Fir Needle Siberian essential oil (Abies sibirica) is a coniferous evergreen coming from the Pinus type of tree that grows in wide areas of Russia where it is processed and distilled. It is also found in abundance in Turkestan, northeast Xinjiang, Mongolia and Heilongjiang.
All the important parts of this plant come from within the needles. The essential oil is produced through steam distillation with typical yields of around 0,80 to 1,25%. Once the oil is extracted it can be used for a number of application for its perceived health benefits. The combination of tricyclene, a-pinene, borneol, limonene, acetate, and myrcene all combine for some impressive benefits. Some of these include use as an antiseptic, a pain relief (by bringing blood to the skins surface when damaged), detoxifying the body (by increasing the performance of the liver) and many other impressive features.
As an ingredient in fragrances, fir needle is known for its balsamic and woody notes and is a relatively inexpensive ingredient in this family.
In late 2015 fir needle supply became limited due to harvested restrictions in the Siberia region. These restrictions reduced output to less than 50% of the normal which encouraged the introduction of alternative qualities from other Baltic States. It is now thought that much of the material in the market is a natural blend of the two origins in an attempt to standardise quality and keep prices at a reasonable level.
Whilst winter is only just being felt for most of us in the Northern Hemisphere it has been felt for a little longer in Siberia so supplies have been slow in recent months. Production did recover during the summer months and there is thought to be reasonable inventory available with the major resellers so we will hopefully get through winter without too many concerns.
Investments in the Taiga (Siberia) region should help longer term sustainability of this essential oil.
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