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Essential Oils

Black Spruce Essential Oil – A Traditional Medicine For The Mind, Body, and Spirit

Black spruce oil has been used for hundreds of years by the indigenous people of North America. From the East Coast to West Coast, from the coldest northern reaches of Canada all the way down to the middle of the continental United States—and everywhere in between—this all-natural healer has proven throughout time to be as beneficial as any other essential oil we know of.

black spruce

Black spruce oil is collected from conifer trees—specifically those that are a part of the Pinaceae (pine) plant family.

While these spruce needles may not look like all that much on the surface, the chemical composition of the leaves and twigs is capable of producing fantastic healing and restorative benefits that should not be overlooked.

Native Americans throughout the continental United States and First Nation members of tribes throughout Canada traveled hundreds of miles to collect large quantities of black spruce needles and twigs to boil down into extracts that were critical parts of their medicines.

Today, the production of this essential oil has been modernized, but the benefits that we are all able to enjoy from these essential oils continue to have the same kind of impact on our minds and bodies that they did hundreds of years ago.

black spruce The History of Black Spruce

Black spruce essential oil comes from black spruce conifer trees which are native to a majority of the Canadian landscape. They also grow in parts of Alaska and the more northern reaches of the United States.

Traditionally found in wet, swampy regions that can get quite cold in the winter (forcing the sap that is so important to the production of black spruce essential oil deeper into the leaves of the tree), black spruce trees have incredibly sharp and bluish-green needle-like leaves that form the backbone of the essential oil.

Traditionally, the Lakota Indians throughout the northern part of what is now the United States were known for using black spruce. 1

They used oils collected from these trees to help heal wounds caused during combat with other tribes but also used the black spruce oils to help relax their muscles after a hard day’s work.

This tribe of Native Americans also used this oil to fight arthritis, with this natural remedy proving to be wonderfully effective at alleviating joint pain.

A number of other Native American and First Nation tribes used black spruce essential oil as a way to disinfect wounds and help relax the mind. This was also commonly found in spiritual and traditional rituals, particularly in meditative rituals, which today is known as “grounding”.

Chemical Properties

The chemistry of black spruce essential oil is somewhat similar to the essential oils pulled from other conifer trees, which shouldn’t surprise anyone.

At the same time, however, the chemical composition of this oil is unique enough that it has a very distinct and sweet aroma as well as a warming impact immediately upon application to our skin. A lot thinner than other essential oils pulled from other types of pine trees, black spruce essential oils color can range anywhere from crystal-clear (almost like water) to a very pale yellow color – depending upon its potency.

The major chemical components that make black spruce essential oil so special include, but aren’t limited to:

    • y-3-Carene

… As well as a whole host of sesquiterpenes. 2

The overwhelming majority of the chemical components in black spruce essential oil are classified as monoterpenes. These chemical compounds can push through the blood/brain barrier in a way that other chemicals cannot, which helps black spruce to provide so many calming and relaxing benefits that aren’t as easily obtained with other essential oils.

Some evidence suggests that black spruce essential oil can actively stimulate hormonal production throughout the body. Both the thymus gland and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) can be impacted by the black spruce essential oil, releasing a flood of biochemicals already contained within your body to help heal and restore you from the inside out. 3

Uses for Black Spruce Essential Oil

The reason that black spruce essential oil has been used for literally hundreds of years as an all-natural medicine is that it has proven itself valuable time and time again, across a wide range of ailments and injuries.

This essential oil can be used to eradicate harmful bacteria, protect against viral infections, clear respiratory blockages, improve mental clarity, and provide endocrine system support.

This is a tremendously powerful all-natural healing agent that you want to make the most of. A holistic approach to healing your body and your mind is possible with black spruce, but the odds are pretty good that you’re looking for specific benefits to leverage—like the ones that we highlight below.

black spruce Clears and Relaxes the Mind

As we touched on a little bit earlier, some of the most in-depth information regarding the use of black spruce essential oils from Native Americans (particularly in the Lakota tribe) pertains to this essential oil being used during spiritual rituals to purify the spirit and relax the mind.

Lakota Indians were frequently at war with other tribes, and it isn’t at all unreasonable to suggest that black spruce oil may have been used as an all-natural healing agent to push back against the stress and pressure that these Native Americans must have been feeling when they knew that war or enemy attacks could break out at any moment.

