The sticky resin is valued for its woody, resinous and fresh scent, reminiscent of Christmas trees. However, it is less known that the gum is edible and has a nutty taste, blending well with other sweets.
Balsam fir is a species found in eastern North America, mainly in Quebec and Maine. When the tree is young, its thin grey bark already shows resinous blisters, which will continue to develop while the tree grows and its bark turns into fine brown scales. This abundance of gum has given the tree its ‘balsam’ name, and made it known for its therapeutic virtues, especially for the resin’s ability to relieve respiratory difficulties.
Lush buy the resin from a small scale producer working in the Boreal forest, in northern Quebec, Canada. They harvest their raw materials from the forest in a sustainable way, following a precise framework managed by the government over a 280,000 km2 area. The trees aren’t cut to encourage resin’s formation, the pickers take only what naturally flows on the bark, from the beginning of spring to September. The resin then goes through simple filtration to ensure it’s cleaned, which is done without any alcohol.