Alpine Fir

Alpine Fir
Abies var amabilis/grandis/lasiocarpa

Teit (1900: 233) states that the inner bark of Abies grandis was eaten by the Thompson, and Steedman (1930: 483) repeats this information… AY stated that the branch tips of Abies grandis were sometimes steeped to make a beverage tea.
Because of their pleasant scent, the boughs of Abies lasiocarpa and Abies grandis… were valued as bedding material and temporary floor covering in pit-houses (MA: Steedman, 1930: 496)…
MJ once ate the inner bark of Abies lasiocarpa as a medicine for “shadow on the chest”, apparently the beginnings of tuberculosis. Her mother got her some at Pennask Lake. She ate it, but it made her very sick; “I was aching all over, just as if I had the flu… but after that I got better…went back for the X-ray and no shadow.”
…Young trees of Abies have pitch blisters under the bark. The liquid pitch from these blisters, and the bark itself, were important medicines. LP noted that the pitch blisters [of A. lasiocarpa] were drained, and the liquid pitch mixed with vaseline and applied to sores as a poultice. In earlier times, animal fat was probably used instead of vaseline.) LP also stated that the bark was boiled, and the decoction drunk over a period of time to heal bruises and sprains, and to clear up a bad cough. He used this himself when he was younger to help heal a broken sternum. JK and BA also used the pitch for cuts. It was smeared over the injury and covered with a bandage. It is said to draw the “poison” out (BA).
AY recalled that Abies pitch was mixed with buttercup roots (Ranunculus spp.) to make an external poultice for tuberculosis. Steedman (1930: 462) and Teit (1900:389) note that the young shoots and also sometimes the bark of the “sweet balsam tree” were boiled and the decoction drunk for stomach troubles and as a tonic. Steedman also states that the bark and gum of the “real balsam tree” were boiled and the decoction drunk as a physic. A very strong decoction was drunk for gonorrhea, and a decoction of the sap, sap wood, and gum was used for the same purpose. A decoction of the bark was used as a wash for sore eyes. The gum was also used for sore eyes, a little being put in the corners of the eyes each night (Steedman, 1930: 462; Teit: 1900:368). MJ and EJ said the pitch was taken internally for tuberculosis, colds or any type of bad disease.

- pp. 97- 98, Thompson Ethnobotany: Knowledge and Usage of Plants by the Thompson Indians of British Columbia by Nancy J. turner, Laurence C. Thompson, M. Terry Thompson & Annie Z. York (1990)

Alpine Fir Bark
Alpine Fir Needles
Abies Lasiocarpa (Hooker) Comparative Height Drawing