Black Spruce benefits have led to distilling the Picea Mariana tree, primarily the branches and needles from the tree. Distilling allows you to leverage the benefits of black spruce essential oil, primarily offered from the monoterpenes in the oil.
Picea Mariana is grown in both Alaska and Canada and doesn't have the thick trunks that lumber yards need for making timber. Instead, the trunks are used for making paper and certain woods that are acceptable when they’re softer.
Due to the majority of the tree being of little use, the remaining needles and branches are left behind.
The essential oil industry has found a use for these often-leftover portions of the tree and keeps them from littering the forest floors. An intense distillation process allows for the proper extraction of the oil, which has been known for promoting well-being.
Benefits of Black Spruce Essential Oil
Black Spruce benefits have been noted for centuries, but there are no real studies showing the direct efficacy of these benefits. Instead, there are anecdotal reports on numerous health benefits of Black Spruce.
It's believed that two main compounds are primarily responsible for the benefits of this oil, including:
- Bornyl acetate
Monoterpenes have been studied outside of this potent oil and found to have numerous health and medicinal benefits. The studies are not in-depth, but one from 1997 found that this key compound may have cancer chemoprevention properties.
The study noted that monoterpenes are able to prevent carcinogenesis in the initiation and progression stages.
Different types of monoterpenes seem to be more effective than others when treating certain cancers. Limonene and perillyl alcohol may be able to treat leukemia, although additional studies, on a mass scale, need to be performed.
Experimental studies that used animal models found that on both the cellular and molecular levels this compound has anticarcinogenic properties. This particular study suggests that this compound should be studied further as a potential agent in anticancer drugs.
Monoterpenes are also used to help treat numerous diseases and are known for their beneficial properties, including:
For a long time, it was thought that monoterpenes were only good for their fragrant components, but there has been growing evidence that this compound is a powerful antioxidant and can easily permeate the skin for direct application.
Alpha-pinene, or a-pinene, is an organic compound that is found in many aromatic plants. The compound is known for a few beneficial properties, primarily:
- Gastroprotective properties
In 2015, studies were done on the gastroprotective properties of this compound. The study considered the activity in relation to essential oils and found that through a diverse set of plants, the compound was able to treat gastrointestinal disturbances.
The study, done on mice, forced gastric ulcers in the mice and then measured them by removing the stomach and measuring the ulcers.
When a-pinene was applied, it showed beneficial properties. What the researchers found was that gastric lesions were inhibited, lesion volume was reduced, and the acidity of the gastric juice was lower.
Even the wall mucus increased to further protect the stomach from ulcers.
There are additional studies that indicate that this compound is beneficial for helping treat inflammation and may also possess anti-carcinogenic benefits, although this claim needs to be studied further.
Anecdotal usage suggests that this compound may also be beneficial when it comes to dental health.
Bornyl Acetate Benefits
Bornyl Acetate can be found in levels as high as 25% in the Black Spruce essential oil and is another anti-inflammatory. In fact, the compound has been shown to offer anti-inflammatory benefits to the musculoskeletal system, meaning that it can be a potent option for people that suffer from muscular aches and pains.
A 2004 study on the analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of bornyl acetate, but it's important to note that Amomum villosum oil was used Iin the study. The study examined the compound’s ability to stop ear swelling in mice.
What researchers found was that the compound was able to do two main things:
- Suppress ear swelling
- Reduce pain from the hot plate
The long-term benefits were not listed in these studies.
How to Use Black Spruce Essential Oil
Sweet and refreshing are two of the most common words used when discussing Black Spruce essential oils. The oil is similar to Sandalwood, but there is a noticeable difference in smell. Usage varies depending on your main goal of the oil:
A lot of people opt to use this essential oil topically. You can add it into creams to apply, or you can combine it with other essential oils. You'll want to dilute before applying to make sure that it doesn’t cause any adverse side effects.
Most people will spot-check on their wrist or arm to make sure that they don’t experience side effects.
If you’re trying to reduce inflammation or pain, you’ll want to rub the oil into the impacted area. Some people will add a carrier oil to the oil and apply it to the base of their neck or the bottom of their feet for general health purposes.
People that enjoy the scent are also known for adding a drop to their wrist and rubbing it in.
Aromatherapy is one of the most widely spread forms of using essential oils. You'll follow the directions of your diffuser to help spread the scent around the room. There are key benefits to aromatherapy, and this includes:
- Meditative effect
- Relaxing effect
The essential oil will produce a smell that is woodsy and crisp.
Men can also add this essential oil into their beard cream and apply it to their beard. The usage in this case is more for the aroma than it is for health benefits.
Black Spruce essential oil is available online and in stores. While few studies have been done on the oil itself, a lot of studies have been conducted on the components found in Black Spruce. Pain and swelling relief along with potential cancer-fighting properties are just a few of the reasons to use this essential oil.