Fir needle oil

Fir needle oil

Fir needle oil

Specification & Spread

Fir needle oil – oleum abietis
Siberian fir — abies sibirica ledeb.
White fir — abies nephrolepis (trautv.) Maxim.
Pine family — pinaceae

It is a large coniferous evergreen trees with a pyramidal-conical crown up to 30 m tall.
The needles are fragrant, flat, soft, non-prickly.
The cones are directed upwards, 5–9 cm long, breaking up into separate scales when seeds mature.
The pollination occurs in late May – early June, the seeds ripen in August, fall in September – October.

Spreading and habitat. Fir is a forest-forming species of some types of taiga. Siberian fir is common in the northeast of the European part of the country, in the Urals, in Western and Eastern Siberia, where it reaches the headwaters of the Aldan River, in Kazakhstan. White fir – inhabitant of the forests of the Far East.


The chemical composition of Siberian fir cones

The ends of the branches («fir foot») Siberian fir contain

  • up to 3% of essential oil, consisting of half of bornyl acetate (30-60%),
  • as well as borneol, camphene, alpha and beta pinene, etc.

The fresh needles contain:

  • up to 0.32% ascorbic acid,
  • flavonoids,
  • chlorophyll,
  • non-magnesium, chlorophyll derivative – pheophytin, carotenoids, vitamin E, sterols and phytoncides.

The yield of essential oil from the protected shoots of white fir fir is 2.5%.
Among monoterpenes in it prevail

  • alpha pinene (28%),
  • beta pinene and myrcene; vinyl acetate (25%) and chamazulene predominate in the high-boiling fraction.

Delta3-Karen is contained in fir needles oil can cause allergies and dermatitis, therefore it is necessary to strictly follow the distillation technology, which allows you to adjust the amount of this substance. In the bark of the young trees, the sap is accumulated, which is a yellow, very transparent liquid with a density of 0.969-0.998.

Resin consists of:

  • 30% of essential oil and
  • 70% of resin.

Resin contains up to 50% resin acids (mainly levopimaric acid) and 18-25% of hydrocarbons – resenes.
According to its properties, the sap of  fir differs from the sap of other conifers: it thickens in the air and turns into a glassy mass – rosin.

Harvesting and storage of raw materials

The harvesting of needles and young branches is carried out when harvesting wood.
The ends of branches 30-40 cm long, are chopped off or trimmed usually in winter. It is laid on the flooring of the poles, shifting layers of spruce branches with snow.
Possible harvesting could be in the summer, in July – August.

Properties and application

Pharmacotherapeutic group. Irritant, anti-inflammatory agent.
The pharmacological properties of fir needle oil

Fir needle oil for external use has:

  • anti-inflammatory,
  • pain reliever and
  • local irritating action.

Application of fir needle oil

Essential fir needle oil is obtained from spruce branches and needles, which is used as

  • outdoor annoying and
  • distracting agent and is part of a number of complex preparations.

The broth is from young needles and kidneys is a vitamin drink and can be used as a therapeutic and prophylactic agent for scurvy.

From the needles of Siberian fir get water extract «Abisib», which has a pronounced

  • anti-inflammatory,
  • radioprotective
  • regenerating properties
  • stimulating the blood system,
  • stimulating the immune system.

Resin is used in microscopic practice for the manufacture of permanent micro-specimens, in the optical industry for bonding lenses.
From fir needle oil: receives semi-synthetic (levorotatory) and camphor.


  • tones the respiratory and vasomotor centers,
  • positive effect on lung ventilation,
  • improves myocardial function and pulmonary blood flow.

It is used as an injection under the skin:

  • in the treatment of acute and chronic heart failure,
  • collapse,
  • respiratory depression
  • with pneumonia,
  • in case of poisoning with hypnotic preparations and narcotic preparations.

Camphor is used externally as

  • irritant,
  • antiseptics alone and as part of complex preparations.

It is contradicted with the inclination to convulsions;

  • epilepsy;
  • kidney diseases in the acute stage (glomerulonephritis, pyelonephritis).