Spruce resin salve is one of those products that needs to be on the bedside table, in the medicine cabinet, and in your bag– it's the jack-of-all-trades you want nearby just in case.
Finnish cultures have praised this therapeutic balm for centuries for its healing properties. But it's only recently that spruce resin has caught the attention of modern researchers as an effective treatment for a wide range of ailments. (1)
Let’s explore what spruce resin salve is and why it's a must-have (hint: it's not just because it smells like a heavenly forest)
What exactly is spruce resin?
This liquid gold is a thick, amber-colored secretion from the bark of coniferous spruce trees. Like other resins, it acts as a protective healing agent for the tree by sealing wounds and fighting infection. (2)
The impressive acid profile and high lignan content in spruce resin are what give it medicinal superpowers. Spruce resin acids are antimicrobial and lignans are potent antioxidants that bolster immunity and overall health. (3,4)
It’s also rich in
- vitamins A, C, and K
- amino acids
- B vitamins
These are just a few reasons why ancient cultures relied on it and why it's now standing out in modern clinical trials.
One of the best ways to enjoy all these health-boosting benefits is by creating a salve for the skin. The resin is mixed with oils and beeswax to add moisture and structure– allowing all the goodness to absorb better. We make our FATSKN Spruce Resin Salve with grass-fed tallow, jojoba oil, mango butter, beeswax, and (of course) wildcrafted Alberta spruce resin.
13 unexpected spruce resin salve uses
From soothing sunburns to clearing chronic infections– our spruce resin salve’s got you covered. Keep some handy the next time you or a loved one has one of these pesky health issues
- Athlete's foot: resin breaks down the cell wall of bacteria and disrupts proton transport– halting the growth of bacteria. (1)
- Insect bites: resin acids reduce swelling and work with your immune system to soothe the itch.
- Skin ulcers: spruce resin accelerates healing by fending off infection and promoting cellular regeneration. When applied to wounds daily with a gauze bandage, studies have shown significant healing is possible in just a few months. (1)
- Acne breakouts: use spruce resin as a spot treatment to control bacterial growth and calm inflammation. Resin acids destroy the cell wall of acne-causing microbes so they can't multiply and break you out. (1) Especially helpful for healing popped pimples that are much like an open wound.
- Cold sores: the dehydroabietic acid in spruce resin helps treat the viral infection behind these painful blisters. (5)
- Burns: spruce resin soothes compromised skin while promoting cell renewal to speed up healing. (1) Here's how to turn a sunburn into a tan (without peeling).
- Cuticle dryness: the oils seal damaged, dry skin to promote repair and protect against further cracking. A truly all-natural mani-pedi.
- Rashes: anti-inflammatory properties in spruce resin quickly bring down redness and irritation on the skin. Helpful for things like poison ivy, hives, psoriasis, or eczema.
- Chapped skin: dry hands, ashy elbows, and peeling feet don’t stand a chance against the nourishing team of oils found in spruce salve. A must during the winter months
- Cracked heels: the acids in spruce resin break down dead skin cells while the oils form a protective barrier against moisture loss. Rub some on before bed or as you throw on some socks for healing all day and night.
- Respiratory congestion: when rubbed on the chest, the healing botanical compounds in spruce resin salve help relieve stubborn phlegm, open airways, and promote sound sleep even in the peak of cold and flu season. Nature’s very own VapoRub. (6)
- Muscle soreness: spruce resin soothes inflamed muscles through the skin and facilitates recovery. Rub some on after a hard workout or injury to help repair the torn tissue.
- Arthritis pain: the dynamic duo of rosmarinic acid and carnosol found in spruce resin work to block the transmission of pain signals to the brain– it's been shown to be as effective as ibuprofen in some cases. (7)
What makes Fatskn Spruce Resin Salve so special?
As with all FATSKN products, we make our Spruce Resin Salve with intention (and loads of research). We don’t just add things in for kicks– every ingredient serves a purpose.
We use tallow and jojoba oil in our Spruce Resin Salve for a couple reasons.
