Balsam fir is a species of fir native to North America in the Pinaceae family. Leaves as well as young shoots are best harvested in the spring and dried for later use. In addition, its needles can be infused to make herbal teas.
What Does Balsam Fir Taste Like?
We can taste here a total absence of bitterness to give way to a rather pronounced sweetness. For some, its smell recalls the nostalgia of the Holidays with its smell of fresh fir. For others, it’s the taste that can bring back childhood memories. Indeed, the taste of balsam fir sprouts can recall the taste of cotton candy, but with a woody side and a certain freshness.
The shoots have particular and numerous medicinal properties. Indeed, a tea-infused from its leaves is considered antiscorbutic. They are also used in the treatment of coughs, colds, and fever. It is used internally in proprietary mixtures to treat diarrhea as well. If the shoots are taken in excess, they have a purgative effect (they act as a laxative). Previously, a hot liquid from the gummy sap was drunk as a treatment for gonorrhea! Balsam fir sprouts are considered one of the best throat remedies.
Ingredient: Balsam fir sprouts (Abies balsamea)
Book: Leaboeuf, Michel, Arbres et plantes forestières du Québec et des maritimes, Éditions Michel Quintin, 2007, 415p