Beauty in Black Spruce
Canada is proud to grow Black Spruce. Known as Picea Mariana in the Botany world, black spruce is native to all 10 provinces and 3 arctic territories. While it may not be known as the most splendorous of conifers, what it may lack in beauty, it makes up for in healing properties.
At Earth to Body, we encourage natural and organic skin care. Black spruce has not escaped our interest. I wish I could turn the clock back and be a fly on a wigwam, a teepee, and a longhouse. I wish I could witness the miraculous making of a black spruce poultice or other decoction to help heal a wounded warrior or a sick child.
If we do ask our native people today, they may share their story…
“We would remove some of the resin from the tree. Not all, because resin heals the tree.We would apply a poultice of the inner bark of the spruce tree to ease inflammations. The tree resin made into a salve or poultice with oil would be used on sores, wounds, burns, rashes, scabies. We also used black spruce decoctions for many internal ailments like indigestion, diarrhea, sore throat, coughs. We made a ‘Spruce’ beer ‘ from the twigs, discovering it provided us with good health.
Our First nation people relied on nature’s gifts, to nourish, to heal, to survive.We need to listen.
The incredible Black Spruce tree trunk also provided pitch for sealing for canoes. Long string roots stitched canoes and sewed woven baskets together. Perhaps the tree was not ideal for large construction projects, but in smaller ones, it excelled.
We thank our native people for sharing their knowledge about the Black Spruce tree. They have done all the work. They know the recipes, the decoctions, what part of the tree, whether to source from the south side, the twig, the root, or the cone.
We are proud to use Canadian Black spruce in our ‘X Cream’ and our ‘Skin Manager’. Today, Black Spruce is known for its potent antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic, antispasmodic, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, disinfectant and wound healing properties.We know this because it has been a part of history of our people.
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“We would remove some of the resin from the black spruce tree and…Indigenous Canadian