Thursday, September 12, 2013

Black Spruce

Boreal Forest of Black Spruce where I gathered mine.

Part of my intentions for foraging for food up here in Alaska was to broaden my horizons and try some new things. Spruce tips were one of those things. 

Remember the trees that I dubbed Dr. Seuss trees?? Come to find out they are Black Spruce. Darn it and here I thought I found the answer to all things Seuss. Haha. There are also White Spruce up here which don't have that weird top heavy look. You can use both interchangeably as far as I can tell, however I'm focusing on the Black since that is what I gathered. 

Picea glauca (White Spruce)
Picea mariana (Black Spruce)


  • Analgesic                                              
  • Antifungal
  • Antimicrobial
  • Antiseptic
  • Disinfectant
Parts Used & What it Helps With:
  • Inner bark
    • Made into a tea it is said to help with nausea  ulcers, mouth sores and sore throats.
  • Pitch
    • Used as a tonic in the springtime to purify the blood.
    • Topically it helps heal wounds, acne, etc.
  • Tips
    • Like the pitch, the tops can be used topically to help heal wounds, acne, eczema, etc.
    • In tea form or steam inhalation they help with lung congestion.
    • Very high in vitamin C
    • Also high in Beta Carotene

Getting More Spruce:
  • Make a tea with the fresh or dried tips (best gathered in the spring, but anytime works)
  • Make a salve using the pitch
  • Make a jelly with the tips (recipe coming tomorrow)
  • Make a tea with the inner bark
  • Make a cough syrup with the tips (in combination with other herbs)


In order to protect myself from people who might take any information I have written out of context or use it in any way I do not intend...I must say the following: I am NOT a doctor. I take no responsibility for what you do or not do with any information I have written. My opinions and writings should not take the place of a  doctor...consult one of those if you need medical advice. Pretty much...please use common sense and I strongly suggest you do your own research as well. It's empowering!

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