How to Choose the Right Conifer Essential Oils – Tazeka Aromatherapy
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How to Choose the Right Conifer Essential Oils
  • There are a lot of different conifer essential oils.

    They all have wonderful wintery, foresty smells, perfect for the holidays. They share some of the same therapeutic properties, too.

    It can be confusing to try to figure out which ones to use.

    So we’re going to compare eight different conifer essential oils, and offer some suggestions about how to use each one.

    All of the conifer essential oils on our list are excellent for respiratory issues, and have antiseptic properties that make them excellent ingredients in homemade natural cleaners. Many of them are good for muscle soreness and tension, too.

    If your blend calls for a particular conifer essential oil, you can most likely use any of these in its place (although you’ll want to be careful if you’re blending for therapeutic purposes). So it helps to know what makes each oil stand out.


    Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea)
    The essential oils derived from the wood and needles are good for different things. We use oil from the needles for respiratory issues. The wood’s oil is excellent for sore muscles and tension. If your bottle just says “Balsam Fir,” it’s good for both!
    • Supports the immune system  
    • Antioxidant 
    • Warming

    Grand Fir, aka Christmas Fir (Abies grandis)
    Most of the oils on this list smell like Christmas trees, but this has one of the brightest holiday aromas! Make a spray with 18 drops in 1 oz of water, and spritz it on your decorations and upholstery.                

    • Great ingredient in green cleaning products
    • Centers and uplifts the mind during listless, withdrawn periods 
    • Fights fatigue

    Black Spruce (Picea mariana)
    Use black spruce essential oil when you’re feeling tired, sluggish, and have low energy during the winter. It’s like a tonic for your adrenals, so it gets energy moving through your body again.                

    • Great ingredient in green cleaning products
    • Pain relief for swollen joints and sore muscles
    • Helpful for fungal infections (such as Candida)

    White Fir (Abies concolor)
    White fir stands out among conifer essential oils for its antifungal abilities. This makes it a great addition to cleaning products, or respiratory blends brought on by some kind of fungal infection.                

    • Sedative and calming
    • Anti-inflammatory and pain relieving
    • Antioxidant

    Siberian Fir (Abies sibirica)
    Also known as Sibirian pine, this conifer essential oil is especially helpful for inflammatory lung conditions. Great for smokers or others with weak lungs.                

    • Calms spastic, painful coughs
    • Balances the emotions
    • Strong immune system support

    Scotch Pine (Pinus sylvestris)
    Scotch pine, or Scots pine, helps balance hormones. It’s like a tonic for the endocrine glands, and supports a healthy flow of energy through the body so you feel more vital and alive.                

    • Antiviral and antibacterial
    • Good for sore muscles, and bodily aches and pains
    • Similar to eucalyptus in its benefits for the respiratory system

    Canadian Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)
    This isn’t the toxic hemlock that Socrates was forced to drink. However, Canadian hemlock essential oil does have sedative effects that can calm you down and help you sleep when you have a cold.                

    • Diuretic
    • Emotionally balancing
    • Anti-inflammatory and pain relieving

    Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga douglasiana or menzies)
    Douglas fir essential oil is a good anti-inflammatory that can relieve the pain of infections, headaches, or swollen tissues, especially in the respiratory system.               

    • Deeply supportive of personal transformation (including physical healing)
    • Anxiety and stress-induced tension 
    • Antioxidant


    Remember, it’s always a good idea to test essential oils on your skin, and by inhaling them, before using them more extensively.

    Happy Holidays!
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    Comments on this post ( 11 )

    • Aug 09, 2017

      Hi Linda! You can substitute White Fir with Balsam Fir.

      — Kristina (Tazeka)

    • Aug 02, 2017

      I was wondering if there is something I can substitute for White fir?

      — Linda

    • Jul 14, 2017

      Hi Jean! Any fresher coniferous essential oils like pine, spruce, and fir can serve as a substitute.

      — Kristina (Tazeka)

    • Jun 29, 2017

      I live in the UK and cant get White Spruce oil. Which oil can I use in its place? Thank you

      — Jean Kitchin

    • Mar 26, 2017

      YES to the adding of Pinon Pine. It is fantastic! Inhale piñon pine essential oil directly when you need a boost of strength and vitality. Historically, Native Americans use piñon pine sap for aiding with respiratory problems and infections as well as with wound healing and tissue regeneration.

      — Suzanne

    • Mar 13, 2017

      Thank you so much for this article, so very helpful! Some of those oils are hard to purchase over here in Japan (Christmas, Balsam, Douglas Fir – my most favourites of all). I came here to compare Siberian Fir because I’ve never experienced it before! Grateful for your insight :) – BlissLoveLight

      — Maya

    • Feb 11, 2017

      Thank you. This is helpful

      — Jeanne

    • Jan 02, 2017

      Thank you for making this information available.

      — Denise

    • Nov 15, 2016

      Hello,I came across your blog while searching for fir and spruce substitute in woodland aromatic blend.Only pine ,cedar and cypress are available where I live.Do you have any idea which oils are close to fir and spruce in aroma.

      — Poonam

    • May 19, 2016

      — John

    • Jan 21, 2016

      Thank you very much for this illuminating discourse on Conifer oils.

      Might I suggest that you add one?

      My favorite Conifer oils is Pinon Pine infused with resin

      It is quite psychologically uplifting and reassuring

      — Hank Friedman

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