We’ll look at the uses for this essential oil, including its benefits. Learn how it can be used topically, aromatically, internally & more!
Siberian fir essential oil is undeservedly lost against the recognized coniferous favorites of aromatherapy like spruce and pine. It’s used in much smaller quantities than similar products. And yet, Siberian fir can also boast many unique effects you can’t find in any other fragrances including warming and analgesic.
What is Siberian Fir?
The Siberian firs (Abies) are a genus of 48-56 species of symmetrical, evergreen conifers belonging to the pine family. The root system of the tree penetrates deep into the soil, allowing plantings of this tree to be used for erosion control.
Siberian firs are beautiful and relatively small conifer trees that stand out for their neat pyramidal shape and the silvery sheen of their light bark. They grow in natural conditions almost all over the northern hemisphere, including the northern European countries, and are actively cultivated further south. They are most commonly found in mountainous areas. The tree is not only an excellent alternative to the Christmas tree because of its ability to keep its presentable appearance much longer and not to shed its needles after cutting, but it is also a long-valued medicinal plant.
Siberian fir essential oil is extracted mainly from three species: Abies balsamea, Abies alba, and Abies Sibirica.
The wound healing properties of the Siberian fir oil were praised by Hippocrates. Evidence of the use of this fragrant product for disinfecting wounds and cuts, cough and cold treatment, and speeding up the general recovery of patients also dates back to ancient civilizations. The oil and resin of the tree were used by native American shamans in their rituals and medical practices. Siberian fir has been the source of legendary healing blends since ancient times.
The essential oil of Siberian fir was one of the most popular healing agents in the early days of aromatherapy, but this amazing plant also served as medicine: oil extracted from it was then used to produce camphor, and resin from the trees is still used today to make turpentine.
- Bornyl acetate
Aromatic oil is extracted from all green parts of the tree and the fruits, i.e., cones. In the case of the Siberian fir, they use mostly old, mature needles, which are characterized by a higher content of essential oils. Steam distillation is the usual method for extracting wood oils. Outwardly, the oil is virtually colorless or with a very pale shade of muted yellow.
Due to its composition with active antioxidants and antibacterial components, this oil can be stored for a very long time, from a minimum of five years to almost a dozen if all instructions are properly followed. However, it should be noted that the oil of Abies Alba species can’t be stored for more than two years because the longer it’s stored, the more toxic and dangerous to health it becomes.
The fragrance of fir oil is very characteristic and perfectly matches the aroma that this representative of the fir family brings into your home. It’s cold, very fresh, with a resinous pine base, balsamic and almost sweet top, and tart rich middle note.
Blending with other oils
It’s very easy to choose complementary oils for Siberian fir. Due to the low, cold character of its fragrance, it blends easily with other fragrances without drowning out or masking them but adding a fresh woody note. The best complementary aromas for this one are pine, juniper, cypress, ferule, marjoram, cinnamon, black pepper, rosemary, verbena, clove, bergamot, limette, lemon, bigarade, citronella, and nutmeg.
The benefits of Siberian fir essential oil
Fir essential oil is most commonly used to treat colds and respiratory infections and is also used successfully to relieve feelings of exhaustion, muscle pain, and arthritis symptoms. The oil is also widely used in the production of cosmetic products, perfumes, bath oils, air fresheners, and scented incense sticks.
Siberian fir oil is the best for treating hypothermia and frostbite because it helps the body to get out of stress quickly in combination with local analgesic and restorative effects.
The oil provides a combination of expectorant and anti-inflammatory properties, perfectly calms and relieves respiratory tract irritation, and stops the development of lung and upper respiratory tract diseases.
As an excellent natural source of phytoncides and provitamins, this oil has a restorative effect and effectively stimulates both local and general immunity. It’s one of the strongest pain-relieving remedies for neuritis, arthritis, neuralgia, and osteochondrosis, with the pain-relieving effect complemented by an anti-inflammatory effect. The same properties are appropriate in the treatment of gout and rheumatism.
It also shows pronounced vasoconstrictor and cardiotonic properties stimulate blood pressure and eliminate circulatory disorders.
The cosmetic properties of this oil are largely considered controversial even today. It’s not suitable for daily and regular skincare due to insufficiently studied reactions and possible toxicity. However, it can be an excellent remedy for acute cosmetic issues.
