Boys! (and girls), those of you who have been reading my posts over the past few months will have noticed a number of things:
- I am trying to keep my discussions in regards to the world of essential oils and men as real and factual as I can.
- I am, against all previous beliefs, starting to see some real benefits in the use of essential oils – I mean, I still don’t believe for a second that they will cure cancer, but there are some uses – you have to believe I think, but I like them. And…
- I really really really like Northern Lights Black Spruce Essential Oil – Get it here!
If I am being honest, this is due to its aroma… It just resonates with me. It gives me a bit of a wake up when I smell it from the bottle and I do love to add it to the diffuser. My wife has even started adding it to some of her diffuser recipes – which I will outline below.
The trouble was, I actually didn’t know what it is supposed to do… so again, in true Man Versus Oils fashion, I have had a little gander to see what it is good for – apart from an awesome scent that is!!!
What is it?
Northern Lights Black Spruce Essential Oil (Picea mariana) is steam distilled from the needles and twigs of the Northern American Black Spruce tree.
In a non-oil sense, the main uses of Black Spruce include pulpwood and laminated timber panels in Canada and North America. Its wood is considered to be of low value due to its small size. And did you know that most chopsticks you receive with your favourite Asian takeout are made from Black Spruce?
It is a member of the Pine family and definitely falls into the manly scent category – although my wife and one of her friends love it too so let’s go with unisex scent for this one!
What is it good for?
The major constituents of this oil are naturally occurring:
- Alpha-pinene – natural sources of Alpha-Pinene include pine trees, other coniferous trees such as Spruce, Eucalyptus, Sage, Rosemary, Frankincense as well as Cannabis. It has been used since ancient times (usually as a resin) as an anti-inflammatory, analgesic (pain relief) and antiseptic. Initial studies also verify its antibiotic properties and as a memory aid. There is also much current research into its healing properties in Cannabis.
- Camphene – Camphene – also found in Ginger, Citronella and Cypress oils (to name a few) is a strong antioxidant with anti-fungal properties.
- Beta-pinene – Found in similar plants and with the same reported benefits as Alpha-Pinene.
That said, Northern Lights Black Spruce oil is widely considered to be a grounding oil, meaning that it promotes relaxation, emotional calmness and clarity of mind. Others in this category are basically anything that comes from a tree, its roots or from within the ground such as Frankincense, Ginger, Cedarwood and other Spruce or Fir oils.
Due to the antioxidant and anti fungal properties outlined above it is also considered good for the skin and hair.
What do I use it for?
When I am working, which is usually on the old laptop, I have it within arms reach at all times. I use it for:
Inhalation: Again, as I outlined in my post on oils that keep me awake, I sniff it – that is it. Because I love it so much I sniff it if I am feeling tired, bored or just need a quick break. It really does give me a bit of a boost – I always thought it was just because I love the aroma, but I guess based on the fact that it is a grounding oil maybe there is also a good reason for it too.
In the diffuser: This is a highly recommended oil for aromatherapy. My wife has started using it more and more in the diffuser due to the fact that it seems to fill the house with a stronger aroma than some others. We have found it works extremely well with Citrus Oils which are uplifting and energising in their own right. The blend we use:
- 3 drops Northern Lights Black Spruce
- 3 drops Citrus – (Orange, Lemon, Grapefruit, Bergamot, Lime etc. – Lemongrass is also not too bad – although obviously not a citrus)
This one fills the whole house and is really really good. We prefer Lime or Orange as they seem to be the “freshest”.
I have also adjusted this one from the Man Smell recipe in my manly diffuser recipes post.
- 4 drops Northern Lights Black Spruce
- 4 drops Orange
- 1 drop Frankincense
On my face: I do use it in my shaving cream:
Rub onto face and shave with hot water and a good, sharp razor.
Note: For each of these uses, if you have no Black Spruce in the house, well you had better have a good reason. However, you will find Idaho Blue Spruce, Idaho Balsam Fir or Sacred Mountain blend (Northern Lights Black Spruce, Ylang Ylang, Balsam Canada, Cedarwood) are almost as good – fine, they are probably just as good.
What else can it be used for?
So there are some other good uses for this oil based on the benefits outlined above. These include:
Muscle Soreness: I have discussed at length my uses of essential oils for muscle soreness so I don’t know how I missed this one. Obviously with its compound and benefits as listed above it could be good for this so if you have it try:
- 5 – 10 drops Northern Lights Black Spruce
- 2 tablespoons of Jojoba or Coconut Carrier Oil
Massage onto sore muscles and joints after exercise
Meditation and yoga: There is nothing wrong with a bit of man-meditation or yoga and if you are into that sort of thing, you could do worse than add 3 drops of Black Spruce to the diffuser.
Fatigue blend: Feeling tired, try this little fatigue busting blend:
- 3 drops Northern Lights Black Spruce
- 3 drops Cedarwood
- 2 drops Lemon/lime/orange – choose your favourite
- 10ml Grapeseed or Jojoba carrier oil
Rub onto wrists, neck and behind the ears when you are feeling tired.
Acne treatment: Use the antiseptic and antibiotic properties of Black Spruce for a gentler approach to acne
treatment (rather than Tea Tree or Eucalyptus). Use:
- 5 drops (or adjust as required) Northern Lights Black Spruce
- 10 ml water
Mix together, shake and apply with a cotton ball to required area morning and night.
Note: Oils can be applied directly with a cotton bud if you would prefer. Witch Hazel is good for this also but can be quite strong – the good news is that it will also double as a nice cologne.
Are there any risks?
This oil is fairly good for use on the skin and can be applied directly in most cases. It also does not appear to cause any discomfort to the eyes. But as always, be careful if you have skin or eye sensitivities.
This is NOT a culinary oil – meaning do not add it to food. Also, avoid if you are pregnant or nursing.
And finally, as usual, this is not medicine so if you have any conditions that need a doctor, go and see a doctor prior to using this oil.
So that is it, my favourite oil in a nutshell. Go get it and you will not be sorry. As usual, if you have any questions, uses or feedback on this oil, please do not hesitate to comment below.
Until next time.
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