Also known as pine essential oil, Scotch pine or forest pine, pinus sylvestris essential oil has a clean, strong, herbal, woody, foresty, and balsamic aroma, representing a strong top fragrance note. Its scent is associated with the outdoors, and is a frequent addition to winter essential oil diffuser blends, cleaning solutions and men’s cosmetics. Steam distilled from the needles of the evergreen conifer pinus sylvestris, or Scotch Pine, it produces a clear, colorless to light yellow-green liquid with a medium, slightly oily consistency. Its chemical constituents include limonene, b-pinene, a-pinene, myrcene, d3-carene. It is widely grown in the northern hemisphere, as it is well-suited to cold climates. It is probably for this reason that the oil is able to withstand extremely cold temperatures, in some cases as low as -40˚ (the temperature at which Celsius and Fahrenheit are the same).
Pine essential oil in history
Pine oil has been used for centuries in folk medicine, by the Native Americans to treat colds and respiratory conditions, to ward off scurvy, and was often used to stuff mattresses in order to repel insects, bedbugs and lice. Hippocrates, long considered the father of western medicine, lauded pine essential oil in the treatment of respiratory conditions. The Roman author, naturalist and philosopher, Pliny the Elder, wrote about its benefits in the curing of lung infections. Pine resin is used to produce rosin, which stringed instrument players use to give their bows the proper ‘stick’ against the strings. Pine resin was also used by the ancient Greeks as an additive to wine and some foods for export, in order to preserve and protect from anaerobic bacteria. Its use in the traditional Greek wine, Retsina, is especially notable, as it is still produced in this way today. What might not have seemed particularly palatable, apparently, eventually became a flavor they got used to. It is also used to make turpentine, and is an ingredient in many other paint thinners and solvents.
Pine oil uses
Coughs and colds: relieves painful coughs, nasal congestion and other cold symptoms, helping to break up mucous in the lungs and bronchial passages.
Relieves mental fatigue: instantly uplifts mind and body, alleviating mental stress, fear and promoting alertness, and enhanced ability to concentrate.
Mood lifter: alleviates stress and negative thoughts, stimulating the limbic system where such responses are controlled.
Diuretic: helps to eliminate excess water from the body, which can be helpful in treating inflammatory diseases, as well as cellulite, edema, and excess water retention due to menstrual syndromes.
Detoxifying: increases blood circulation, stimulates digestion and eliminates excess water, which can help rid the body of blood-borne or systemic toxins.
Aches and pains: pine essential oil has an anti-inflammatory effect that can be helpful in treating arthritic or rheumatic joint pain.
Urinary tract health: pine essential oil’s antibacterial action is very helpful in treating and preventing urinary tract infections, kidney infections, and promoting prostate health.
Gallstones: reduces inflammation of the gall bladder, which can prevent stones and acute attacks.
Antibacterial: kills many types of bacteria, both within the body and topically, on household surfaces and in the air.
Anti-fungal: treats both external and internal fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot and ringworm.
Skin care: an excellent treatment, tonic, and skin protector. Promotes good circulation, has astringent qualities, and its antibacterial effect is helpful in treating conditions like acne, minor burns and skin irritation, boils, psoriasis, or eczema. Helps to heal wounds more quickly, and prevents infection.
Vapor therapy: used in a sick room, pine essential oil rids the air of infectious bacteria and helps the sick person to feel more energized, and less congested.
Heals cuts and sores: reduces the time it takes to heal cuts and sores, and prevents bacterial infection from taking hold.
Anti-parasitic: especially effective against fleas, lice and bed bugs.
Stimulates metabolism: stimulates the body’s natural metabolic function, increases circulation and can help when used in conjunction with a weight-loss program.
Detoxifying: due to its diuretic effect, helps to move toxins through the system to be excreted through the urinary tract.
Insect repellant: keeps a range of flying insects at bay, including mosquitoes, black flies and other pests.
Household products and cleaners: pine oil is often added to household products and cleaners, partly due to its antibacterial nature and partly for its fresh, clean scent.
Men’s cosmetics and scents: added to men’s soaps, deodorants and cosmetic preparations to give them a fresh, outdoorsy scent.
Potpourri and holiday room scents: immediately associated with the winter months and holidays, pine is often added to these items to lend a fresh, uplifting, woodsy scent to your home environment.
Pine essential oil can cause serious reactions if you are prone to environmental allergies. It can also irritate the mucous membranes if used excessively. Consult a veterinarian before using on pets. Always heed recommended dilution factors when using topically, as pine essential oil can be a strong irritant. Not recommended for use on children or the elderly, as it can cause hypertension and systemic irritation. Use sparingly, and never take internally as it can cause severe kidney damage. If you suffer from kidney disease, you should avoid pine oil entirely.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using this product.