Spruce Bark, Cones

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Medicinal Plants, Pacific Northwest

Spruce Bark, BC Coastal Region
Spruce Bark, Photo By Bud Logan

Spruce Bark, Cones are used to make a tea that relieve colds, the cones produce the best medicine, cones are picked year round from the tops of young trees. Usually about 15 cones are boiled for 10 to 15 minutes in a pot of water. The longer they boil, the stronger the medicine becomes, strain the liquid before drinking it. Spruce tea relieves coughing and sore throats and stuffed chests. Those who are sick with colds can take it three or four times a day for five days.

You can drink 1 cup of spruce tea every day to keep healthy. You can drink this medicine when it is hot or after it is cooled, though it should never be gulped. Many people keep the tea in a jar in the fridge and drink it cold with ice. The roots can be pounded and boiled to make a thin oil.

The sap that can be found year round on spruce trees and in green firewood can be used to soothe irritated skin and, when applied to cuts, helps healing and reduces the chance of infection. You are looking for new sap that has recently run from the wood of the tree.

Spruce Bark, BC Coastal Region
Spruce Bark, Photo By Bud Logan

Spruce gum can also be boiled, strained and cooled to make a tea. Like spruce cone tea, this tea is used to relieve colds and maintain good health. It tends to be very concentrated though, so only small amounts are sipped.

Collect pitch that’s really sticky and clear. Take it and warm it in same amount of water until it’s melted, and then put an equal or slightly smaller amount of Vaseline or other fat into it. Don’t use cold cream though, it should always be room temperature. Use a clean stick and stir it slowly. Make sure the water is always fairly hot and that everything is liquid. Take it off the heat and then pour it into a container. You can use this as a cream for cuts and sore muscles. It smells nice too.

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