As the leaves fall away from our deciduous trees, it’s the evergreen trees that hold our attention. But they are quite different, and the essential oils from the different varieties of evergreen are also quite different. Cedar, Cypress, Pine, Juniper and Fir are the most prominent kinds of evergreens and each categories has many species.
Let’s take a look at each one.
How do you choose when you’re selecting an essential oil? Atlas Cedar is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral. It is a good essential oil to combine with other essential oils to diffuse into the air during this time of covid-19. Or dilute it in a carrier oil (olive oil is a carrier oil, that you may have on your kitchen shelf. Use 2 drops Atlas Cedar with 1 oz of Olive Oil). It has a drying effect on skin and hair so, if you have oily hair, a couple of drops into your shampoo bottle will help clear some of the oil. You can also add a drop or 2 to an ounce of witch hazel for your own facial toner.
Atlas Cedar Cedrus Atlantica is a tree that grows in Morocco. It has a deep sweet scent, different from Virginia Cedar, Juniperus virginiana, which we use in this country for cedar chests. Technically Virginia Cedar is not cedar, but is a variety of Juniper.
Cypress, especially Cupressus sempervirens, is a tree grown in the Mediterranean area of Europe. It is another good one for these anxious times. It has a soothing effect when used in a diffuser, or when applied to a tissue and diffused into the air. It also helps with nasal and bronchial congestion.
Pine Essential Oil is a top note, which means it evaporates quickly. Pinus sylvestris has a wonderful “piney” fragrance, the kind that you might wish for during a holiday party. It has antibacterial and anti viral qualities, so it’s a good essential oil to diffuse during a holiday party. Dilute it and add it to a diffuser, or if you don’t have a diffuser, put it onto a tissue and hide it behind the books on your living room shelf. Be creative, think up new uses for Pine Essential Oil.
uniper is the category that includes the Virginia Cedar tree, Juniperus virginiana. We know juniper is insecticidal, because those cedar chests that store woolen blankets and mittens, keep moths away. But the essential oil most commonly sold in stores is from the juniper berry of the tree Juniperus communis, which grows in India and other far-flung places.
This little blue berry has a balsamic fragrance and helps clear the air. It does sometimes cause skin irritation, so use it with caution. I don’t recommend using it in a diffuser until you have tested it on your skin. Always dilute it in oil first (4 drops per ounce).
Firs are my favorite essential oils. The fragrance always reminds me of the holidays. It is that lovely evergreen fragrance of a newly cut pine tree waiting to be decorated, or the holiday wreath jingling on the front door. The most common fir here in the United States is Balsam Fir, Abies balsamea.
Most of the essential oil is distilled by our northern neighbor, Canada. Silver fir, Abies alba, grown in Europe, is also a common source of fir essential oil. Fir trees contain vitamin C, which may be one reason they are browsed by animals in the forest during the winter.
For us they are helpful for mental alertness and reducing anxiety, another good reason for using them during this stressful time. Like all the evergreen essential oils, they help with sore muscles. Fir essential oil can be diluted and rubbed into sore muscles. Then you will smell like a pine tree! They are good essential oils for the diffuser, too. Always dilute essential oils in a carrier oil such as Olive oil. Pregnant women should take special precautions and dilute essential oils further, so transmission does not cause stress to the fetus. Essential oils should never be eaten without a doctor’s recommendation.
Enjoy the benefits and joy of these wonderful evergreen essential oils. I especially recommend Balsam Fir essential oil, if you are choosing just one. My second favorite is Atlas Cedar essential oil. Try them and see what inspires you.
Singing Flower Studio is giving away a small bottle of our natural Balsam Fir Lotion with every order during November. It has no artificial fragrance, just the natural Balsam fir essential oil. Check it out in our store.