The Magic of Sitka Spruce Resin
Earth’s largest spruce species, and living up to 800 years (1), the Sitka Spruce Tree (Picea sitchensis) is a resilient and intelligent species. On Malcolm Island, Sitka Spruce stand strong where the land meets the sea, superiorly tolerating the ocean spray (1) that our windy winters bring and thriving in the moist environment provided by the dense coastal fog belt. These are the tideland spruce trees of BC who share their resin with us.
Being at the edge of the forest, these Sitkas are exposed to high tides that throw driftwood against them, breaking their bark and wounding them. Knowing they are wounded, the trees respond by dripping sticky sap over exposed areas that then turns to thick pitch and in 2-4 years, a crystal-like resin assembles itself like a bulletproof bandaid. What’s more is the incredible antibacterial and antifungal qualities (2) carried in this lipid soluble compound that equips these trees with the ability to heal and protect themselves from parasites and insects (3). With all its magic, there’s no surprise that resin has similar healing effects on us.
For hundreds of years, resin has been used locally to treat burns, skin irritants and infected wounds by First Nations (4), as well as globally in Nordic countries and even ancient Egypt (2). More recently, the resin of Norway Spruce trees was given a research backed standing in the medical field; two surgeons in Finland authored a research paper (2) showing the clinical effectiveness of resin in wound-healing, including chronically infected ulcers. They ran experiments that measured substantial antimicrobial and skin regeneration properties and found anti-inflammatory potential. These authors, among a group of diverse professionals, have been working with spruce resin for close to 20 years.
1. Government of British Columbia. (n.d.).Sitka spruce (Ss) - picea sitchensis. https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/farming-natural-resources-and-industry/forestry/tree-species-selection/silvics_ss.pdf
3. Dilworth, L. L., Riley, C. K., & Stennett, D. K. (2016, November 18). Plant constituents: Carbohydrates, oils, resins, balsams, and plant hormones.Pharmacognosy: Fundamentals, Applications and Strategies.https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-802104-0.00005-6
4. Government of British Columbia. (n.d.).Sitka Spruce. Sitka spruce. https://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfd/library/documents/treebook/sitkaspruce.htm
This product is made in small batches in Sointula with all natural ingredients: Pure Sitka Spruce Resin, Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil, and Bees Wax. It is intended to be used as a topical treatment for open wounds, cuts, burns, bug bites & skin issues. The Resin is gently foraged with no harm to the tree. Please discontinue use if irritation occurs.