GENERAL DESCRIPTION A tall evergreen tree, up to 40 metres high with a flat crown. It has a reddish-brown, deeply fissured bark, long stiff needles, which grow in pairs, and pointed brown cones.
DISTRIBUTION Native to Eurasia; cultivated in the eastern USA, Europe, Russia, the Baltic States and Scandinavia, especially Finland.
HERBAL / FOLK TRADITION The young macerated shoots are added to the bath for nervous exhaustion, circulatory disorders, slow, healing wound, arthritis, rheumatism and skin disorders. It was used by the American Indians to prevent scurvy, and to stuff mattresses to repel lice and fleas.
As an inhalation it helps relieve bronchial catarrh, asthma, blocked sinuses, etc. The pine kernels are said to be excellent restoratives for consumptives, and after long illness.
ACTIONS Antimicrobial, antineuralgic, antirheumatic, antiscorbutic, antiseptic (pulmonary, urinary, hepatic), antiviral, bactericidal, balsamic, cholagogue, choleretic, deodorant, diuretic, expectorant, hypertensive, insecticidal, restorative, rubefacient, stimulant (adrenal cortex, circulatory, nervous), vermifuge.
CHARACTERISTICS 1. Pine needle oil is a colourless or pale yellow mobile liquid with a strong, dry-balsamic, turpentine-like aroma. It blends well with cedarwood, rosemary, tea tree, sage, lavender, juniper, lemon, niaouli, eucalyptus and marjoram.
AROMATHERAPY / HOME USE
SKIN CARE: Cuts, lice, excessive perspiration, scabies, sores.
CIRCULATION, MUSCLES AND JOINTS: Arthritis, gout, muscular aches and pains, poor circulation, rheumatism.
RESPIRATORY SYSTEM: Asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, coughs, sinusitis, sore throat.
GENITO-URINARY SYSTEM: Cystitis, urinary infection.
IMMUNE SYSTEM: Colds, ‘flu.
NERVOUS SYSTEM: Fatigue, nervous exhaustion and stress-related conditions, neuralgia.
OTHER USES Used as a fragrance component in soaps, detergents, cosmetics, toiletries (especially bath products) and, to a limited extent, perfumes. Employed as a flavour ingredient in major food products, alcoholic and soft drinks.