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Healing Aspects of Douglas-fir

By Rev. Katelyn Bissat

October 11, 2022


The great and majestic Douglas-fir, (genus Pseudotsuga) growing an impressive 90m high, is a tree that I’ve known since my childhood. Many walk by this tree not even knowing its name and understanding how important it is to our ecosystems, spirituality and health.

My first experience with Douglas-fir was not a pleasant one! Unfortunately, as a child I was highly allergic to the pollen of this tree. Thankfully I’ve mostly outgrown these allergies and only experience discomfort during peak growing seasons. This didn’t deter my love of trees and I find myself continually being drawn to the forest.

My knowledge of these trees was expanded during my college studies and now I find myself integrating their teachings into my daily life. I find that I am at my happiest when among the trees. 


Trees are a symbol of life in many cultures. For me trees are a symbol of the connectedness to Mother Earth, with roots extending deep into the ground, reaching out and supporting the other trees that are in the forest. Their branches reach high up into the heavens, catching rays of the life-giving sun, providing shelter, oxygen and a home for many creatures. For some these trees also symbolize friendship, protection and honesty.

In yoga, not surprisingly, the tree pose is my favourite. For me it symbolizes the need to be in a state of balance, grounded in the truth of who we are.

I believe that our spirituality should be deeply connected to the Earth; we need to respect our planet and continue to grow our knowledge of the wild spaces that surround us. 


One of my favourite activities is collecting Douglas-fir resin which I use to create a salve that is great for healing many skin conditions, applying to minor burns and cuts. Trees produce resin to protect scars, preventing insects and pathogens from entering the tree. Resin has excellent antimicrobial healing properties that we can also benefit from.

Fun Facts

• Douglas-fir trees are often used as Christmas trees.

•They usually live around 500 years but have been known to live over 1,000 years!

•Were used by Indigenous peoples for building, basketry and medicinal purposes. 

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