Synonyms: Bog Spruce, Swamp Spruce, Shortleaf Black Spruce, Abies nigra, Abies mariana, Picea nigra.
Aroma: Fresh, woody, pine-like.
Colour: Colourless to pale yellow.
Plant: Small upright evergreen coniferous tree between 5 and 15 metres tall. The dark purple cones which ripen to a red-brown are the smallest of all the spruces. They are produced in dense clusters in the upper crown and open at maturity.
Main Growing Areas: Eastern Canada and North Eastern USA.
Major Constituents: Camphene, tricyclene, borneol, borynl acetate.
Interesting snippets: Spruce was used by the Lakota Indians to enhance their communication with the Great Spirit. Native Americans made spruce beer to prevent scurvy. Various native North American Indian tribes made a string from the long roots of this tree and used it to stitch the bark of their canoes and to sew their baskets.
Part of Plant used / Extraction: Needles and twigs / Steam distillation
Therapeutic actions: Respiratory conditions including bronchitis and coughs. Helpful in cases of inflamed, stiff, painful joints and tired, achy muscles.
Emotional and Spiritual: Mental exhaustion and stress. Calming and helps poor self-confidence, low morale, melancholy and a negative outlook. She can help to overcome a sense of defeat or failure.
Robbi Zeck writes that spruce encourages a broadening and opening to a sense of spaciousness within, a way of seeing your journey through life in a brand new way. Spruce adds a depth of insight previously unknown and has the capacity to shift you from feelings of defeat to feeling refreshed and motivated.
Safety: Possible skin irritant.
Sources: Grace U-M, Aromatherapy for Practitioners. The C.W.Daniel Company Ltd. (1996)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)