Abies alba native to the north European mountainous regions is now cultivated in Switzerland, Poland, Germany, France, Russia and Canada. Much of the essential oil available today comes from Canada. Oils that are distilled from the twigs and needles of various members of the coniferous families, Abies, Larix, Picea, Pinus and Tsuga are all commonly called fir needle oil, which is why one really does need to know the Latin name. That way you can be sure you are getting the species and oil that you want.
Abies alba belongs to the Pinaceae (Coniferae) family. The essential oil is steam distilled from the needles and branch tips with a yield of 0.25% – 2%. The major chemical constituents at around 90% are the monoterpenes pinene, camphene, limonene.
Silver Fir has a fresh, clean aroma, softer than pine and blends well with basil, birch, black pepper, cajeput, cedarwood, eucalyptus, frankincense, ginger, lavender, lemon, myrtle, niaouli, patchouli, peppermint, pine, rosemary, rosewood, tea tree and thyme.
Psychologically, silver fir has analgesic and stimulating properties and may be helpful for anxiety and stress.
On the physiological level, its analgesic, anti-inflammatory and stimulant properties make it useful for conditions such as chest conditions, chronic bronchitis, muscular aches and pains and pain due to rheumatic or arthritic conditions. It can be used as an immune stimulant.
On a more subtle level, Fir helps one to gain insight into childhood behavior. This in turn can help to release negative emotions such as insecurity, fear, jealousy and anger. Fir is grounding and increases intuition. It releases energy blocks and balances emotions. It can act as a gentle sedative that allows the conscious mind to take a vacation. This in turn allows new guidance to come to the forefront with a renewed conscious awareness.
Generally considered non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitizing. Although some varieties of Fir may cause some skin irritation.
Leung and Foster, Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients, John Wiley & Sons, 1996
Beverley Hawkins, Aromatherapy 201 Course 1999 revised yearly, 2010