Balsam Fir Essential Oil

by Andrea on January 28, 2011

Balsam Fir essential oilCommon Name: Balsam Fir
Latin Name: Abies balsamea

Balsam Fir is one of my closest essential oil companions.

My experience highlights Balsam Fir essential oil’s wonderful immune supportive, antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties.

The pronounced monoterpene content of Balsam Fir essential oil suggests it can support movement in the body.

This means it can open up the lungs and sinuses, and vitalize the overall energy in the mind and body.

In the GC/MS report on Balsam Fir, we usually find some carene (δ-3) and limonene (d), along with (α) and (β) pinenes.

Some of the research properties for each component:

Carene (δ-3) — anti-inflammatory and mucolytic

Limonene (d)  activates white blood cells, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant, immunostimulant, skin penetration enhancer

Pinene (α)  anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-fungal (candida), antispasmodic, antiviral

Pinene  (β) — anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antispasmodic

To translate the research…

Balsam Fir is a strong antimicrobial, used for colds and flus. It helps dry mucus, is an excellent decongestant, and calms spastic coughs. I also add it to anti-rheumatic and joint pain blends to prevent or relieve rheumatic swelling and pain. The oil has such great anti-inflammatory action! Balsam Fir stimulates the respiratory system, immune system, adrenal glands and circulatory system.

Recipe: Joint Inflammation Oil

Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea) — 10 drops
Orange (Citrus sinensis) — 5 drops
Indian Cedarwood (Cedrus deodara) — 10 drops
Add to 1 oz of carrier oil, such as jojoba wax or Trauma Oil

Balsam Fir is also used for its emotionally uplifting and stabilizing effects. Personally, when I breathe in this oil’s aroma, I can feel its balancing and energizing effects almost immediately.

Balsam Fir
Extraction Method: Steam Distilled
Chemical Family: Monoterpenes
Plant Part: Needles, Twigs
Botanical Family: Pinaceae
Aromas: Balsamic, Fresh, Piney, Resinous, Warm and Radiant, Wood

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Owner/Instructor at Aromahead Institute
Aromahead Institute, owned by Andrea Butje, is a premier resource for online aromatherapy classes. Andrea offers her inspired approach to online aromatherapy certification through essential oil videos and original education materials. Check out her book, Essential Living: Aromatherapy Recipes for Health and Home, on Amazon!

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Sue May 15, 2017 at 4:17 am

Hi! I’m in Australia. Can you pls suggest a substitute with similar attributes? Thanks!


Andrea Butje May 15, 2017 at 4:05 pm

Hi Sue!
Any conifer you love would be great. Here are some suggestions: Scotch pine, White spruce, Black spruce, Cypress


Lydia May 7, 2016 at 2:40 pm

Would this be safe to use on babies 6 months and up, diluted, as a massage oil to help fight bronchitis?


Andrea Butje May 9, 2016 at 8:27 am

Hi Lydia – There are different approaches to using essential oils with little children. The Aromahead Approach is extra cautious and for topical use we prefer to use hydrosols, butters and carrier oils. Babies and young children’s skin can be so sensitive that essential oils can easily become overwhelming for them. Hydrosols, butters and carrier oils can often give a child the nudge they need towards rebalancing their health. If you’d like, I can send you an article I wrote about using EOs with children. Send me an email at and I’ll get it to you 🙂


Cindy September 20, 2015 at 11:20 am

Hello, Can this be ingested (specifically Idaho Balsam Fir by YL)?


Andrea Butje September 22, 2015 at 10:54 am

Hi Cindy – we don’t teach internal use of oils. Using essential oils internally is a valid and effective route of application, however, in order to safely use this method, one has to have in-depth knowledge of pharmacology, specifically pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics. Pharmacodynamics is the therapeutic action of the essential oil once it enters the body and you have to know essential oil chemistry in order to understand this action. Pharmacokinetics is how the body responds to the oil, how the oil is transformed and metabolized, and how the body uses the foreign substance (essential oil) and finally eliminates it. And of course, the potential toxicity and its long term effects must be considered by studying toxicology.

In the Aromatherapy profession there are different perspectives on the safe use of essential oils. At Aromahead Institute, we teach the topical use of essential oils and inhalation – as both methods are well researched and if used correctly with proper respect for safety, dilution and dose, they are safe, and very effective.


Jenna Milner January 13, 2015 at 10:59 pm

On your excellent advice, we just put cedar wood and balsam fir into the pot on our wood stove….Yum! Mood is lightened, breath is deepened. (We don’t have any hemlock, will have to look that one up.) Thank you!


Andrea Butje January 14, 2015 at 6:06 am

Love to hear that Jenna! Aromatics International sells Hemlock, which you can find here –


Joe April 11, 2013 at 5:06 am

Where can we buy Balsam in quantity?

Thank you.


Andrea Butje April 11, 2013 at 6:32 am

Joe- it depends on what you mean by quantity. Try Aromatics International, and if you need more than 1 kg let me know.


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