The term balsam refers to fragrant resins that come from a variety of trees. The balsam poplar, Peru balsam and balsam fir are among the most widely known. Balsam oil can be made from any of these trees, but when you think of the Christmas spirit you most commonly think of a Christmas fir. Besides smelling great, fragrant fir balsam oil has some medical uses. It has antiseptic properties and was used by Native Americans to treat cuts, scrapes and burns. The oil also has decongestant properties. Inhaling its scent can help break up phlegm and soothe a cough. Other folk traditions use the oil to treat everything from heart ailments to earaches to warts. You can buy balsam essential oil at any health food store, but you can make your own fragrant balsam oil at home quite easily.
Things You'll Need
- Crock pot
- Olive, jojoba, grape seed, or sweet almond oil
- Mesh strainer
- Dark glass jar
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Pick some fir needles. You will need about 2 cups of fir needles to make this oil. Make sure that the area you get your needles from hasn’t been treated with pesticides.
Wash your needles thoroughly and make sure that they are free from dirt and grit.
In order to make fragrant oil, you need dry needles. Green fir needles contain water that will dilute the potency of your oil. It will also encourage bacteria growth. Lay your needles out on a screen in a warm place and let dry out for a few days.
Once the needles have completely dried out and are a brownish color, you are ready to make your oil. Place 2 cups of needles in a crock pot.
Cover the needles with your preferred oil. You can use olive oil, jojoba oil, grape seed oil or sweet almond oil. Olive oil is usually the easiest oil to find. Most people already have it in their kitchens. The smell of the fir needles will cover up any olive-like scent of your oil. Usually regular olive oil smells less of olives than extra-virgin olive oil. Add oil to your crock pot until the needles are completely covered in oil.
Turn the crock pot on low heat and cover. The needles should cook in the oil for about two hours.
Once it is done cooking let the oil cool and then strain it through a mesh strainer or cheese cloth into a bowl. Get all the fir needles out of the oil.
Store your oil in a dark glass container.