Balsam fir usually isn’t the first type of essential oil people buy. But you may want to think about adding it to your collection.
It’s often used for joint pain. Natural remedies, at least for me, seem to work better than using over-the-counter pain relievers, especially for mild discomfort.
We’ve grown up taking OTC medications. So we assume they’re safe. However, both acetaminophen and ibuprofen can cause potentially serious side effects. This is one of the reasons we don’t have either of these drugs in our house. Instead, we use essential oils and homeopathy.
Many people think acetaminophen is mild. That’s because it generally doesn’t upset your stomach. But this drug can lead to liver damage if you take too much. Unfortunately, since it has a narrow safety margin, that’s not too difficult to do.
Each year, acetaminophen sends at least 50,000 to the emergency room. In America, it’s the leading cause of sudden liver failure. This condition is often fatal.
So, used properly, balsam fir essential oil appears to be much safer for pain relief.
This essential oil is also said to be good for muscle aches and bronchial congestion. Like other aromatics, it likely contains potent antimicrobial compounds. (One study has shown this.) So it’s a great remedy to have on hand for minor cuts, scrapes and nicks.
However, if you plan to apply any oil directly to your skin, it must first be diluted in a carrier oil. Almond (if you’re not allergic to nuts), jojoba, olive and grape seed oil are good for this purpose. These are bland oils that act as buffers to the strong aromatics. Plus, they help “carry” the healing compounds to your cells.
As I mentioned above, fir is a popular choice for a massage oil, if you suffer from any sort of pain.
However, before I put an oil directly on my skin, I want to know that it comes from a reputable source. Essential oil fraud has been widely reported.
One of the brands I trust is Plant Therapy. Its oils are tested twice for purity. This company is gaining a reputation as a good alternative to MLM oils. Plant Therapy is also works with internationally known aromatherapist Robert Tisserand.
Balsam Fir Oil Uses
There are no fillers or additives put into Plant Therapy Fir Needle. This particular oil is derived from the Abies siberica tree, an evergreen that grows in many parts of Russia. It has a very strong, pine-like scent.
Many aromatherapists believe that fir oil has the potential to help rid our bodies of toxins, acting as a stimulant to our organs. Since it has invigorating properties, it’s best used as a daytime oil, unlike lavender, which is a natural sedative.
Fir is also a good choice to put in a diffuser, especially if you are congested or your sinuses need clearing.
Diffusing it in your home will also make your house smell nice, like the clean scent of pine. In addition to the above potential medical uses, some people also like this oil to add to their homemade cleaning solutions.
Fir oil must be used with caution around the eyes. Do not take this oil internally.
Actually, no internal oil should be consumed unless you are working with a professional (such as a medical doctor) with a lot of experience in aromatherapy.
Essential oils are very potent, and a little goes a long way. Massage and inhalation are the best ways to use them.
Medicinally, fir has a long track record. It’s been used for thousands of years by Indian Ayurvedic practitioners. I am not aware of any scientific studies looking at the action of this oil on pain. However, this doesn’t mean it can’t help. It only means the research hasn’t been done. There’d be little incentive for a major drug company to compare the action of fir oil against acetaminophen. As a natural substance, balsam fir cannot be patented. So there’s little potential for profit.
However, there is evidence that fir has germ-fighting potential. One study published in the medical journal Phytotherapy Research found this aromatic oil was able to kill Staphylococcus aureus in the lab.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. People with health concerns should discuss them with a doctor. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use essential oils, unless directed to do so by a healthcare professional.
I’m not a healthcare professional, so all of the above statements are my personal opinion, and are presented for discussion purposes only.
For Additional Reading
Natural Alternatives to Acetaminophen