The spruce belongs to the pine family and is considered one of the most important timbers in Central Europe. It can grow up to 50 metres high and live for more than 600 years. Many probably know it as a Christmas tree rather than a medicinal plant. But the needles of this tree have a lot more to offer.
People appreciated the properties of the spruce needle as far back as the Middles Ages as a way to relieve respiratory problems and as a bath essence. In the 12th century, Hildegard von Bingen referred to the spruce as a symbol of strength and hope. In her books, she recommended smoking the spruce wood to treat colds. The botanist Hieronymus Bock (1498–1554) also recommended using spruce needles to treat coughs and consumption (tuberculosis).
The positive effect of spruce needles on colds comes from the essential oils in the needles. They loosen mucus and promotes circulation. Therefore, a spruce needle bath helps to relieve colds, pulled muscles, circulation disorders and rheumatism. Its oil has also proven effective for treating bronchitis and rheumatic ailments.
Particularly the fresh shoots of the spruce that come out in the spring contain a high quantity of essential oils. This is why you should collect the needles at this time of year if you want to enjoy a soothing bath.
At alkmene®, we also use organic spruce needles in our products for optimum skin care. Our modern formulas contain extracts of this native plant and other high-quality ingredients.