My aromatherapy experience in New Brunswick consisted of breathing in the old growth forest in Odell Park Fredericton, visiting the Tansy Lane Herb Farm on the Fundy Studio Tour, becoming acquainted with Balsam Fir, putting lavender on my pillow to combat the smell of a well-used dorm accommodation and smelling the trees on the Fundy Trail. As you can see, trees figured heavily in the aromatherapy offerings I experienced in this Maritime province.
The Meaning of Trees
Trees, more specifically lumber, has been a significant part of the New Brunswick economy. The provincial tree is Balsam Fir and the provincial flower is the purple violet.
antiseptic, analgesic, expectorant
Methods of application/use
Fir is said to help with muscular aches/pains, tiredness and shortness of breath.
A tonic for the nervous and respiratory system. Use in a blend when feeling jet lagged or under the weather.
Uncertain. Extensive information on this oil is hard to come by. A possible skin irritant so use diluted if using topically.
Can be found in health stores or specialty shops that carry therapeutic grade essential oils.
Trees have often been called the “lungs of the earth” so it is no surprise they are often used for respiratory conditions in aromatherapy. They provide shade, protection and cover for a variety of living creatures. Trees are also key to ecological homeostasis, climate control and air filtering.
Trees are ancient with some species being several centuries old. Their roots reach deep into the earth for nourishment keeping them well-grounded while their branches reach up into the heavens, going with the flow of the wind. Let the wisdom of the trees guide you. Stand your ground, reach for the skies and be flexible enough to bend in the wind/adversity so you don’t break.
Tree images, figurative and literal, permeate our lives.
- Politically, the value of trees pit corporations against conservationists. (The controversy of logging on the West Coast. Case: Clayoquot Sound)
- Trees are considered to be therapeutic. Hugging trees isn’t just for hippies. Studies have found healing benefits in reaching your arms around a sturdy trunk. Article, Tree hugging improves your health
- Tree mythology as represented in film (e.g. Lord of the Rings) and literature (e.g. Robin Hood and the Sherwood Forest.)
- The symbolism of trees. List of tree symbolism.
- Life giving trees also provide food e.g. maple syrup, fruit trees, olive trees etc.
- The business of trees has provided raw material for construction, furniture paper and fuel.
- Trees also hold spiritual significance. Buddha is said to have gained enlightenment whilst sitting under the Bodhi tree; the Kabbalah or tree of life is a system used in Jewish mysticism; frankincense has been burned in certain churches for purification.
- Trees are part of societal rituals, from tracing one’s heritage through a family tree to ceremonial plantings that commemorate people, events, etc.
For me it is the smell of trees that trigger poignant memories. The scent of pine or fir tree signifies health, inspiration and Christmas holidays. The smell of burning wood takes me back to my days when I was travelling some of the South Pacific islands.
Other aromatherapy related plants found in New Brunswick:
- evening primrose
A wildflower particularly helpful for eczema and a source of omega-6 essential fatty acid. Article on WebMD
The botanical application of yarrow
- St. John’s Wort
See our original post SAD Support – Part 1: The Patron Saint of Calm
Sellar, W. (1992). The Directory of Essential Oils. Essex, U.K.: The C.W. Daniel Company Limited.