Black Spruce, Latin name Picea mariana, is my new BFF. I’ve never met a Black Spruce in person, but I’ve been spending my mornings with its essential oil and I think it’s making me a better person.
Native to North America, Black Spruce is a coniferous evergreen and slow-growing tree that grows up to 25m tall. The needles (and sometimes the twigs) of the tree are used to make its essential oil. Essential oils are concentrated liquids extracted from plants. Black Spruce oil has an uplifting, clearing and purifying fragrance that seems to wake me up and calm me down at the same time. I learned about Black Spruce essential oil at an Aromatherapy seminar that I recently attended in San Rafael, California taught by Kurt Schnaubelt and Monika Haas of the Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy (PIA).
The seminar was a fragrance lovers’ dream. Oils would be introduced, pictures of the plant would be shown and then, for the pièce de résistance, smell strips would be passed out and enjoyed. (Mostly enjoyed, a few of the oils weren’t as pleasant to smell.) We learned and talked about over 50 oils, including some I’d never heard of in my long decades of using these amazing plant extracts including Cape Chamomile, which smells like Spring and Hyssop decumbens, so light and friendly an oil, that I now count it as a favorite.
At the seminar, Monika Haas talked about “preventative aromatherapy”- ways that people can use these authentic plant oils as part of their daily routines. The “Shower Method” is an easy way to incorporate essential oils into your life.
Using Black Spruce in the shower has given my mornings a real lift. After a quick rinse, I turn the water off, shake a drop or two of Black Spruce essential oil in my hand, rub my palms together and press the oil onto the soles and tops of my feet. I work my way up my body, adding a few drops of the oil as I go. Black Spruce is thought to be an adrenal tonic, so I make sure to rub some of it on my lower back, kidney/adrenal area. It’s important to use gentle oils on your skin, so be sure to research the oils before you try this. They are concentrated and powerful.
Oh, Black Spruce I’m so glad I met you. What an amazing plant and essential oil you are.