It’s great for the treatment of furunculosis and pustular rash, rapid removal of edema, and facelift effect for aging skin. In extreme conditions or when the problem is abnormal, this oil has an antiseptic and deodorizing effects on the skin of the entire body, which will be especially appropriate during travel and bathing in waters unknown for their purity.
It’s also one of the best remedies for treating foot dermatosis.
At home, Siberian fir oil can be used to quickly repel insects and for complete air disinfection. While protecting against airborne infections and staphylococci, it cleans the air from dust, allergens, and mold.
In terms of psycho-emotional impact, this oil is one of the strongest tonic aromas. It’s a unique essential extract that allows achieving deep relaxation. It soothes stress, nervous exhaustion, compulsive anxiety, and nervousness. It allows you to quickly get rid of depression and apathy, get out of a state of emotional stupor and inability to counteract negative factors.
As in the matter of strengthening health, Siberian fir oil also helps build emotional resilience and stamina. But at the same time, its deeply soothing, and relaxing nature doesn’t lead to apathy but rather stimulates activity, tones and, despite the cold shades of aroma, provides an emotionally warming effect. It’s a wonderful oil that helps you find balance, calmness, stability of psychological reactions, to accept the objective components and your way of life without emotional and nervous breakdowns and self-destructive manifestations.
It’s also suitable for those who cannot manage their time effectively because it promotes the productive search for solutions and quick adaptation, the most effective solutions to tasks and challenges. Enlightening and inspiring, it allows you to accept your life and social status as it is, to adapt to circumstances, and accept yourself in them. It helps you get rid of destructive emotions and at the same time, opens the ability to see the bright side of life and to rejoice in the successes of others.
How to use Siberian fir tree essential oil
As with most essential oils, there is a wide variety of uses for this one. Here are some of the most notable ways to apply Siberian fir essential oil.
This oil reveals the properties of an effective anticancer agent. Modern studies performed in France have revealed multiple antitumor characteristics of Siberian fir oil, which immediately places it in the category of promising drugs for the treatment of malignant tumors. In this study, Siberian fir oil and alpha-humulene caused a decrease in cellular glutathione (GSH) and an increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in proportion to the time and dosage of the drugs. These results suggest that the decrease in GSH and the increase in ROC may be caused by the cytotoxicity of alpha-humulene and the oil.
This oil contains a large number of organic components that can support the prevention of dangerous infections. Because of this fact, the oil can be actively used in first aid. A balm or ointment containing Siberian fir oil will create an excellent defense against infections.
A scientific paper published in the Phytotherapy Research journal investigated the antibacterial properties of this oil against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. The results revealed inhibitory properties in three components of the oil: alpha-pinene, beta-caryophyllene, and alpha-humulene. These properties clearly reflect the ability of the product to fight infections.
Alpha-pinene and limonene have proven antimicrobial properties to help fight common bacteria and fungal microorganisms.
The oil can be inhaled directly (via a personal aroma inhalator or a steam inhalator) or used in an aroma diffuser, as it has a number of useful aromatherapeutic properties.
When used in a diffuser, the product creates a soothing, “grounding” and empowering sensation, stimulating brain function while relaxing the body. When you are experiencing stress or are in an extreme state of fatigue, just one breath of this essential oil will allow you to forget these feelings for a long time, filling you with extra energy to help you cope with stress.
This remedy is also an excellent analgesic.
For pain relief and muscle relaxation, mix Siberian fir oil with a carrier base oil at 1:1 ratio. The stimulating nature of this product accelerates blood flow in the upper layers of the skin, thus accelerating wound healing and speeding the recovery.
It can be an excellent therapeutic addition to a lotion or massage oil to use for a foot or back massage.
If you are bothered by aching and tired muscles, applying a massage product containing Siberian fir essential oil before going to bed will help relieve your morning aches and pains time after time after time.
It contains active ingredients that help get rid of toxins in the body.
Due to its cleansing properties, this oil is a great helper for people who have decided to start a full-body detox program. It can also act as a general stimulant increasing the metabolism by increasing the heart rate and digestion speed.
For the most part, any essential oil is a great addition to the cleaning products in your home. This oil is no exception, quite the contrary! Next time you make your own multi-purpose cleaner, add a couple of drops of 100% natural Siberian fir essential oil to it to give the mixture natural, but extremely powerful, disinfectant properties.
Using this oil for treating colds is fairly uncomplicated and it’s suitable even for children.
