Norway Spruce

An evergreen coniferous tree that grows 25-40m high. The tree has a grayish bark and a conical crown, the Spruce has a superficial root system, so it is easy to topple over in windy weather. The needles are four-sided, young needles are light green, older ones are dark green. The needles are on average 1.5-3 cm long, arranged on the shoots in rows and last for an average of 6 years.

Pollination takes place in May. Female fruits ripen in autumn, they have an elongated shape up to 14-15 cm in length and 4-5 cm in diameter. The seeds are ovoid with a pointed end, red-brown in color, about 4 m long. Until mid-winter, the seeds remain in the cones, from which they fall from January to March. The Norway Spruce starts producing seeds from the age of 20-60, it depends on the vegetation, the less Norway Spruce, the sooner they start producing. Spruce seeds are produced once every 4-5 years. The average lifespan of a spruce is 200-300 years.

Spruce is demanding on the soil, it will not grow in dry and excessively wet places. While young, it can also grow in a shaded area.

Needles, tops of young shoots, buds, unripe cones and resin are used for medicinal purposes.

Unripe cones, buds and needles are high in essential oils, tannins, resins and carotene, as well as iron, manganese, copper and aluminum salts. Common spruce contains tannins, ascorbic acid, resin, mineral salts. The ascorbic acid content is affected by the place where the Norway Spruce grows, it can be 300-400mg % at most. The content of tannins in spruce bark is on average 7-16%. Spruce resin contains turpentine, resin, essential oils, ant and succinic acid.

Medicinal significance

The extract of young cones and buds has antimicrobial, antispasmodic and desensitizing effects. Essential substances and tannins are considered to be the main active components of the healing properties of spruce.

Needles are a source of ascorbic acid, carotene, as well as chlorophyll, which regulates metabolism, improves blood circulation, has a diuretic, choleretic, analgesic and bactericidal effect. It is recommended to use it in cases of diseases of the urinary system. The phytoncides contained in spruce needles clean the urinary organs.

The use of Norway Spruce is remarkable, with the breadth of its application. Decoctions are made from the buds, which have choleretic, diuretic, expectorant, disinfectant, diaphoretic and analgesic effects. The decoction is also widely used for the treatment of upper respiratory tract diseases - bronchitis, chronic lung inflammation, pulmonary tuberculosis, as well as for the treatment of rheumatism, gout, kidney stones, edema, gall bladder inflammation, scabies and skin diseases.

You can also make a syrup from the buds, which will be able to help in case of microinfarcts. Preparations made from buds and needles are also used externally for gout, rheumatism, skin diseases and nervous tension (used in baths).

Young needles can also be soaked in alcohol and get a remedy for avitaminosis and scurvy. Young cones can also be boiled to treat angina, tonsillitis, laryngitis, tracheitis, hymoritis and vasomotor rhinitis. Resins are successfully used to treat boils and festering wounds - they can be used fresh, but if you don't like the sticky consistency, they can be added to various ointments.

Not recommended for use

Preparations containing Norway Spruce are not suitable for people suffering from hyperacid gastritis and gastric ulcer. As well as the substance pinabine is undesirable in case of neurosis and nephritis.

Of course, it should not be used during pregnancy and lactation, and it can also harm small children, as it is completely active in its effect.