Pine Needle

  • Stock #3911-5 (5 ml)
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Also known as Scots pine, the essential oil of Pinus sylvestris has long been added to disinfectants, due to its strong antiseptic properties.1-4

Pine essential oil is regarded as an excellent remedy for all types of respiratory problems, particularly as an inhalant for treating bronchial congestion, colds, sinusitis and catarrh (cold in the nose and throat with secondary bacterial infection and excess mucus). Pine oil may also help relieve more serious conditions such as lung infections, emphysema and pneumonia. Furthermore, with strong antiseptic and expectorant properties, pine oil combats the effects of heavy smoking, while simultaneously enhancing tissue oxygenation.2,3,5

Pine oil has also been found to possess moderate antibacterial activity. A study was conducted in France to determine which essential oils would purify and deodorize the air, destroying bacteria such as Proteus, Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes. Several vaporized essential oils were found to effectively destroy 90% of microbes within 3 hours, including clove, lavender, lemon, mint, pine, rosemary and thyme.4,6

German scientists have conducted extensive research, testing the expectorant qualities of numerous essential oils. An increase in secretions and an increased concentration of mucus in the secretions were evidence of an expectorant effect. Of all the essential oils tested, pine, eucalyptus, lemon and thyme were shown to provide expectorant actions, effectively relieving dry, nervous coughs. Furthermore, researchers determined that positive results were only achieved through inhalation of the oils, even in very small amounts. In fact, expectorant results were best achieved when the minimal dosage was used for inhalation, producing only a very faint scent in the air—too high of a dose changed the secretion-stimulating effect to a secretion-inhibiting effect. Another advantage of inhaling vaporized essential oils is that in many cases, infections linger in the sinuses between bouts. The oil of Pinus sylvestris is even thought to be effective against tuberculosis.4,6

Pine oil’s strong antiseptic qualities are also beneficial for treating genito-urinary complaints. In fact, pine oil has been found to exert a strong diuretic effect on the kidneys.2,5

Psychologically, pine oil’s fragrant scent produces strengthening, reviving and refreshing effects, acting as an invigorating mental and adrenal stimulant. In fact, a small amount of pine essential oil can be diluted in a carrier oil and applied topically on the area over the kidneys to stimulate adrenal function. This method of aromatherapy may help individuals suffering from fatigue, replacing the need for caffeine stimulants that can overwork the adrenals. In fact, according to German studies, the inhalation of pine essential oil caused mice to become more active.2-5,7

Pine oil is often employed in massage to stimulate circulation and ease arthritis, muscles aches and rheumatic pain.2,3,5

According to an article published in the International Journal of Aromatherapy, essential oils have been used to enhance the quality of life of Alzheimer’s patients. For example, the essential oils of geranium and lavender are used to trigger memories of cooking and plants, while eucalyptus, peppermint and pine oils are used to stimulate conversation and overall memory.6

Pinus sylvestris essential oil may prove to be an effective alternative to drugs for preventing nausea and vomiting. The area of the brain associated with vomiting is stimulated by the neurotransmitter acetylcholine; thus, many anti-emetic drugs work by inhibiting the action of acetylcholine. Pine oil has been found to contain two substances with anti-acetylcholine activity, borneol (an alcohol) and myrcene (a terpene).6

In addition, pine oil is believed to have hormone-like properties that can be used to balance or even promote hormonal activity, and which may help ease symptoms associated with PMS.6,8

Topical use of pine oil may cause irritation in those with sensitive skin. Pine oil is also contraindicated for individuals with insomnia.3-5

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1Chevallier, A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. NY, NY: Dorling Kindersley, 1996.

2Damian, P. and Damian, K. Aromatherapy: Scent and Psyche. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 1995.

3Wildwood, C. The Encyclopedia of Aromatherapy. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 1996.

4Schnaubelt PhD, K. Advanced Aromatherapy. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 1995.

5Schiller, C. and Schiller, D. Aromatherapy Oils: A Complete Guide. NY, NY: Sterling Publishing Co., 1996.

6Buckle RGN, J. Clinical Aromatherapy in Nursing. San Diego, CA: Singular Publish., 1997.

7Tucker PhD, A. “The therapy of aroma.” Herbs For Health; 1999, 3(6): 46-50.
8Green, M. “Scents, Sex And Pheromones: The Findings Of Aroma Research.” Nutrition Science News; November 1996.