Abies Alba, also popularly known as Silver Fir, is an evergreen tree that grows at higher altitudes between 300 to 1700 meters. This large tree vegetation is best found in European mountains where rainfall is over 1,000 millimeters. This coniferous tree belongs to the Pinaceae family. Its scaly cones vary from 9 to 17cm in size, disintegrate on getting mature and releasing the seeds. Silver fir was dominantly used as the Christmas tree till it got replaced by another economically cultivated species.
The extracts from Abies Alba are widely used in numerous medicinal products along with cosmetic products like bath oils, perfumes, and air fresheners. Turpentine and varnishes production uses Silver Fir leaves extracts. Being very sensitive to the changes caused because of pollution levels or climate, the tree is also considered to be a dependable environment indicator by the locals.
Abies Alba tree has instore within a wealth of health benefiting medicines. Its leaves, barks, buds are harvested all the year round. While the buds are used to make antiseptic lotions and antibiotic medicines, its bark is used in astringents. The leaves of the Silver Fir are known and hence used for their antiseptic, vasoconstrictor, and diuretic and eupeptic qualities. This tree should also be called a powerhouse of medicines! It benefits in treating conditions like bronchitis, ulcers, and leucorrhoea. Furthermore, it boosts the immune system, stimulates the liver and aid digestion. Nevertheless, it also helps in curing respiratory disorders as well.
Uses in aromatherapy
The essential oils extracted from Silver Fir are beneficial in aromatherapy. The oils, because of its antiseptic qualities, are very helpful in preventing cold, cough and many other airborne infections during the flu season. The oils, if used in vaporized form, can provide a great relief from stuffy nose. Because of the soothing characteristics imposed by the Silver Fir extracts, it turns out to be ideal oil for massage. It has the ability to rapidly rebuild and repair the cartilage and connective tissues. People suffering from muscular aches, rheumatism, and arthritis pain are benefitted most with such oil massages. Inflamed or swelled synovial membrane is relieved to a great extent. The analgesic action present in Silver Fir in mild portions helps to ease the stiff joints and muscles.
The soothing fragrance of the oil boosts positive emotions, pacifies stress and nervous exhaustion, reduce sadness and negativity whilst rejuvenating and refreshing the mind and body. It creates a feel of empowerment hence stimulating the mind yet relaxing the body at the same time.
The Silver Fir is naturally gifted with eye-pleasing looks for which it is highly used as ornamental vegetation in gardens and parks. As the tree is evergreen, it is highly cultivated for reforestation purposes. The wood of the tree is soft and hence is widely used in paper industry. The branches of the tree are put to use in producing spruce beer. The wood of the tree is harvested for general construction and timber utilities. Shipbuilding industry and telephone poles manufacturers are the dominant buyers for Silver Fir wood. The tree owing to its numerous utilities is a prominent participant in Native American Indian’s religious ceremonies.
Side Effects and Interactions
Abies Alba based medicine and products though do not impose any potential side effect. Anyhow, it is always suggested to use them as per the prescription by an experienced practitioner. The herb is safe for both children and adults. However, high dose may cause stomach irritation. Though there are not evident side effects of the herb on pregnant women and lactating mothers but it is always advisable to consult a doctor before using them. The Asthma patients, however, must avoid its usage as it may worsen their condition. Also, the Fir is not good for whooping cough hence must be avoided in such condition. The topical use of Abies Alba based products should be seized if the person is suffering from any extensive skin injury or an acute skin disease. In conditions like cardiac insufficiency, fever, extreme muscle tightening, the person must avoid any use of this herb-based products.
It is extremely important to take the dose as per prescription which may vary depending upon person’s health, age, and other states. Natural products are indeed beneficial but only when taken appropriately.