Black Spruce (Picea mariana) is in the Pinaceae family, which includes the Pines and Firs as well as Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica). There are over 40 species of Spruce but not all offer therapeutic benefits. Black Spruce (Picea mariana) is an evergreen coniferous tree native to Canada, although it also grows in some parts of Alaska and North America. It is typically found in wet, swampy regions. The sharp, bluish-green needle-like leaves of the tree are the primary source of essential oil, which is extracted through the process of steam distillation. Black Spruce essential oil has a much milder, sweeter scent compared to other oils from the evergreen family.
Historically, Lakota Americans have used Black Spruce for healing wounds and muscular pain. It was also an important part of their spiritual rituals because of its purifying and cleansing properties. In Europe, Black Spruce was used to treat gingivitis and stomach infections. It is still used today. Black Spruce resin, is commonly used in herbal and holistic healing practices. It has been used as a chewing gum, a wound healing agent, to help soothe muscle soreness, a tea to combat sore throat, and a salve greased on the chest against bronchial diseases. Black Spruce needles are commonly used in teas to combat cough, and to treat stomach disease due to tobacco abuse. The cones of the Black Spruce were also used in tea against cold and cough (Deeg, et al. 2012). The Native Americans used Spruce for medicinal, spiritual and practical reasons. They used it for protection and capturing the universal energy here on earth the earth plane. The Lakota Indians used spruce to connect with the Great Spirit during spiritual ceremonies and rituals.
Young Living's Northern Lights Black Spruce essential oil is grown, harvested, and distilled on our Northern Lights Farm in British Columbia, Canada. The trees are bathed in the energy of the aurora borealis which is believed by many cultures to contain spiritual renewal and clarity. The Black Spruce essential oil is distilled from the needles. The essential oil is rich in esters, bornyl acetate, and supported by monoterpenes (camphene and a-pinene), which contributes to its balancing and antispasmodic properties. This is why it is often added to saunas, hot baths and massages. However, the most remarkable quality of Black Spruce is its ability to clear “blockages”, both respiratory and emotional.
In general, Spruce essential oil will ground and balance the body and release emotional blocks. The Native Americans used Spruce for its purifying and cleansing effect. It is also said to release blocks to prosperity and wealth. This oil helps us to "reach for the sky" as it supports us to become our potential. It harmonizes the chakras and energy in the body so we can become our best. Its energy is revitalizing, and it is a good one to use to energize the mind, body and spirit especially when working on a project or new business venture. It is wonderful for use in yoga and meditation, and can help with grounding and balancing the heart, solar plexus, and sacral chakras.
According to Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt, the polycyclic terpenoid compounds in Black Spruce have a tonic effect on adrenal, thyroid and pituitary glands, thus encouraging hormonal equilibrium. The most notable are its effects on the adrenal glands, which makes it a wonderful oil to combat chronic lethargy, especially in winter months. Shirley and Len Price, in their book, Aromatherapy for Health Professionals, have also documented Black Spruce’s cortisone-like action and its uses in the management of hyperthyroidism.Most Common Uses for Black Spruce
Respiratory system: Colds, moist coughs, spasmodic coughs, bronchitis
Immune System: Immune deficiency. General weakness. Strengthens immunity/ojas.
Below are some of my favorite recipes for remedies containing Northern Lights Black Spruce essential oil...
Relieve Congestion: Respiratory Synergy
5ml glass bottle (approx 125 drops) 50 drops Young Living Northern Lights Black Spruce (Picea mariana) essential oil 50 drops Young Living Eucalyptus radiata essential oil 25 drops Young Living Frankincense (Boswellia carterii) essential oil
Directions + Usage:
Mix all oils together in the glass bottle and allow them to sit for 24 hours to create a synergy. After 24 hours, you may use the synergy blend as desired. See below for some of my favorite ways to use it...
Inhalation: Add 25 drops to empty personal inhaler. Insert into nostril, hold other nostril closed, and inhale. Repeat on other side.
Diffusing: Add 10-15 drops in water diffuser, or 2ml in a nebulizing diffuser.
Facial Steam Inhalation: Add 3-5 drops to bowl of hot water for steam inhalation. Lean your head over the bowl and drape a towel over you while you breathe in the vapors.
Nourishment Body Oil
1 fluid ounce Jojoba Oil 0.5 fluid ounce Calendula oil 0.5 fluid ounce Sesame Oil 10 drops Young Living Northern Lights Black Spruce (Picea mariana) essential oil 8 drops Young Living Rose (Rosa damascena) essential oil 7 drops Young Living Sacred Sandalwood (Santalum album) essential oil
Directions + Usage:
Muscle Aches + Pain Gel
3 Tablespoons Aloe Vera Gel 1 Tablespoon Bay Laurel hydrosol (or Lavender hydrosol) 1 teaspoon German Chamomile hydrosol 10 drops Young Living Northern Lights Black Spruce (Picea mariana) essential oil 5 drops Young Living Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis) essential oil 5 drops Young Living Lemon (Citrus limon) essential oil
Directions + Usage:
Immunity Enhancing Salt Scrub
2 cups fine Sea Salt 1 cup Sesame Oil (may substitute with jojoba or other oil of choice) 15 drops Young Living Northern Lights Black Spruce (Picea mariana) essential oil 6 drops Young Living Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) or Niaouli (Melaleuca quinquenervia) essential oil 5 drops Young Living Eucalyptus radiata essential oil 5 drops Young Living Lemon (Citrus limon) essential oil
Directions + Usage:
Mix all ingredients well and store in an airtight, glass container. Use in bath/shower as desired, by gently massaging well into clean skin, focusing over areas of lymph glands, abdomen, and chest. Rinse well and towel dry.
Deeg, K., Eichhorn, T., Alexie, G., Kretschmer, N., Andersch, K., Bauer, R., & Efferth, T. (2012). Growth inhibition of human acute lymphoblastic CCRF-CEM leukemia cells by medicinal plants of the West-Canadian Gwich’in Native Americans. Nat. Prod. Bioprospect. 2, 35–40.
Tisserand, Robert & Young, Rodney. (2013). Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals, 2nd Edition. 429.
Price, Shirley & Len. (2011). Aromatherapy for Health Professionals, 4th Edition. p. 105,119, 121, 450.
Schnaubelt, Kurt. (1999). Medical Aromatherapy: Healing with Essential Oils. p.187
Damian, Peter & Kate. (1995). Aromatherapy: Scent and Psyche: Using Essential Oils for Physical and Emotional Well-Being.
Life Science Publishing. (2016). Essential Oils Desk Reference, 7th Edition.
Worwood, Valerie Ann. (2016). The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, Revised and Expanded: Over 800 Natural, Nontoxic, and Fragrant Recipes to Create Health, Beauty, and Safe Home and Work Environments.
Young Living Essential Oils. (2019). Retrieved from www.youngliving.com