta-caryophyllene, alpha-humulene, and alpha-pinene.
Other research shows that alpha-pinene and limonene in fir needle oil exhibit antimicrobial activity against pathogenic fungi and bacteria.
3. Improves Respiratory Function
A few drops of fir needle essential oil in the diffuser is all it takes for natural relief of sore throats and coughs. The fir needle oil has an anti-inflammatory effect on the bronchial tubes and the throat, while it also helps loosen mucous and fight free radical damage.
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition in 2009 found that fir needle essential oil is helpful for respiratory symptoms common with the flu or colds.
4. Promotes Detoxification
The impressive compounds in fir needle essential oil will also help detoxify the body of toxins. The essential oil can also stimulate the body, which boosts metabolism and increases heart rate and digestive capabilities.
5. Prevents Osteoporosis and Heals Broken Bones
Research has suggested fir needle essential oil promotes bone repair and can speed healing when applied to a fractured bone. Essential oils like fir needle, along with proper diet and exercise, can help prevent and treat osteoporosis and other bone issues.
How to Use Fir Needle Oil
There are many other incredible uses of fir needle essential oil. It is mostly used externally, but under the right conditions, you can also use it internally. For internal consumption, it is best to use a high-quality 100% therapeutic grade fir needle essential oil from a reputable company.
Simply add one drop of fir needle oil to four ounces of water, or mix one drop in a teaspoon of raw honey. Also, you should only consume essential oils under the recommendation and supervision of a trained health professional, such as an aromatherapist.
For homemade topical products or aromatherapy, fir needle essential oil blends well with lemon essential oil, pine essential oil, orange essential oil, lavender essential oil, rosemary essential oil, spruce essential oil, frankincense essential oil, cypress essential oil, wintergreen essential oil, arborvitae essential oil, and spruce essential oil.
The following are some specific ways you can use fir needle essential oil.
1. Pain Relief
It helps relax muscles and soothe body aches, and can be applied topically in a 1:1 ratio of fir needle oil with carrier oils like jojoba, coconut, or almond oil. The stimulating nature of fir needle oil will bring blood to the skin’s surface, and therefore help lessen the effects of pain.
2. Relaxation and Energy
Fir needle essential oil can be diffused or inhaled for an empowering, uplifting, and grounding effect on the mind, while simultaneously relaxing the body. When you feel stressed or overtired at work, fir needle essential can be perfect for re-energizing and calming you when it is needed most.
3. Cleaning and Disinfecting
In general, essential oils are great for homemade all-purpose cleaning products (see recipes below). And, a few drops of fir needle essential oil is one of the best ways to disinfect your environment.
4. Body Odor
Fir needle essential oil makes you make smell like a forest. Not only that, but it reduces the number of bacteria that leads to foul body odor.
Here are a couple of fir needle essential oil recipes that you can benefit from as well.
All-Purpose Fir Needle Floor Cleaner Recipe
- 1 gallon of warm water
- ¹⁄8 cup of white vinegar
- 12 drops of lemon essential oil
- 8 drops of fir needle essential oil
- 5 drops of clove essential oil
Combine all the ingredients in a mop bucket, and mop the floor with it. It makes for a great floor disinfectant.
Uplifting Fir Needle Spray Recipe
- 4 ounces of distilled water
- 25 drops of fir needle essential oil
- 15 drops of orange essential oil
- 10 drops of lavender essential oil
Combine all the ingredients in a sterilized dark glass spray bottle, and use to uplift your mood.
Possible Precautions with Fir Needle Oil
As true with all essential oils, never use undiluted. When you use fir needle essential oil undiluted or in high concentrations, it can cause skin irritation. Before applying essential oils to the skin, it is best to perform a small patch test to a sensitive part of the body once you have properly diluted the oil in a 1:1 ratio of carrier oils like jojoba or coconut oil. Also, ensure that you avoid direct contact with your eyes or other mucous membranes when using essential oils such as fir needle oil.
Essential oils should also not be readily accessible for children. If you are nursing, pregnant, or receiving treatment for a specific medical condition, you should only use fir needle essential oil under the guidance of a qualified aromatherapist.
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