The Use and Properties of Pine Oil in Aromatherapy
Scotch Pine (Pinus sylvestris) is a tall, evergreen tree, synonymous with Christmas; in the USA alone, thousands of Pine trees are raised on Christmas tree farms each year. The Scotch Pine tree can grow up to 131 feet; it has long, green needles with a reddish-brown bark. The Scotch Pine also has orange-yellow flowers and is one of the hardiest trees, capable of surviving long, bitter Winters.
Distribution of Scotch Pine
The Scotch Pine, also known as Scots Pine or Norway Pine, should not be confused with Dwarf Pine (Pinus mugo turra) or Longleaf Pine (Pinus paulustris); it is a member of the Coniferae plant family. Scotch Pine is native to Eurasia and cultivated in Europe, Russia, eastern USA and Scandinavia (in particular, Finland). Scotch Pine earns its name from its native cover of Scotland where it used to grow in abundance.
In northern Europe, Pine essential oil is distilled between the seasons of Spring and Winter; the Tyrol area of Austria is reputed to produce the finest essential oil with a vast array of mountain Pine forests. Pine forests are known to be healing in that the essential oil evaporates from the Pine needles.
Traditional Use of Scotch Pine
Scotch Pine was used by the Native Americans to prevent scurvy; Native Americans also filled their sleeping mattresses with Scotch Pine to keep away fleas and ticks and they used Scotch Pine as an insect repellent. Traditionally, Scotch Pine was said to be excellent at restoring health after a prolonged illness.
Use of Scotch Pine Oil in Aromatherapy
Scotch Pine essential oil is obtained from distillation of the Pine needles. The aromatic properties of Scotch Pine essential oil include analgesic, anti-inflammatory, decongestant, anti-infectious, deodorant and expectorant. Scotch Pine essential oil can be used in the treatment of asthma, arthritis, sinusitis, inflammation, intestinal pain, allergies, fatigue and lung congestion. Scotch Pine improves the body’s resistance to bacterial and viral infections.
Scotch Pine essential oil is capable of warming cold hands and feet; it is considered a useful essential oil for men as Scotch Pine can help in the body’s production of semen. Scotch Pine is well known for its disinfectant and air freshener uses, due to its antiseptic properties. Scotch Pine essential oil is one of the safest therapeutic oils.
Other Uses of Pine
Pine is also used as a fragrance component in perfumes, soaps and cosmetics and Scotch Pine is also a flavor ingredient in many food products and beverages. Scotch Pine is used in the timber construction industry and is used in furniture making. In addition, Pine is used in steam baths and saunas.
Caddy, Rosemary 1997 Essential Oils in Color UK: Amberwood Publishing Ltd
Lawless, Julia 1995 The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils London: Element