Chemistry of Douglas Fir Essential Oil


Douglas Fir, also known by its botanical name Pseudotsuga menziesii, is a conifer that grows natively throughout North America. This tall, evergreen fir tree is frequently used as a Christmas tree, and it has a piney aroma with a lemon-scented note that’s sweet and refreshing. doTERRA Douglas Fir essential oil is distilled from the branches and leaves of Douglas Fir trees from New Zealand, where it is considered an invasive species.


Douglas Fir essential oil is almost entirely composed of chemical compounds with a monoterpene backbone. The functional groups present in Douglas Fir oil are mainly alkenes, which are groups of carbon atoms connected by double bonds. Douglas Fir also contains some alcohols and esters in small quantities. The five main chemical constituents of this oil are beta-pinene, alpha-pinene, delta-3-carene, sabinene, and terpinolene. Below are the properties and benefits of these individual constituents:

  • beta-Pinene is known to help reduce anxious feelings and has shown in experimental research the potential for helping improve mood.1
  • alpha-Pinene may help soothe feelings of skin agitation.2,3 It also helps calm anxious feelings and may alleviate feelings of seasonal discomfort.4 Experimental research suggests that alpha-pinene can also promote feelings of clear airways and easy breathing.5,6,7,8
  • delta-3-Carene is known to be a surface cleanser, and research suggests that it can also help reduce feelings of dry airways.9
  • Sabinene is a skin purifying agent with many cosmetic applications.10 It is soothing to the skin and may also help reduce the appearance of blemishes.11,12
  • Terpinolene is known to help promote feelings of relaxation and may help calm the mind, according to data from experimental research.13


Douglas Fir oil blends well with Wild Orange, Lemon, or Bergamot. Diffusing this oil can help freshen the air, uplift mood, and promote a sense of focus. Adding Douglas Fir to a facial cleanser, bar soap, or body wash can enhance cleansing benefits and add a piney aroma reminiscent of Christmas trees. To promote feelings of clear airways and easy breathing, diffuse Douglas Fir with Eucalyptus, or rub into hands and inhale deeply. Douglas Fir oil also combines well with Wintergreen for a relaxing massage experience.


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