Today, black spruce is used during aromatherapy sessions quite frequently because of its collection of natural esters. These natural esters have mental and emotional balancing properties, but also include antispasmodic properties that can help you feel a sense of physical relaxation as well as mental relaxation. 4

Provides Endocrine System Support

According to research conducted by Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt, a large number of the polycyclic terpenoid agents in this particular essential oil have the ability to produce a tonic-like impact on your adrenal, pituitary, and thyroid glands. 5

This biochemical impact promotes hormonal equilibrium throughout your body. When your body is experiencing a hormonal equilibrium, you look and feel much healthier, your major bodily systems are able to operate at a higher level of efficiency, and you aren’t going to feel the negative impacts of unbalanced hormone levels that can wreak havoc on your skin, your mental capabilities, and cause fatigue across the board.

Black spruce essential oils are commonly used to improve the overall production of your adrenal glands during the winter months. This is an all-natural remedy to seasonal depression, as well as a wonderful solution to help fight back against chronic lethargy when you just aren’t getting enough sunlight in your life.

A number of prominent aromatherapists have also documented the positive impact that black spruce essential oil has when it comes to the all-natural management of hyperthyroidism. Black spruce has an almost cortisone-like ability to fight back against this condition. 6

Relaxes Muscles and Joints

As we get older, our muscles ache more frequently, our joints become less lubricated, and we typically feel the wear and tear put on our bodies by age.

The biochemical properties of black spruce essential oil (particularly when combined with other essential oils) can provide significant benefits that relax your muscles, lubricate your joints, and even improve your circulation.

This should give you almost immediate relief from conditions like arthritis as well as degenerative joint diseases. You may not be able to restore the cartilage in your body with the help of essential oil like black spruce, but you are going to see reduced inflammation in these joints and hopefully prevent further wear and tear from robbing you of your mobility as you move through life.

Research is also showing that black spruce may have the ability to help speed up the repair of damaged muscles, ligaments, and tendons. The medical world is starting to experiment with black spruce essential oils being used to help speed up recovery from surgery, particularly with athletes that need to be able to get back on the field just as quickly as possible without any degradation in their performance.

Obviously, more research is necessary to fully understand the kind of impact that black spruce might have in these areas, but already researchers feel that it can do great good while also helping to prevent the formation of scars stemming from these kinds of injuries and surgeries as well. 7

black spruce infographic

Safety and Precautions

Like most other essential oil all-natural healing agents, you really don’t have much to worry about should you choose to take advantage of the benefits that black spruce oil brings to the table.

Researchers have concluded that there are no specific safety concerns regarding black spruce essential oil, though you’ll still want to make sure that you follow the instructions of this oil very closely before you dive right in.

For example, as with most essential oils, you aren’t going to want to ingest black spruce oil directly. You should only use it internally through the help of a diffuser or a vaporizer, never taking black spruce essential oil orally under any circumstances.

You’ll also want to make sure that you avoid the oxidation of black spruce essential oils. Should this compound become oxidized it can cause mild skin irritation that can break out in a rash, something that you’ll obviously want to steer clear of as much as possible. 8

Like most other essential oil compounds, it’s not a good idea for pregnant or nursing women to utilize this oil. There just isn’t enough research to understand exactly what kind of impact this oil could have on an unborn or newborn baby, and there is no reason to take any risk with those young lives.


All things considered, black spruce essential oils can be a valuable addition to your all-natural approach for healing and restore your mind as well as your body.

Loaded with powerful biochemical agents that can have a transformative impact on your health and well-being, you aren’t going to have to worry about any potentially devastating side effects from negatively impacting your wellness when you use black spruce essential oil. You certainly have nothing to worry about like you would with traditional prescription medications designed to help provide the same kinds of benefits.

Powerfully effective at helping to relax your mind and your body, you’ll also enjoy the hormonal balancing benefits and circulatory system benefits you’ll get out of black spruce essential oil.

It is important that you use this essential oil properly, particularly if you plan on using it in a topical solution. You should always consider diluting black spruce essential oils with a neutral carrier oil to avoid any potential skin irritation, and (as we highlighted above) should never ingest this essential oil directly.

Professional aromatherapists (and our ancestors alike) frequently vaporized or diffused this essential oil for inhalation, and it’s a great way to deliver the “heavy lifting” bioagents contained within this essential oil directly into your body and your bloodstream.

These constituents are tremendously bioavailable and can be absorbed immediately, and will be deployed throughout your body with lightning-like speed and efficiency – helping you to heal your mind, your body, and your spirit faster than you would have thought possible.

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