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Balsam Fir Essential Oil

Abies balsamea

Balsam Fir Essential Oil


Balsam Fir Essential Oil is also known as Canadian Balsam Fir Essential Oil or just Canadian Fir Essential Oil.

Balsam Fir, Abies balsamea is a highly aromatic tree that is indigenous to Canada and northern regions of the United States. In North America, the Balsam Fir is a species traditionally cut and sold as Christmas trees.

If you are new to working with coniferous essential oils and aren't sure which one to work with first, Balsam Fir Essential Oil is definitely worth considering. Although this introduction started out with its traditional use as a Christmas tree species, I don't want to imply that the oil is only suitable for holiday use or during the cold winter months. This beautiful oil is one that I love working with year-round.

Bottle Depicting the Typical Color of Balsam Fir Essential Oil

Aromatically, Balsam Fir Essential Oil offers a fresh, vibrant, coniferous aroma. It blends wonderfully with many other essential oils including other conifers and oils in the citrus, floral, mint and herbaceous families. I love using it to help add "freshness" to a blend.

Emotionally, Balsam Fir Essential Oil has the potential to uplift the spirts and help ease feelings of stress and anxiety. I love to include it in blends that I use in my office to help balance and focus my mind onto the project at hand.

Balsam Fir Essential Oil is comprised primarily of Alpha Pinene, Beta Pinene and other monoterpenes, totaling roughly around 80%. The abundance of monoterpenes, particularly the Pinene and Limonene, contribute to its therapeutic applications and beautiful aroma. However, these components are also very susceptible to oxidation. Oxidation can make an essential oil more prone to causing skin sensitization, so it's very important to use Balsam Fir minimally in topical applications unless you are certain you are working with a very fresh, non-oxidized essential oil.

For more information about fir and conifer oils, read AromaWeb's Guide to Coniferous Essential Oils.

Balsam Fir Essential Oil Benefits and Uses

  • Minor Cuts and Wounds
  • Bronchitis
  • Coughs
  • Sore Throat
  • Depression
  • Nervous Tension
  • Stress

Reference: Julia Lawless, The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Updated Edition) (London: Harper Thorsons, 2014), 41-42.

Botanical Name

Abies balsamea

Plant Family


Common Method of Extraction

Steam Distilled

Plant Part Typically Used

Needles and Twigs





Perfumery Note


Strength of Initial Aroma


Aromatic Description

Balsam Fir Essential Oil smells fresh, crisp and coniferous.

Sustainability and Conservation Status

Least Concern
Source: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/42272/2968717

To learn more about the conservation status of essential oil bearing plants and how to use the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, please refer to AromaWeb's Guide to Essential Oils and Sustainability.

Major Constituents

  • B-Pinene
  • delta-3-Carene
  • Bornyl Acetate
  • a-Pinene
  • (+)-Limonene
  • B-Phellandrene
  • Camphene
  • a + B-Terpineol

See Essential Oil Safety for a more complete list of typical constituents.

Reference: J.M. Regimbal and G. Collin. Essential Oil Analysis of Balsam Fir, Abies Balsamea (L.) Mill. (Journal of Essential Oil Research 6, 229-238), 1994. Source cited in Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 283.

Balsam Fir Essential Oil Safety Information

Tisserand and Young precaution to avoid use of the oil if it has oxidized. Reading Tisserand and Young's full profile is recommended. [Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 282-283.]

This essential oil poses a higher risk of causing irritation and sensitization when used in the bath. Avoid using it in the bath, even if it is solubilized/diluted.

General Safety Information

Do not take any oils internally and do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin without advanced essential oil knowledge or consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. For general dilution information, read AromaWeb's Guide to Diluting Essential Oils. If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children and be sure to first read the recommended dilution ratios for children. Consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children, the elderly, if you have medical issues or are taking medications. Before using this or any essential oil, carefully read AromaWeb's Essential Oil Safety Information page. For in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.

Shelf Life

View Shelf Life Information

Important Information About the Profiles

The essential oil information provided on AromaWeb is intended for basic educational purposes only. The references to safety information, test results, constituents and percentages is generalized information. Essential oils can vary greatly in composition. The data is not necessary complete and is not guaranteed to be accurate. The essential oil photos are intended to represent the typical and approximate color of each essential oil. However, essential oil composition and color can vary based on harvesting, distillation, age of the essential oil and other factors. Profiles for several CO2 Extracts and absolutes are included within the directory, and are denoted as such.

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