Doctors tried everything to heal Laura’s cough last fall – syrups, pills, balms – nothing worked. When her cancer spread her cough became so persistent she had to sleep sitting upright and it made her physically ill. In desperation I asked herbalist Robin Rose Bennett for advice. She suggested making an infusion with fir needles and gave me a branch of an organic fir tree to try out. Laura sat with a towel over her head for 10 minutes inhaling the fir needle vapors and it immediately soothed her chest. She did it 3 times over 3 days and her cough vanished never to return.
Finding organic fir branches in Manhattan (without raiding Central Park with a pair of clippers) was impossible, so instead I bought a bottle of Balsam Fir essential oil by Now. I splashed a half dozen or more drops in a saucepan filled with a couple of cups of water, brought it all to the boil with the lid on. Removed it from the heat, let the first boiling fumes evaporate (so as not to scald Laura), and then had her inhale the vapors straight from the pan with a towel over her head. Our home help, a chronic asthma sufferer who was repeatedly hospitalized by her illness, was so impressed by Laura’s improvement she tried the infusion too. She said it worked better and lasted longer than her inhaler and pills. She did it every day she came. I can’t guarantee it will work for all coughs and asthma patients, but it might be worth a try (let me know if it works). I am going to try a fir balsam essential oil bath myself when I get back to New York. I just read that it is also good for joint and muscle pain. Pine needle tea also helps kidney issues, hypertension, depression, the flu and dementia!