5 Benefits of Spruce Essential Oil

by Annie Mascia December 22, 2022

5 Benefits of Spruce Essential Oil

The Black Spruce tree has a rich and varied history. Known by its Latin name, Picea mariana, the plant is revered for its strength and healing ability. It is in the same family as pine, fir and cedarwood trees and is cultivated for its essential oil in Eastern North America, specifically Eastern Canada. 

A slow-growing, evergreen conifer, Black Spruce prefers to grow in wet, boggy areas. The trees grow tall and narrow as opposed to conical - the way most other spruce trees develop. The needles of the tree are unique in that they have four sides, which make it easy to roll them back and forth between the thumb and forefinger. Of all the spruce tree varieties, Black Spruce grows the smallest cones - small and round to egg-shaped and only ½ to 1 ½ inches in length. The cones are purple in color when young and turn brown as they age.

Indigenous peoples of the first nations purposed Black Spruce for many uses. Different plant parts were utilized when needed to make functional survival gear such as fish traps and drying racks, baskets and snowshoe frames as well as canoe paddles. The resin, gum (sap) of the tree was commonly used to seal seams of birch bark canoes and interestingly enough, the gum was also made into a salve to help heal small wounds and steeped to make tea to aid kidney stones. 

Our modern-day use of Black Spruce employs the branches, twigs and needles of the tree that are steam distilled to make the essential oil. Its aroma is very clean and fresh with hints of balsamic sweetness underlying its green, pine and woodsy aromatics. Its ability to exude comfort and relaxation is reminiscent of cozy evenings with a good book. Black Spruce essential oil is one of our favorite oils to have on hand during the cold weather season. We love it for its ability to usher in steady, deep breathing and relaxation properties. 

Let's take a deeper look into this aromatherapy oil to give us a better understanding of all of the treasures that Black Spruce oil gifts us. 

5 Health Benefits of Black Spruce Essential Oil

  1. Antispasmodic & Analgesic: For minor injuries, Black Spruce is an excellent choice to add to massage oils or creams for sore muscles and to help relieve muscle spasms and pain. Due to the components of bornyl acetate, a-pinene and b-pinene, Black Spruce has antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory qualities which aid the muscular system. During cold and flu season, diffuse Black Spruce to relieve headaches as well as spastic cough and chest congestion for inhalation or tent a hot bowl of water with a towel for steam inhalation with other camphene-rich oils. 

  2. Anti-inflammatory: The same components that give Black Spruce its fortitude as antispasmodic and analgesic, lend the same abilities to reducing inflammation. Whether it's used in a topical treatment for muscular aches and pains or for inflammation issues of the lungs, this oil cannot be beaten. 

  3. Mucolytic: The oil’s refreshing aroma can help break down mucus in the lungs as well as aid respiratory weakness and inflammatory lung conditions enabling easy breathing. Apply Black Spruce with a carrier oil like to the back and chest for easy breathing. A quick word of caution, however, due to its a-pinene and b-pinene content, those with asthma should smell this oil before using it. If it restricts breathing, it would be wise to find a different oil. 

  4. Sedative & Relaxing: One of Black Spruce’s primary benefits is due to the constituent Bornyl acetate which gives us soothing relief and the ability to unwind and relax by acting as a sedative on the central nervous system. It would make a welcome addition to evening relaxation blends, used in a diffuser or made into a DIY back and chest rub. Simply mix it into an unscented cream or carrier oil especially for relief from congestion due to colds or the flu. 

  5. Antimicrobial: Due to its antimicrobial constituents of a-pinene and b-pinene, use this oil with your cleansing practices to purify your home, surfaces and bathrooms. Try blending it with Siberian Fir which has some comparable properties. Black Spruce has the tenacity to fight bacteria, fungi and viruses similar to the abilities of hot oils such as Clove but with the pleasant and calming aroma of a green, pine and spruce-filled living forest. 

A bright aromatic perfect for the holiday season employs Norway Spruce, a sister of Black Spruce, found in the same boreal forests. Snowflakes & Spruce essential oil blend is a fantastic medley of many of the same sturdy forest dwellers that are neighbors to Black Spruce. Utilizing Balsam Fir,  Douglas Fir, Copaiba, Cedarwood, Scots Pine and more, Snowflakes & Spruce will transport its clean and invigorating aroma to your door and is a must-have in every home to add seasonal cheer and joy.  Its incredible, crisp aroma also promotes deep breathing as well as emits energy and focus to stay on top of tasks this holiday season. If you are looking for the perfect universally loved gift, look no further!


  1. Black spruce extracts reveal antimicrobial and sprout suppressive potentials to prevent potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) losses during storage https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2666154321000892
  2. Composition, antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of seven essential oils from the North American boreal forest https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25801172/
  3. Influence of Fragrances on Human Psychophysiological Activity: With Special Reference to Human Electroencephalographic Response https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5198031/
  4. Psychological effects of forest environments on healthy adults: Shinrin-yoku (forest-air bathing, walking) as a possible method of stress reduction https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17055544/
  5. α-Pinene, a Major Constituent of Pine Tree Oils, Enhances Non-Rapid Eye Movement Sleep in Mice through GABAA-benzodiazepine Receptors https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27573669/

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