What is Douglas fir?
The Douglas fir tree is indigenous to a number of locales because the name is actually a genus that encompasses six varieties. There are four native to Asia and two native to North America. It is also an introduced, and now invasive, species in New Zealand. 
The family name demonstrates that the douglas fir actually belongs to the pine family. The tree has been called fir, hemlock, pine, and spruce. Because of the differentiated cones, it earned the genus Pseudotsuga, separating it from other genera.
The Douglas fir tree will often be written with a hyphen, as in Douglas-fir, which is a nod to the fact it is not a real fir.  It is an important tree in the Pacific Northwest, specifically Oregon, and is at times referred to as the Oregon pine.
This fir oil should not be confused with the other fir oils or pines. It also shouldn't be confused with Abies concolor or white fir. Always check the botanical name of any oil you purchase.
The tree is a large coniferous evergreen that propagates easily, as the cones open and the wind can carry the seeds for miles. Mature trees can produce 20 thousand seeds annually. 
Farmed douglases can grow up to 80 feet tall and have a circumference of 12-20 feet. In the wild, the tree can reach heights of 300 feet. For reference, this is the approximate height of a 30-story building.
The cones on the tree grow to four and a half inches. The tree also produces one-and-a-half-inch flat, dark-green needles. When the needles are bruised, they emit a fragrant citrus-like scent. As they age, the trees lose the lower one-third of their branches, giving them a cylindrical shape.
Pseudotsuga taxifolia is a synonym for the botanical name. It comes from the combination of the Greek words "pseudo" and "Tsuga,' which mean "false" and "hemlock," respectively. 
Douglas fir oil blends well with other "green" oils like pine (Pinus sylvestris), Balsam fir (Abies balsamea), and silver fir (Abies alba). It is also great mixed with citrus oils like sweet orange (Citrus sinensis), lemon (Citrus limon), and grapefruit (Citrus paradisi).
Douglas fir Essential Oil Uses
There are a number of uses for Douglas fir oil in your home.Holiday Atmosphere
Douglas fir is another popular oil for Christmas, just like other fir tree oils such as Balsam fir (Abies balsamea) or pine (Pinus sylvestris).
Add it to your diffuser blends to bring the joy of Christmas to your home any time of the year.
As with many oils that come from evergreens, Douglas fir oil is great for oily skin. Hydrolats or hydrosols are often created as the byproduct of essential oil production; they are the water remaining after steam distillation has occurred.
They may also be produced with the plant material specifically with the intention of making the hydrosol itself. While hydrolats possess many of the same beneficial properties of the oil, they are nowhere near as condensed and may be used undiluted in cooking, cosmetics, and more.
If you do not have access to the hydrolat, you can still get some of the benefits by making an essential oil water. Boil seven ounces of distilled or mineral water. Add 10-30 drops of the oil to the boiling water and cover it, boiling for another 1-2 minutes.
Allow to stand for 24 hours. Pour through an unbleached coffee filter to remove any remaining large oil droplets. Don't throw the filter away; once it dries, you can add it to a drawer or place it in your closet to keep your clothes fresh-smelling.
You now have an essential oil water that makes an excellent base for a facial application. You can make a toner, add it to a lotion, soap, or oil you are creating to help your skin, and much more.
Alternatively, you can simply add a couple drops of the oil to your favorite moisturizer to help control oiliness.
Douglas fir Essential Oil Benefits
There are numerous benefits of Douglas fir oil that you can enjoy.Uplifts Your Spirits
Douglas fir is a tonic to the nervous system and can help improve mood and ease depression. Diffusing the oil in your home or office will help you get through a long, stressful day.
Besides improving your mood, diffusing Douglas fir into the air can help improve your health by cleaning the air you breathe, as it is a superb purifier.
If a body purifier is needed due to a cold, drink a tea made from the needles. The tea benefits the respiratory and immune system.
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Douglas fir Essential Oil Research, Facts, and Studies
There is very little research on Douglas fir essential oil. In fact, as of this writing, the term "Pseudotsuga menziesii essential oil" only brings back three items on PubMed. Two of those are focused on the constituents. However, the other one is interesting:Antimicrobial Activity
Several Pacific Northwest wood oils were studied in 2001 for their activities against certain strains of bacteria. Douglas fir was found to be effective against a particular strain, Actinomyces bovis, which is known to cause infections and foot disease in animals. What's in a Name?
While you now know where the "Pseudotsuga" comes from, what about the last part, "menziesii?" It is interesting to note that the "Douglas" in Douglas-fir comes from Scottish botanist David Douglas. The "menziesii" honors his rival botanist, also a Scot, Archibald Menzies.
Although not a "true" fir, the Douglas-fir produces a quality oil that can be helpful in your home arsenal of essential oils.
Because of the numerous amount of oils close to it, such as true firs, pines, and hemlocks, it is vital to know you are getting the oil you actually want, so be sure to pay attention to the botanical name.
As always, take care when using essential oils. Remember that more is less and all oils can cause sensitizations or issues when overused or incorrectly used.
DISCLAIMER: Momprepares.com is intended to be used for educational and informational purposes only. For safe use, please contact your medical practictioner or health care provider. Momprepares.com, its parent company, and subsidiaries does not assume liability for any actions taken after visiting these pages and does not assume liability if one misuses essential oils. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.