Coughing? Have a sore throat? Try a couple of drops of the oil in a diffuser and inhale for quick relief. According to published research, this remedy can be extremely helpful in combating respiratory problems that are constant companions of colds and flu.
Here’s a quick guide to using this oil to treat colds:
- Use the oil for inhalation (in a diffuser, as the concentration may be excessive in a nebulizer)
- Use it on a hot, damp towel to cover your face with and inhale the vapors until the towel cools down.
- You can also use an aroma pendant to keep your lungs in constant contact with the vapors of this remedy.
- This remedy can help liquefy sputum in the lungs while also having an anti-inflammatory effect on the bronchi. It can also prevent oxidative stress.
Reducing body odor
The fresh, clean scent of this remedy isn’t the only reason why it’s so effective when fighting with unpleasant body odor. It also reduces the number of bacteria that cause sweat odor. If you like the scent of the forest, you’ll definitely like products that contain this oil.
Treating joint injuries
External application of certain essential oils to the area of closed fractures during treatment can help with speeding up healing. Apply the oil three times a day but remember to mix it with a carrier oil (jojoba, coconut) at a 1:1 ratio before applying to the skin.
When applied externally, fir, cypress, and immortelle essential oils increase bone strength. Be sure to mix the essential oils with fatty ones.
Siberian fir oil helps strengthen bones and also relieves painful inflammation during arthritis. Use only after consulting with your doctor, as allergic reactions are possible.
Despite its irritating properties, this oil doesn’t cause active unpleasant symptoms if the dosages are properly observed, and the usual dosages of the oil can’t be called underestimated:
- You can ingest this oil only up to twice a day and only mixed with jam, honey vegetable oil. Make sure to wash it down with at least a glass of sour liquid.
- For home aromatization, use the standard amount of 4-5 drops per 161 square feet of space.
- Add 2 to 3 drops to an aroma pendant and use during a cold or flu.
- Use 1-2 drops in an inhalator and inhale for no more than 5 minutes.
- Add 6 to 7 drops to a bath product and use as a psycho-emotional booster or for relieving muscular and neuralgic pains.
- Add 6 to 7 drops to massage lotion or cream for analgesic and general massage.
- Add 12 drops per 0.5 oz of base ointment for pain relief.
- In case of frostbite, add 15 drops to a tablespoon of macadamia oil and apply as a warm bandage.
- Add 4 to 6 drops to 0.5 oz of base product to treat serious skin inflammations or dermatologic issues.
Caution, safety, and side effects
There are many contraindications to the use of this oil, as well as multiple precautions. This is one of the essential oils that is strictly forbidden during pregnancy, in case of kidney pathology, all kinds of ulcers, and gastritis. If it’s is prescribed as a therapeutic agent for ingestion, by no means should it be taken on an empty stomach.
This oil tends to irritate the skin when applied. In some cases, it can cause bronchial cramps, so be sure to do both sensitivity and aerosol tests (apply 1 drop on a handkerchief or cotton swab and inhale the fumes for 2-4 minutes) to identify individual intolerance.
The product must never be applied to the skin in pure undiluted form, even the mildest needle oil. When applied to the skin and mucous membranes, it causes an active cooling sensation up to a frosty burning, and when taken internally, it causes heartburn and nausea, which can be countered with mint tea or plain yogurt.
To clear the airways, use such substitute products as lemon, myrrh, tea tree, or hyssop. If you want to treat nasal congestion and sinus infections but have no Siberian fir tree oil at hand, myrrh or tea tree would do just fine.
In case there’s breathing difficulty due to cold or flu, replace Siberian fir with frankincense, eucalyptus, thyme, or inula. Myrtle, myrrh, and benzoin will also be great substitutes in case of respiratory issues.
To deal with muscular pain, lavender, juniper, ginger, black pepper, or copaiba will also do their job well. To cool your skin, joints, or muscles, use peppermint or rose.
In times of nervous agitation or slight depression, replace Siberian fir with lavender, chamomile, geranium, ylang-ylang, yarrow, valerian, neroli, bergamot, lemon, lemon verbena, Melissa, or marjoram.
Siberian fir is one of those essential oils that have lots of properties, some of which might seem miraculous. There’s no magic though: just natural powers and chemistry. Just always make sure that what you are getting is a 100% natural product with no additives. And as always, consider all the precautions before using this oil.