The Canadian black spruce, sometimes known as the ‘bog spruce’ due to its preference for swampy soil, is perhaps best known as a popular Christmas tree choice for many years.
With a classic wintery appearance and a fresh forest scent, black spruce is often considered a seasonal oil. However, it has year-round health benefits that Native American and First Nation Canadian tribes once travelled hundreds of miles to collect.
Used then in salves and ointments and to promote spirituality and positive moods, black spruce oil is now used for many of the same properties.
Black spruce oil is antimicrobial.
One of the reasons that black spruce was used in balms for wounds and bites is that it has antimicrobial and antiviral properties. This is due to the component of a-pinene. A study in 2019 found that pinenes display significant antimicrobial activity, which allows them to fight a number of microorganisms that spread disease and bad odours. Using black spruce essential oil in home cleaners can be an effective way to eliminate bacteria.
It can improve sleep.
A versatile component, a-Pinene has also been shown to enhance non rapid eye movement sleep, or NREMS. A study in 2016 found that a-Pinene enhanced the quantity of NREMS without affecting the intensity of NREMS, or the quantity of REM sleep.
Not only does this improve the quality of sleep overall, but extending the length of NREMS helps the body to repair and regenerate tissues, as well as possibly clean out toxic waste from the brain.
It can relieve congestion.
Traditionally, black spruce was used for its expectorant properties. This means that it facilitates the movement of mucus through blocked airways, allowing for easier breathing.
Inhaling black spruce oil can therefore be very beneficial for sufferers of various respiratory conditions, including the common cold, the flu, and seasonal allergies.
It can lift low moods.
Black spruce oil is composed almost entirely of monoterpenes. Not only does this constituent contribute to black spruce’s pleasant, refreshing scent, but it is also able to easily pass through the blood-brain barrier in a way that other chemicals cannot.
From here it is able to stimulate hormone production and create changes in mood. Many people have reported that inhaling black spruce oil leaves them feeling more positive, more grounded, and less stressed.
Black spruce is a wonderfully wintery oil – not only does it smell festive, but it protects us against cold-loving pathogens and improves our symptoms.
However, it shouldn’t sit at the back of the cupboard until December rolls around. Its sleep-improving, mood-enhancing qualities can be beneficial well into the summer months.
Shop our black spruce essential oil here.