Flower Water: Fir Balsam True Hydrosol, Made at Anarres!

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Flower Water: Fir Balsam True Hydrosol, Made at Anarres!

Abies balsamea or balsam fir is a North American fir, native to most of eastern and central Canada (Newfoundland west to central Alberta) and the northeastern United States (Minnesota east to Maine, and south in the Appalachian Mountains to West Virginia).

It is celebrated for its rich green needles, natural conical shape, and needle retention after being cut, and it is notably the most fragrant of all Christmas tree varieties.

The First Nations use fir balsam for a variety of medicinal purposes.

The resin is used to produce Canada balsam and was traditionally used as a cold remedy and as a glue for glasses, optical instrument components, and for preparing permanent mounts of microscope specimens. Given its use as a traditional remedy and the relatively high ascorbic acid content of its needles, historian Jacques Mathieu has argued that the balsam fir was the "aneda" that cured scurvy during the second expedition into Canada of Jacques Cartier.[14] The wood is milled for framing lumber (part of SPF lumber), siding and pulped for paper manufacture. Balsam fir oil is an EPA approved non-toxic rodent repellent. The balsam fir is also used as an air freshener and as incense.