1. They’re awesome
2. They’re as close as you can get to your skin’s natural oils– so when they knock on the door, your skin welcomes them with open arms.
This allows whatever goodies they carry (like spruce resin) to go even deeper and start working faster. (8,9,10)
Responsible Sourcing and Ethical Harvesting
Wildcrafting is a partnership– not a toxic relationship. This is why we put such an emphasis on the mindful and ethical harvesting of our ingredients.
We craft our skin-loving salve with only the best locally sourced, hand-harvested spruce resin from the northern forests of Alberta, Canada.
Since resin is released when the tree’s bark is damaged or cut, it's collected by tapping the hardened gum from these areas of trauma. Our wildcraft supplier is a small-batch, family-owned foraging company that only takes what they need and always leaves plenty of resin behind so the tree can fully heal. This ensures these beauteous evergreens live long and happy lives.
Gone are the days of ditching your values in the name of effective skincare.
So do your skin (and senses) a favor by stocking up on this hardworking, good-for-you Spruce Resin Salve. You never know when your skin might need extra tender loving care.
As always, while we hope to be a no-nonsense resource for you, we encourage you to do your own research to find the healthiest options for you and your family.
If you’re looking to dig deeper into developing nourishing life skills, our friends at Light Cellar host live in-person events and online classes to enrich your understanding of all sorts of wholesome traditions.
Don’t forget to check out our entire collection of tallow-based skin care products by clicking the link below. We hope to see you there!
- Jokinen JJ, Sipponen A. Refined Spruce Resin to Treat Chronic Wounds: Rebirth of an Old Folkloristic Therapy. Adv Wound Care (New Rochelle). 2016 May 1;5(5):198-207. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4827294/
- 2. Nix, S. (2018, March 18). Tree Resin Protects and Increases Value. ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/what-are-tree-resins-1343409
- Rautio, Merja & Sipponen, A & Peltola, Rainer & Lohi, Jouni & Jokinen, Janne & Papp, Anthony & Carlson, Petteri & Sipponen, Pentti. (2007). Antibacterial effects of home-made resin salve from Norway spruce (Picea abies). APMIS : acta pathologica, microbiologica, et immunologica Scandinavica. 115. 335-40. 10.1111/j.1600-0463.2007.apm_548.x. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/6328665_Antibacterial_effects_of_home-made_resin_salve_from_Norway_spruce_Picea_abies
- Liivlaid, N. (2014, May 28). 5 Reasons To Eat Spruce Tips & 8 Ways To Use Them. Nutriplanet. https://www.nutriplanet.org/2014/05/5-reasons-to-eat-spruce-tips-8-ways-to-use-them/
- Popova L, Ivanchenko O, Pochkaeva E, Klotchenko S, Plotnikova M, Tsyrulnikova A, Aronova E. Rosin Derivatives as a Platform for the Antiviral Drug Design. Molecules. 2021 Jun 23;26(13):3836. doi: 10.3390/molecules26133836. PMID: 34201875; PMCID: PMC8270270. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8270270/
- Andre, Alestine and Alan Fehr, Gwich'in Ethnobotany, 2nd ed. (2002) https://gwichin.ca/plants/spruce
- Ghasemzadeh Rahbardar M, Hosseinzadeh H. Therapeutic effects of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) and its active constituents on nervous system disorders. Iran J Basic Med Sci. 2020 Sep;23(9):1100-1112. doi: 10.22038/ijbms.2020.45269.10541. PMID: 32963731; PMCID: PMC7491497. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7491497/
- Picariello, G., Sacchi, R., & Addeo, F. (2007). One-step characterization of triacylglycerols from animal fat by MALDI-TOF MS. European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology, 109(5), 511–524. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejlt.200600255
- Pappas A. Epidermal surface lipids. Dermatoendocrinol. 2009 Mar;1(2):72-6. doi: 10.4161/derm.1.2.7811. PMID: 20224687; PMCID: PMC2835894. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2835894/
- Wertz PW. Human synthetic sebum formulation and stability under conditions of use and storage. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2009 Feb;31(1):21-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2494.2008.00468.x. PMID: 19134124. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19134124/