Herb: Grand Fir
Latin name: Abies grandis
Synonyms: Abies excelsior
Family: Pinaceae (Pine Family)
Medicinal use of Grand Fir:A gum that exudes from the bark is used externally as an ointment. It has also been used as a wash for sore and infected eyes and as a gargle for sore throats. A decoction is laxative and tonic, it is used to treat stomach problems. Externally, the gum is applied as a poultice to cuts and sores. A decoction of the root bark or stem is used in the treatment of stomach problems and TB. A poultice is applied to joints to ease rheumatism or to the chest to treat lung haemorrhages. A decoction of the leaves is used as a tonic and in the treatment of colds.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Found in a variety of soils, but the best specimens are growing in deep rich alluvial soils It ranges from the coast to inland elevations of about 2000 metres if growing by streams.
Edible parts of Grand Fir:Inner bark - cooked. It is usually dried, ground into a powder and then used as a thickening in soups etc or mixed with cereals when making bread. It is best used in the spring when it is rich and juicy. An emergency food, it is only used when all else fails. The gum from the trunk is hardened (probably in cold water) and used as a chewing gum. It can also be made into a drink. Young shoot tips are used as a tea substitute.
Other uses of the herb:The aromatic leaves are used as a moth repellent. The boughs have been used in the home as an incense. A pink dye can be obtained from the bark. The dried and hardened pitch can be chewed as a tooth cleanser. A powder made from the dried and crushed leaves was used as a baby powder by the N. American Indians. The bark can be used as a waterproof covering material for buildings and canoes. Wood - light, soft, coarse grained, not strong, not very durable. Used for interior work, cases, etc. Of little value as a lumber, it is used mainly for pulp and fuel.
Propagation of Grand Fir:Seed - sow early February in a greenhouse or outdoors in March. Germination is often poor, usually taking about 6 - 8 weeks. Stratification is said to produce a more even germination so it is probably best to sow the seed in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in the autumn. The seed remains viable for up to 5 years if it is well stored. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on for at least their first winter in pots. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Alternatively, if you have sufficient seed, it is possible to sow in an outdoor seedbed. One report says that it is best to grow the seedlings on in the shade at a density of about 550 plants per square metre whilst another report says that they are best grown on in a sunny position.
Cultivation of the herb:Found in a variety of soils, but the best specimens are growing in deep rich alluvial soils It ranges from the coast to inland elevations of about 2000 metres if growing by streams.
Known hazards of Abies grandis:None known
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.