Herbs Guide

Balsam Fir

Family Name: Pinaceae

Botanical Name(s): Abies Balsamea

Popular Name(s): Balsam Fir, Balsam of Gilead Fir, Fir Balsam, Fir Pine, Sapin, Silver Fir and Silver Pine.

Parts Used: All parts are used

Habitat: Native to North America.

Description: Balsam fir is an evergreen tree growing 40 - 80 feet tall. It has dark, shiny green and flattened needles. The needles look as if it was arranged in two rows. It flowers around May-June. There are separate male and female flowers. The bark is smooth and grayish and is covered with resin blisters when young. As the tree matures, these resin blisters crack into scaly plates.

Uses: Balsam fir is an antiseptic and stimulant, and has been used in North America and Europe for congestion, chest infections such as bronchitis, and urinary tract conditions such as cystitis and frequent urination. Externally, balsam fir was rubbed on the chest or applied as a plaster for respiratory infections.