Organic Grand Fir Essential Oil
Native to the Pacific Northwest and northern California, particularly the coastal range of the Cascade Mountains, the sweet, pine aroma with its subtle scent of citrus have made grand fir a popular essential oil in the aromatherapy industry. Besides the invigorating woodland aroma of fresh fir trees, fir essential oil offers a number of potential health benefits.
History of Medicinal Uses
The Plateau Indian tribes who inhabited regions of California, Oregon, and Washington used the inner bark of the grand fir tree to treat fever and colds. Some tribes boiled the pine needles to make a medicinal tea or applied the resin as a salve on insect bites and cuts to prevent infection. Other Native American Indians rubbed their skin with branches from the grand fir tree or burned boughs of the tree as an incense to ward off illness. The beneficial medicinal effects eventually lead to extraction of the fir needles’ essential oils.
How the Oil Is Extracted
Oil is extracted from the pine needles of grand fir trees through a steam distillation process. A practice in use since ancient times, distillation continues to be the most common process for extracting essential oils even today.
When extracting grand fir essential oil, fresh pine needles and twigs are placed in a still into which steam is injected at extremely high temperatures. As the steam breaks down the chemical components of the pine needles, a condenser then cools the rising vapor into a liquid. The liquid is what is collected as the essential oil.
How Fir Oil Promotes Healthier Skin
In addition to using grand fir essential oil to moisturize skin to give it a smoother appearance, you can use it as an antiseptic to kill germs and bacteria to aid in healing abrasions, sores, and wounds. The oil may also contribute to healing skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Studies suggest that many essential oils may act as antimicrobial agents in destroying viruses and bacteria.
Since pine needles are rich in antioxidants, fir essential oil can help neutralize free radicals. Although free radicals are a normal byproduct of the body’s metabolism, unless they are neutralized by antioxidants, they can damage cells. Free radicals that attack healthy skin cells cause wrinkles and premature aging. The damage caused by free radicals can also lead to degenerative diseases such as cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Additional Health Benefits
Individuals suffering from fatigue, anxiety, and depression who are seeking natural, alternative therapies may use grand fir needle oil in aromatherapy to elevate mood. Some people use this essential oil for its anti-inflammatory properties to reduce the inflammation and stiffness related to arthritis and rheumatism. The oil’s analgesic effect can also help relieve muscle and joint pain. You should first dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil if you use it topically as a liniment to relieve muscle pain.
Grand fir needle essential oil you use to enhance massage can soothe tired, strained muscles and help you relax whether you use it as a form of aromatherapy or topical application. The therapeutic benefits of using essential oils in massage may produce effects on circulation, infection, and wound healing by olfactory stimulation and absorption into the bloodstream through the skin.
When used in a diffuser or for steam or vapor therapy, the oil acts as a nasal decongestant or expectorant to help treat coughs, colds, and breathing problems associated with asthma and bronchitis. As an expectorant, inhaling the essential oil induces coughing to loosen phlegm and mucus so that you can breathe better. It may also reduce mucus production in the air passages to the lungs.
Although inhalation of fir essential oil generally is safe in most situations, talk to your doctor or a certified herbalist before pursuing this or other alternative therapies.