Conifer Essential Oils
Winter instills a sense of pulling in, digging deep, and reflecting on this past year. It’s a time for slowing down, piling on layers, and sleeping under heavy covers. It’s also a time for experiencing the myriad scents of winter and reveling in their healing and uplifting properties.
One of my favorite winter scents is the fresh, warming, and resinous notes of conifer essential oils. Their grounding properties help bring focus and clarity and their forest infused aroma instills a sense of peace and calm. Working with conifer oils is a sure way to relieve stress and curb the anxiety during the holiday season.
The Types of Conifer Essential Oils
There are many different conifer essential oils available and each has its own unique affinity. The firs, spruces, cypresses, and pines all have fresh-herbaceous-coniferous notes that are uplifting, stimulating, and invigorating. They all revive one’s energy, promoting strength, motivation, sense of purpose. Wintertime is usually an emotionally draining time of year and conifer essential oils can help pull us through the stressful hustle and bustle of the holidays.
Below are some of my favorite conifer oils and their properties. Enjoy!
Balsam Fir- Abies balsamea
Balsam fir essential oil has wonderfully fresh, sweet, and full-bodied “Christmas Tree” scent with balsamic and woody overtones. Its scent is physically grounding and emotionally clarifying instilling a sense of calm and relaxation. Balsam fir oil is warming and is often used in sore muscle blends to help loosen tight muscles and relieve pain associated with exercise. It’s also an amazing oil to diffuse during times of respiratory illness as it easily cuts through mucus and clears stuffed up sinuses. Get my favorite balsam fir oil here.
Black Spruce- Picea mariana
Black spruce has a fresh clean scent with sweet woodsy earthy tones. It is often far gentler and more subtle than other evergreen essential oils making it perfect for those just beginning to experiment with conifer oils.
Historically, black spruce essential oil has been used for respiratory ills due to its reputed ability to open the lungs and clear nasal passages. In addition to these physical cleansing abilities, black spruce also cuts through and pushes out emotional blockages restoring spiritual balance and comfort in one’s own skin. Typically, it invigorates the entire body by increasing circulation and easing physical discomforts making it a great oil to have when you need an oil to do many things. You can get black spruce essential oil here.
Blue Spruce- Picea pungens
Blue spruce oil has a soft evergreen aroma that is sweet, fresh, and very easy on the senses. Don’t let its mild smell fool you though, this is one of the highest ORAC rated essential oils meaning is packed a punch in the antioxidant department.
Blue spruce is fantastic for opening the heart and mind and is one of my favorite emotional support oils. It provides a feeling of profound peace and a sense of security and trust in ourselves. It’s a very empowering oil that is perfect for use during yoga and meditation.
Aside from its spiritual bene,fits blue spruce is as many confer oils are, amazing for respiratory wellness. Diffusing it or putting a few drops into a salt inhaler during a cold or flu is a great way to cut through boggy lungs and sinuses. Its warming ability makes it perfect for improving circulation during the cold winter months.
Cedar Leaf (aka Thuja)- Thuja occidentalis L. (Use with care!)
This powerful conifer essential oil is known for its strength against colds and flu. Its aromatic scent is camphoraceous and a bit sagey with eucalyptus-y sweet fennel like undertones and is best used in a diffuser or spray due to its strength. Direct continuous inhalation can cause respiratory irritation in those who are sensitive and taking it internally is generally not recommended unless under the care of a licensed aromatherapist.
Cedar leaf is often used topically as an amazing lymphatic draining unwanted waste and uric acid from the muscles and joints. It is, therefore, a wonderful oil that helps ease rheumatic conditions. It’s also great for abdominal pain, muscles cramps, and nausea associated with menses. Cedar leaf also possesses astringent properties making it a great topical treatment for varicose veins.
Keep in mind that this oil is very potent and you don’t need to use much of this oil at all to experience its benefits. You can get cedar leaf essential oil here.
Cedarwood- Cedras atlantica
Cedarwood essential oil contains the highest amount of sesquiterpenes which are known to stimulate the limbic system. This means stress relief, focus, and an elevated mood just by sniffing this oil. It’s an amazing oil to use before bedtime if you have trouble turning off stress circulating thoughts. Its scent is sweet and woodsy with a sandalwood undertone. It’s a popular favorite among the different conifer essential oils.
Due to its warming properties, cedarwood essential oil is great to use for aches and pains, spasms, and surprisingly hair loss! Don’t believe me? Check out this article.
Cedarwood is also great for preventing acne breakouts and calming skin irritations when applied topically. I love using it during the winter to help get rid of dry flaky skin!
Don’t forget about cedarwoods affinity for repelling bugs! You can get cedarwood essential oil here.
Cypress- Cypressus sempervirens
Cypress has a herbaceous, fresh, and woodsy scent that’s warming, comforting, and open up our hearts to spiritual harmony. It helps us accept change and focus on what’s best for our wellbeing. Cypress is, therefore, a very stabilizing and grounding oil for those seeking refuge from stressful situations, bouts of anger, or incessant irritability.
I love using cypress essential oil in face serum recipes because it’s amazing for calming overactive sebaceous glands making it a must-have for oily skin types.
Cypress also regulates the menstrual cycle, relieves water retention, and eases respiratory ailments. You can get cypress essential oil here.
Douglas Fir- Pseudotsuga menziesii
This oil smells like a true Christmas tree in a bottle and is probably my favorite conifer essential oil to use when I’m craving a snapshot of a secluded forest. Douglas fir is so grounding and fortifying for those of us with frayed nerves and are prone to stress. Diffusing this oil improves even the darkest mood and brings light back into a season that often leaves those lamenting for sunshine.
Douglas fir effectively soothes sore muscles and nervous tension in the body making it an amazing addition to homemade soaps and bath soaks. It encourages deep breathing and facilitates a meditative state of mind making it a perfect oil to diffuse after a long day.
Douglas fir is also a notable disinfectant when added to homemade household cleaning recipes. You can get douglas fir essential oil here.
Juniper Berry- Juniperus communis
Juniper essential oil has a distinctive sweet, crisp, and woodsy scent. It’s a very calming oil that eases mental tension without making you feel drowsy and helps uplift the mood. Juniper is also great for overcoming fatigue and instills a sense of vigor and enthusiasm. It also eases depression.
I love using juniper essential oil for digestive ills like bloating, gas, and abdominal muscles spasms by applying it diluted over the abdomen. It soothes menstrual cramps by improving blood circulation and relaxing the uterus and is an effective remedy for fluid retention, enlarged prostate, and skin conditions. I often use juniper essential oil for acne prevention, oily skin, and dandruff.
Diffused, juniper essential oil is an effective treatment for a hangover. You can get juniper essential oil here.
Scotch Pine- Pinus sylvestris
Scotch pine has a strong dry scent with balsamic and turpentine-like overtones. It has a clearing effect when diffused in a room and is known to help ease mental and physical fatigue. It’s amazing for use in sick rooms and is an effective remedy for colds, coughs, sinusitis, bronchitis, and even asthma.
Topically, scotch pine essential oil is effective against itchy, dry, flaky skin and can even reverse the signs of aging by reducing free radicals. Its astringent properties make it a great remedy for acne, eczema, and psoriasis.
Scotch pine is a very masculine oil that my fiancée loves! I often add it to homemade deodorant and body sprays for him to use. They never last long!
Caution should be used when using this oil topically as it can cause irritation if not properly diluted. You can get scotch pine essential oil here.
What are your favorite conifer essential oils?
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