Abies alba Miller


A perennial tree of up to 50 m in height. Straight trunk of grey and smooth bark when young, cracked later on in dark scales. Its vertical growth slows down in relation of the lateral growth, giving it a conical shape. The leaves are needle-like, flattened, flexible, perennial (up to 10 years of age), bluntly rounded tips of 2.5 cm in length, with a minimal petiole arranged in spiral on the shoot. The leaf arrangement is spiral on the shoot, but with each leaf variably twisted at the base so they all lie in either two more-or-less flat ranks, in dark bright green, on either side of the shoot, or upswept across the top of the shoot but not below the shoot, where it become whitish. The flowers, inserted in the former year clusters divided in male (conical) catkins, small, balloon-like, covered with yellow scales. Female catkins are bigger, turned upwards, pine-like shaped, standing upright of 4 cm in length. Erected cones are green and turn into dark orange. The cones disintegrate at maturity leaving only the central axis.

They bloom from April to May. The pines mature by the following September and October. This plant does not tolerate very low temperatures, nor dusty atmospheres or toxic gases. It requires fresh and deep soil in a humid climate with a not very intense summer-dry.

Part used

The buds and sometimes the leaves, bark and resin.


Internal use:

  • Respiratory disorders: cold, flu, bronchitis, pharyngitis, emphysema, sinusitis.
  • Urinary infections: cystitis, urethritis, uretheritis, pyelonephritis.

External use:

  • The essential oil is used in osteo-articular mild inflammations, neuralgia and myalgia.


Bézanger-Beaunesque, L; Pinkas, M; Torck, M; Trotin, F. Plantes Médicinales des Regions Tempérées. Paris: Maloine, 1980, 26.

Paris, RR; Moyse, M. Précis de Matière Médicale. Tome I. Paris: Masson, 1986, pp. 388-9.

Rivera, D; Obón, C. La Guía Incafo de las Plantas Útiles y Venenosas de la Península Ibérica y Baleares. Madrid: Incafo, 1991, 205-6.

Villar, L; Palacín, JM; Calvo, C; Gómez, D; Montserrat, G. Plantas Medicinales del Pirineo Aragonés y demás tierrras oscenses. 2ª. Huesca: Diputación Provincial, 1992, 19.