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  • Writer's pictureNicole Salter

Welcome the Holidays With Healthy Fir

Updated: Oct 16, 2022

With the first snowfall, out come the puffer jackets with the fur hoods... beautiful jackets I may admire, but would never wear (I don't believe in decorating coats with bits of wolf!) But there is a different kind of fir, and it's simply amazing.

Every winter season brings its own special memories, and a lot of those memories have to do with the holidays; even if you don't celebrate Christmas, it's kind of hard to escape, what with the holiday decorations suddenly appearing everywhere by the week after Halloween. There was the year you took the kids tobogganing despite the sudden thaw that made it more like mud-bogganing; the year you got down on one knee and proposed with the fireplace glow as your romantic backdrop; the year you found every single gift on your list on sale and had enough money left over to buy yourself something pink and frilly.

Along with amazing memories, the holiday season brings certain scents. Whether it’s the tangerines or candied almonds placed in your stocking by elderly relatives, the scent of gingerbread baking, or the tangy sweetness of cranberry sauce simmering on the stove, Christmastime conjures aromas that have a powerful connection to our past.

Sliced oranges

Every month, at SaltZ&Co, we strive to focus on new and better products. This is our second Christmas! Last year we wrote about cedarwood essential oil and its benefits; this year, we’re all about the pine, and while spruce and pine do come into it, our primary essential oil is Fir Needle. This year, we’re using Fir Needle in bath bombs, hand cleanser, soap, and bath salts, and it’s just absolutely the most festive smell I can personally think of. It’s also one of the reasons why our annual family tradition involves holding off on putting up the tree until mid-December – because it’s a real tree, with real sap and real needles, and I want it to be fresh and green for Christmas Day and all the way to the Epiphany date of January 6th.

Fresh cut Christmas tree

There is just nothing like the smell of fir needle – and it is said to have health benefits that you may not know about. Read on to learn more about fir needle essential oil!

Benefits of Fir Needle Essential Oil

Just as a disclaimer, the vast majority of essential oil benefits and health claims are anecdotal (ie. Not proven by The Science). Still, any substance that has been used for thousands of years as medicine will eventually have its day (ahem, cannabis, whoops, did I just say that out loud?) I am certainly a big believer in essential oils. But the disclaimer I will give is, our bath products are mostly wash-off products that do not contain oils in high enough concentrations to be a substitute for regular medicine. When treating any kind of medical condition, please seek the advice of a doctor…and simply enjoy Fir Needle essential oil for the sheer pleasure it brings – any health benefits being just a bonus.

Fir needle essential oil, which as the name implies is distilled from the needles as opposed to the bark or branches, is said to:

-Prevent infection

-Improve breathing and respiration

-Detoxify the body

-Reduce body odour

-Provide pain relief

-Increase metabolism

Fir Needle Oil in Bath and Body Products

Obviously, if you take a bath with fir needle essential oil, you shouldn’t go out and eat a family size bag of Lays because of your newly speeded-up metabolism! However, you are going to smell great because fir needle EO kills odour-causing bacteria. The antiseptic and antibacterial organic compounds in fir needle essential oil really do help with wound healing (from acne to abrasions) and inhaling its fragrant aroma can loosen mucous and clear your sinuses, helping you breathe better. It’s also a very soothing oil in the sense that it relaxes muscle aches, so when combined with another relaxation agent like Epsom salts (which we do rather well in our holiday-inspired Pine Forest Bath Salts) you can expect soothing relief for aching muscles.

Fir needle essential oil also helps detox the body because it actually stimulates the liver and the sweat glands, both of which help eliminate excess toxins from the body. This results in a cleaner-than-clean feeling from the inside out. However, if you have contact dermatitis, please approach balsam fir essential oil with caution, as it can be an allergen for some dermatitis sufferers.

How to Blend Fir Needle Essential Oil

So you’re not a fan of walking through snowy pine forests? Fair enough. Fir needle on its own isn’t overpowering, but it’s also not as sweet as some people prefer. It blends really well with citrus essential oils like lemon and orange, as well as lavender and rosemary; try some of these combinations in our ceramic diffuser or in a spray bottle with witch hazel to use as an all-natural air freshener.

Where to Find Fir Needle Essential Oil

While not as commonly available as lavender essential oil for example, fir needle EO is a staple at many health food stores as well as here in our online store. You can also purchase it online from essential oil retailers like Doterra or, as we do, through New Directions Aromatics. It is a reasonably priced and fairly powerful oil that is well worth experimenting with at home.

Would you like to experience some fir needle EO in person? We’ll have lots of pine fragranced products at the Holly Berry Fair at Rosedale United Church tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. – so you can stock up on stocking stuffers to your heart’s content, or pamper yourself with a lovely bath! As well, please know that due to the Canada Post strike and other factors, this year’s Holiday Catalogue has been delayed – but good things come to those who wait. Expect lots of fir needle as well as other delicious scents for all your gifting needs.

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