White Fir Essential Oil: Benefits, Uses & Side Effects
White fir essential oil has a wide range of benefits, including the ability to soothe inflammation, reduce pain, boost energy, lower stress levels, improve the odor of your home, protect the immune system, detoxify the body, eliminate body odor, speed healing and stimulate the metabolism. There are some notable side effects, including gastrointestinal problems (when ingested) and skin irritation, as well as effects on pregnant women and children. Responsible usage of this oil is generally considered safe and beneficial for overall health.
White fir essential oil is produced through an extraction process of the needles of the white fir tree, which has the scientific name Abies concolor. This tree is a medium-sized evergreen tree that is native to western North America, particularly in the mountains, which is why it also has the name Colorado white-fir. It is used as Christmas trees, and the smell of the essential oil does have a certain Christmas-y smell, making it a popular oil for diffusion around the holidays. This oil has a number of cleaning and medicinal uses, primarily derived from the high levels of alpha-pinene, myrcene, limonene, borneol and other antioxidants and active compounds. This oil is widely available and relatively inexpensive, due to the large population of these trees and the popularity of this natural remedy.
Uses and Benefits of White Fir Essential Oil
White fir essential oil should be used by people struggling with chronic pain, low energy levels, body odor, weak immune system, chronic diseases, recent wounds, slow metabolism, obesity, heart conditions, inflammation and respiratory infections.
Respiratory Infections: The antioxidants and active compounds in white fir essential oil can help to soothe respiratory infections and eliminate bacteria in the air and throughout your home. When diffused throughout the home, the oil can be inhaled and is known to protect against and treat respiratory infections. It can also reduce inflammation in the bronchial tubes.
Mood and Anxiety: The uplifting, holiday scent of white fir essential oil is linked to improvements in mood and stress levels, making it a popular post-work aromatherapy choice. By balancing stress hormone levels in the body, this oil can help lower your risk of oxidative stress and chronic diseases, while also making you a happier and more energized person.
Energy: The compounds found in this essential oil are stimulating in nature, meaning that they not only give you a boost of energy, but also improve your metabolic speed. This can make you more upbeat and active, while also helping with passive fat-burning, increasing circulation and improving brain function. Diffusing this oil is the best option for these particular effects.
Immune System: There are certain antimicrobial and antiseptic properties of white fir essential oil that can protect surfaces in your home, as well as your skin, from pathogens that can cause illness. Furthermore, when this oil is inhaled in the form of microparticles, it can help support the immune system and lower the chance of infection in the stomach and respiratory tracts.
Heart Health: Increasing metabolic speed means that the heart works more efficiently, pumping more blood and improving circulation, thus protecting against blood clots and atherosclerosis. This can also stimulate the production of more red blood cells for a robust cardiovascular system.
Antioxidants: Limonene, borneol and alpha-pinene all function as antioxidants within white fir essential oil, and effectively seek out and neutralize free radicals within the body. These free radicals are dangerous, cancer-causing compounds that the body produces during cellular metabolism, and can lead to inflammation and chronic diseases. Antioxidants like those found in this essential oil can also prevent premature aging, improve cognition and optimize organ function in the body.
Body Odor: Some people choose to use white fir essential oil as a deodorant, as it does have antimicrobial properties that can kill the odor-causing bacteria under the arms. Furthermore, the pleasant smell of this essential oil is a natural and invigorating scent to smell all day. This essential oil is often mixed in aftershaves and colognes for the same reason. This oil also stimulates sweating, which can further detoxify the body and eliminate excess toxins, salts and fats.
Inflammation and Pain: If you are suffering from chronic pain or inflammation as a result of an injury, chronic illness, or surgery, applying this oil topically to the affected area can be a quick and simple solution. The antioxidants found in the oil will be able to soothe inflammation and eliminate muscle spasms. This is why white fir essential oil is commonly used as a massage oil, or as a pre- and post-workout remedy.
Healing: The healing effects of this essential oil are well known, particularly when applied directly to wounds, scrapes, cuts or bruises. When topically applying this oil to wounds, it is best when mixed with a carrier oil, such as coconut essential oil. This oil will not only speed the healing process, but also protect the wound from any infection or inflammation, due to its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
Side Effects of White Fir Essential Oil
Despite the benefits, white fir essential oil does bring some side effects, including possible skin inflammation, stomach upset and complications depending on your age and present medical condition.
- Pregnancy and Children: As is the case with most essential oils, use is not recommended for children or pregnant women. However, as a diffused scent in the home, it can be considered safe, but pregnant or breast-feeding women should speak to their doctor first.
- Allergic Reactions: Many potent essential oils will cause inflammatory reactions on the skin, even if you aren’t specifically allergic to the plant from which the oil is derived. Apply a small amount on a patch of skin and wait a few hours to see if any reaction occurs (e.g., swelling, itching, redness, rashes).
- Ingestion: It is not recommended that you ingest white fir essential oil, although in extremely small amounts, when mixed with a carrier oil or beverage (e.g., hot tea, coffee), it may be safe to consume. Gastrointestinal upset, nausea or vomiting can occur, so only very small amounts should be consumed, after approval from your doctor.