FIR BALSAM ESSENTIAL OIL – BALM OF GILEAD
Fir Balsam Oil is considered stimulating and can be used to combat the symptoms of colds, cough, flu, and chest congestion with its strong antimicrobial properties. Fir Balsam essential oil is also an analgesic and has anti-inflammatory properties, which helps alleviate arthritis and muscular aches and pains. Fir Balsam oil’s therapeutic properties include anti-rheumatic, antispasmodic, decongestant, drying, rubifacient, and is immensely stimulating and warming. Fir Balsam essential oil may cause possible dermal sensitization on some users. If pregnant, consult a healthcare practitioner before using Fir Balsam essential oil. Note: Middle
Botanical Name: Abies balsamea
l-bornyl acetate: 3.63%
Plant Part: Needles
Processing Method: Steam Distilled
Description / Color / Consistency: Fir Balsam essential oil is a medium, clear, colourless to pale yellow liquid.
Aromatic Summary / Note / Strength of Aroma: Fir Balsam essential oil is a middle note of strong aroma, Fir Balsam Essential Oil has the crisp, clean scent of fir balsam needles.
Product Abstract: Balsam Fir Needles are about 3/4 to 1-1/4 inches long with two white stripes running down the underside of each needle. Also known as Blistering Pine, the oil is commonly used in air fresheners and household cleansers. Fir Balsam was used in the field during the American Civil War, and before the advent of chewing gum, the gum was sold as a breath-freshening confection.
FIR ESSENTIAL OIL (BIBLE OIL)
The Fir of the Bible is the Hebrew word berosh. Often it is translated as Fir, but most commentators suggest it is better listed as Cypress or even Cedar. There are clues throughout the Old Testament that fit like a jigsaw puzzle to lead us to this conclusion.
The controversy begins with Isaiah 60:30 when the passage names the Fir tree in a list alongside the Cypress. Here commentators suggest it should be better attributed to the Cedar, a tree growing right across in Lebanon, and here we have an exact location given. In Isaiah 60:30 NIV it reads,
The glory of Lebanon will come to you, the juniper, the fir and the cypress together, to adorn my sanctuary; and I will glorify the place for my feet.
In the famous Jewish sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon at the Metropolitan Synagogue in 1864, he speaks of how God compares himself to a Fir tree in this verse: From me is thy fruit found. The grand Fir spreads its magnificent branches and provides shade and shelter from the burning sun. But man cannot live there for long because the Fir does not provide food and the shelter would not last forever. For this eternal sustenance, man must turn to God.
What is known from the passage in Isaiah 41:19 is that it was considered a tree of practical use. The planting of the Fir improved the area.
In 2 Kings 19:23, again we hear of the love for the tree, but this time, the translator is clear this tree, berosh, is the Cypress.
The fact that Fir tree crops were ravaged for sales to Egypt in order for them to build temples to their profane gods is seen as an insult to the Lord. So why might this be? Later we read in 1 Kings 6:15 this wood is an excellent construction tool – it is long, wide and extremely straight, so much so, floors were made of it:
The entire inside, from floor to ceiling, was paneled with wood. He paneled the walls and ceilings with cedar, and he used planks of cypress for the floors.
The ceiling of the temple, the highest point the Israelites could reach toward God, was covered with behosh. This marked the point where they were physically closest to God.
We know from papyri during this time in Egypt, their tallest native tree was the Acacia, which was not tall enough for the dictates of an Egyptian building. Their regulations required planks to be at least 4 meters long for rafters and shipbuilding. Therefore, they needed to import large amounts of wood from the Lebanon. Can you imagine the Israelites disgust? Their precious berosh sold for the glory of the Egyptian gods of profanity? The wood was a treasured product, and now the Egyptians were prepared to pay good money for it. Their money must have been impossible to resist, despite the sour taste it left in their mouths. No wonder the Israelites saw its trade as distasteful.
In Ezekiel 31:8, the Fir tree is used a metaphor for the corruption of Egypt and the prediction of its fall:
So it was beautiful in its greatness, in the length of its branches; for its roots extended to many waters. The cedars in God’s garden could not match it; the cypresses could not compare with its boughs, and the plane trees could not match its branches. No tree in God’s garden could compare with it in its beauty. I made it beautiful with the multitude of its branches, and all the trees of Eden, which were in the garden of God, were jealous of it.
Like many civilizations ruined through sinful behavior, the narrator expects the same will come to Egypt. She is compared with the most beautiful of trees, reaching far and wide. But she will not last.
In Ezekiel 6:5 we see Fir also listed as wood for instruments worthy of playing to the Lord, but there seems to be no other evidence this was common use:
Meanwhile, David and all the house of Israel were celebrating before the LORD with all kinds of instruments made of fir wood, and with lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets, and cymbals. But when they came to the threshing-floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out toward the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen nearly upset it.
So the tree berosh is sometimes ambiguous. Could it be the Fir tree we now know so well? Certainly the description could just as easily relate to Pinus hapiensis, the tree we attribute to Pine. They are, after all, very closely related. More likely, historians feel it could be one of two species of the Cupressineae family, one of which is the Cupressus semperivens, the aromatherapist’s beloved Cypress.
Adding weight to this claim are archeological discoveries in Egypt of how they viewed Cypress. All of their coffins were made of the richly fragrant redwood – which meant this was a highly revered product. We also know in Turkestan, a very compact version of the Cypress was
planted to adorn cemeteries. It has very close affiliation with death and significance with man and God.
1 Kings 5:8
1 Kings 5:10
1 Kings 6:15
1 Kings 5:34
Song of Solomon 1:17
2 Kings 6:5
2 Chronicles 2:8
BENEFITS OF BALSAM FIR OIL
Several varieties of Fir oil are commonly used in aromatherapy. Abies alba, or Silver Fir, is a species of Fir tree native to Europe.
Fir’s viscous essential oil is extracted from the needles, twigs or cones by a process of steam distillation. Its familiar, fresh, balsamic fragrance is similar to Pine, a fellow member of the Pinaceae family. With a scent that is evocative of Christmas time, Fir blends well with floral and fruity oils – such as Lavender, Rosemary, Cedarwood, Pine, Lemon, and Marjoram. As a middle note, it brings a sweet, woody scent to an aromatherapy blend.
In Europe, Fir oil is traditionally prized for its fragrance and medicinal qualities. It was traditionally used to treat respiratory problems and muscular aches. Abies alba has the accolade of being the first species to be used as a Christmas tree, before becoming replaced by other types that are cheaper to cultivate or have denser foliage.
The Fir tree is regularly mentioned in the Bible. Interestingly, some believe the ‘gold’ brought by the three wise men was actually Fir oil. The mixture of chemicals contained in Frankincense, Myrrh and Fir oil, is considered to be the perfect therapeutic blend. At the time, essential oils would have been the primary source of medicine, so their gift was most likely to have been for therapeutic purposes.
Fir Balsam essential oil is refreshing and uplifting, with the ability to ease muscular aches and pains. It is also used to treat respiratory conditions, such as coughs, colds, flu, tonsillitis, and sinusitis. As an antiseptic, it is ideal for treating wounds, cuts, and burns.
Fir Balsam oil can help to decrease levels of cortisol, the ‘stress hormone,’ in the body. Excess cortisol can lead to premature aging, thyroid dysfunction, blood sugar imbalance, high blood pressure and decreased immunity, among other things. It has been proven that just inhaling Fir essential oil can lower cortisol levels by around 25%.
Cautions: Dilute very well before use; for external use only. May cause skin irritation in some individuals; a skin test is recommended prior to use. Contact with eyes should be avoided.