Spruce 101: Everything You Need to Know
Few things are as calming as walking in an evergreen forest—the scent of the trees helps ground you, the freshness of the air lets you breath a little deeper, and the wildness of it all helps you step out of repetitive everyday thoughts.
While nothing can totally replace a long stroll in the woods, Spruce essential oil does offer some of its benefits, without the need to leave the city. Just a few deep inhales of the coniferous oil can offer a grounding sensation, help open respiratory airways, and simultaneously energize and calm you.
While Spruce does have a distinctly piney aroma, its scent is more subtle than other evergreens, and is much sweeter than most tree oils. There are about 35 species of Spruce in the Picea genus, all of which are found in northern boreal and temperate regions; vitruvi’s Spruce comes from Austria, and is extracted through steam distillation to create 100% pure essential oils.
We like to combine Spruce with other woodsy scents like Cedarwood and Rosemary, and citruses like Sweet Orange and Lemon, but its fresh notes make Spruce an easy pairing for a range of blends, making it a fun oil to experiment with.
A Brief History of Spruce Essential Oil
Spruce essential oil has been used for centuries across North America and in Europe for healing at the mind, body, and soul levels. The Lakota band in North America believed Spruce could helped them connect with the Great Spirit, or energy of the universe, and would burn Spruce branches as incense during ceremonies. Cree people used the resin to treat burns, and its cones to make an antidiarrheal, and pain reliever for toothaches. The Innu, or Montagnais, used those same soothing properties to ease the pain of sore throats.
When European settlers came to North America, they harvested spruce to create pulp, paper, and rope from its roots. It was also a key ingredient in early chewing gum.
Today, Spruce essential oils are frequently used in aromatherapy in saunas and steam rooms. They’re also a common ingredient in massage oils, where they do double duty as a calming agent and muscle relaxant.
The oil inside Spruce leaves is highest between January to April, making winter the prime season for harvesting. Younger Spruce trees generate more essential oil—a 25-year-old tree will produce double the essential oil of a 45-year-old—and trees that gain more sun exposure produce more oils than those growing in denser, more shaded forests.
Spruce Oil Properties
Spruce essential oil is a must-have wellness product for people who struggle with anxiety, stress, and moodiness, as well as those with chronic respiratory issues like asthma, and people prone to muscle and joint soreness. Its healing properties are vast, including:
- Antibacterial and antiseptic
- Natural disinfectant
- Expectorant (helps loosen congestion)
- Eases respiratory ailments
- Helps heal wounds
- Soothes arthritis and rheumatism
- Eases anxiety and stress
- Has mood balancing properties
- Relieves muscle aches and pains
Fun Uses for Spruce Oil
Alpine Face Mist: Just like a walk in nature can bring you back into balance, so can a spritz of Spruce. Add 10 drops of Spruce essential oil to water in a misting bottle, and spray in front of your face any time you need to relax, take a deep breath, and recenter. The piney scent will both invigorate and relax you, so you can face what’s ahead with renewed calm and focus.
Anti-Pest Pet Spray: If you’re a dog or cat owner, an easy DIY to get rid of fleas and ticks is a combination of 10 drops of Spruce and 10 drops of Cedarwood essential oil mixed with half a cup of water in a spray bottle. Mist right onto your pet’s fur, and enjoy the foresty scent as the oils do their magic on your fur baby’s coat.
Alpine Muscle Rub: Next time you pull a muscle, push too hard at the gym, or experience creaky joints (post-ski knees, anyone?), try creating your own healing balm by dropping 6 drops of Spruce oil into two tablespoons of coconut oil. Apply the rub liberally on sore spots, and re-apply every few hours. For a cooling, tingly effect, try adding an additional 4 drops of peppermint oil to your creation.
Grounding Meditation Beads: If you have a mala, try rubbing a few drops of Spruce essential oil between your palms before you pick up your beads. This will help calm you, bring focus to your practice, and connect with any beliefs you have around loving universal energy.
Invigorating Morning Shower Gel: Whether or not you’re innately a morning person, you’ll love getting up to jump in the shower if you have a refreshing ritual ahead. Try mixing 2-3 drops of Spruce essential oil directly into a palm-sized amount of body wash, then rub your hands together to blend before lathering your skin. We prefer a natural body wash with pure essential oils, like Everyone’s 3-In-1 Lavender & Aloe Soap, for a gentle yet immersive home spa experience.
Coniferous Keyboard Cleaner: When flu season starts to roll around, apply a few drops of Spruce to an organic cotton ball and rub over your keyboard, mouse, and desktop surfaces at home and at work. Not only will the oils help disinfect your surfaces, but everyone around you will appreciate the gentle hint of forest in the air.
Christmas Diffuser: Want to bring the fresh scent of a Christmas tree home, but forgo the mess pine needles make? Try creating your own home diffuser blend, with 8 drops of Spruce essential oil, 6 drops of Cedarwood, 4 drops of Frankincense, and 4 drops of Sweet Orange.