Picea mariana, a member of the Pinaceae family which grows to a height of around 9 meters and is native to Canada and the northeast of the United States. The timber of the tree, although used, is not greatly valued and the leaves are traditionally used to make spruce beer. A colorless to pale yellow oil is produced by steam distillation of the needles and twigs of the tree. Its major chemical components are monoterpenes 55% (tricyclene, ±-pinene, delta3-carene, camphene) and esters 35% (bornyl acetate). It has a piney, woody aroma and well with pine, oakmoss, cedarwood, benzoin, lavender, lavandin and rosemary. It is used in perfumery to impart fresh notes to men’s fragrances and in piney-herbaceous bath products. Traditionally it has been said to restore depleted adrenal glands.
Psychologically, black spruce has been used for anxiety, debility, stress, tension and extreme exhaustion. On the physiological level black spruce has been used as an expectorant and a respiratory antiseptic; for muscle aches & pains, poor circulation, muscular rheumatism, arthritis, aching joints and solar plexus spasms and depressed immune systems. Black spruce can be used to clear and cleanse. It can help to ground intuition so that it is clear and practical. It can infuse intuition with compassion. It also can promote communication of inner feelings. It may help in bringing objectivity and clarity to the intuitive mind and help develop intuition.
Contraindications: Generally considered non-toxic, non-irritating and non-sensitizing.
Beverley Hawkins, Aromatherapy 301 Course 2000, 2001,2005, 2008Return to Article Archives