Other common names: Oregon pine, British Columbian pine, Puget Sound pine,Douglas spruce, false hemlock, red fir, others
Botanical name: Pseudotsuga menziesii
Botanical family: Pinaceae
Method of extraction: Steam distillation
Plant part used to extract the oil: needles and brunches
Cultivation method: wild
Area of origin: Canada
Douglas fir, a conifer tree native to Western North America, is not a true fir – it does not belong to the Abies genus.
It is named after two Scottish botanist – David Douglas – who collected the seeds and introduced the tree to Europe (1824) and Archibald Menzies (Scottish surgeon, and naturalistand David Douglas’s rival) who first documented the tree on Vancouver Island in 1791.
For centuries, Native American used all parts of Douglas fir for preparation of herbal remedies for various diseases.
Douglas-fir has been commonly used as a Christmas tree since the 1920s, and the trees are still grown on plantations for this use.
Biochemical group: Monoterpene
Main chemical compounds: β-pinene, terpinolene, α-pinene, sabinene, γ- terpinene, δ-3-carene, terpinene-4-ol, α-terpinene, limonene, β-myrcene,citronellyl acetate, β-phellandrene, camphene, geranyl acetate, others
Colour: clear to pale yellow
Aroma strength: medium
Perfumery note: top / middle
Aroma: fresh, coniferous, woody, cool, earthy, sweet, piney, citrusy notes with a floral-fruity hint
Traditional aromatherapy uses:
Traditionally in aromatherapy treatments Douglas fir needle essential oil is associated with the following therapeutic properties:
For respiratory infections and congestion: inhaleon its own or blended depending on the condition, we like it blended with some lemon essential oil but others can be tried too.
For stress, anxiety – vapourise a drop perhaps with some bergamot essential oil or apply a drop to a tissue and inhale; try with some lemon essential oil when studying.
For muscular aches and pains –dilute in a fixed oil (carrier oil) and massage affected areas. Try adding a drop of our Lavandin essential oil.
Tisserand and Young do not indicate any special hazards when using silver fir needle Essential Oil, however they warn that oxidised oil should be avoided as it may cause skin sensitization. Reading Tisserand and Young's full profile is recommended. [Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), p.281]