If you are looking for an essential oil to give you an immediate lift, a boost of energy, or to keep you alert on a long drive, you may very well find yourself lingering over a conifer or a citrus oil.
Both these groups of essential oils are based around a family of chemical compounds called terpenes (I have written a little about terpenes below if you are interested in essential oil chemistry) but what makes Silver Fir so ‘delicious’ to smell is the presence of a particular terpene compound called limonene.
It is not unusual for conifers to contain limonene, but in Silver Fir this is the dominant compound, and it is this that gives the oil such an immediacy, freshness and vitality. In fact everything you might want to give you a lift.
Some ways to use Silver Fir
Diffusion: Diffuse in a room or using an in-car diffuser. Use a personal inhaler, or add to an inhalation patch
Steam inhalation: A few drops in steaming water to clear the airways
Massage: Use it in a massage blend (up to 3% essential oils total) particularly for muscles
Energy boost: One drop in the palm of the hands, rub together, inhale and make sweeping movements up the body.
Oshadhi offers two Silver Fir oils. This article relates to the French one which is steam distilled from the needles. The Austrian one is derived from the cones, and is significantly different.
Country of origin: Grows in France, Austria, Germany, Poland, Russia, and many European countries, Canada
Plant part: Needles
Typical main biochemical compounds:
Limonene, alpha-Pinene, Camphene, Santene, beta-Caryophyllene
* All terpenes end in ‘-ene’.
* Terpenes are found abundantly in all citrus fruit oils, most conifers, juniper, black pepper, cypress, rosemary, eucalyptus and to some extent in nearly all essential oils.
* Terpenes react easily with oxygen (this means that terpene-rich oils will ‘go off’ sooner than other essential oils).
* Terpenes are generally antiviral and decongestant
* There is a separate group of compounds called sesqueterpenes which have different characteristics. Monoterpenes contain 10 carbon atoms, sesqueterpenes have 15.
* As its name implies, it is one of the main constituents in Lemon essential oil, and indeed is present in all citrus oils that come from the fruit (i.e not so much in the petitgrain leaf oils).