Pine trees can be as common as weeds. It is easy to see why we can take this humbling tree for granted; modern society has long forgotten the healing benefits of the Pinus sylvestris, also known as “Scots Pine”. Pines can grow up to an astounding 260 feet high, though most species reach about 150 feet.
Here we will go over a short history of the pine tree, the most promising medical benefits of pure essential oils, and how you can take advantage of them today.
History and Use of the Pine Tree
Pine trees are common around the world, and have had many uses. Native Americans would decorate their homes with the branches in winter; so that woodland spirits would take refuge from the harsh weather. Traditions we carry to this day, such as the use of a Christmas tree, also involve the use of a pine tree. Today the pine tree is mostly valued for its timber and wood pulp. From the pages of your favorite book to the house you sit in; if it is made of wood – there’s a good chance it is made of pine.
The Scots pine is one of the strongest softwoods around. It is used in construction, and is prized for creating durable fence posts and telephone poles. Turpentine can be made from its resin, rope can be made from its inner bark, and a dye can be made from the cones. Dry cones also make great kindling for fires. In the health world, there is no greater benefit than the use of the pure pine essential oil.
Benefits of Pine Essential Oil
Pine tree essential oil is steam distilled from the needles of the Scots pine tree. The resulting oil is thin and clear; and has a fresh woody scent. As more studies on the use of pine essential oil come out, more benefits to the body are found. Pine essential oil contains high levels of a-pinene, b-pinene, polyphenols, and camphene. These components have many benefits to the body, which can be enjoyed every day through aromatherapy.
In the body
For those looking for natural cures to arthritis and rheumatism, pine essential oil may provide the answer. Researchers recently found that the components in pine act to block nitric acid and other causes of inflammation in the body. This research shows over 28 different anti-inflammatory compounds within the Scots pine. Because of the he camphene in the oil, it also shares many of the benefits of camphor essential oil, such as being a great analgesic; reducing the pain from arthritis and rheumatism, as well as minor aches and pains around the body.
This essential oil is also amazing at reducing tumors. One recent study found that, due to the high levels of phenols in pine, it actually helps to reduce tumor size and viability. This is great news for those looking for natural cancer fighters.
Calms Respiratory Ailments
Pine oil can also be used to reduce inflammatory respiratory problems like asthma, bronchitis, and infectious coughs. Recent research is showing that both a-pinene and b-pinene have an incredible effect on reducing infectious bronchitis. Their antimicrobial effects help to kill inhaled pathogens, while their anti-inflammatory nature reduces spasms and opens airways.
Pine essential oil contains a large amount of both a-pinene and b-pinene. Because of this combination, pine essential oil may treat diarrhea. Researchers in this study found that essential oils high in both of these pinenes were able to successfully relax the spasms which can contribute to diarrhea.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just use one compound and reduce your cholesterol? The good news is that pine oil may do just that. One of the most prominent components of pine essential oil, known as camphene, helps to reduce cholesterol and blood triglycerides. Researchers in this study suggested that because of its fat lowering effect, camphene may play a crucial role in controlling cardiovascular diseases.
For the Brain
Pine essential oil is considered uplifting oil. It may come as no surprise that pine essential oil acts to uplift your mood and improve your cognitive function.
Recently, researchers found that components in pine essential oil can improve brain function in elderly people. The study focused on herbs containing high levels of a-pinene, which were proven to have a significant effect on cognitive function in the subjects tested.
On the Skin
In the body as well as on the skin, pine oil is an exceptional antibacterial substance. A recent study pinned the components of Scots pine against hardy drug resistant bacterial strains such as MRSA. Researchers found the components to be successful against different types of bacteria, and noted that the compounds may show promise as surface cleaners in hospitals. A diluted solution can be gently applied to skin infections as needed to speed healing.
Kill Airborne Bacteria
Diffusing pine essential oil in your aromatherapy diffusor is a great way to eliminate microbes in the air. In fact, research is showing that many different microbes are eliminated by pine essential oil, though bacteria are most affected by it. Diffusing pine essential oil is a great idea to clear the air in the room of a sick child.
Pine essential oil can be used around the home, where a-pinene and b-pinene combine to kill the germs that inhabit many surfaces. From kitchen counters to stuffed animals, pine essential oil is a safe, effective way to eliminate bacteria from everyday items.
One Last Note
Pure essential oils should always be diluted before applying to the skin, as allergic reactions can occur. Pay attention to any reactions your body may have to oils when applied on the skin, and should start by applying them to a small area before moving onto a large area of the body. Children and pregnant women should use any essential oil under the guidance of a healthcare practitioner.
The most important thing to consider when purchasing your essential oils is the quality of the product. Always look for pure, undiluted, essential oils with no fillers. Pure oils are not only the most beneficial – they are the safest.
How do you use pine essential oil? Tell us about it below!