Pine Essential Oil

Countries producing pine oil include Hungary, Russia, Finland and USA, where Scots Pine and other varieties of pine trees are found in abundance. Most commercially produced pine oil is extracted from trees in the Pinaceae family, also called Scots and forest pine.

The botanical name for pine oil is Pinus sylvestris.

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Physical Properties

  • Steam extraction of pine oil converts it into a liquid state.
  • It has a fresh forest aroma and is yellow to pale yellow in color.
  • Undiluted pine essential oil is highly volatile. It is insoluble in cold water; however, it does dissolve in isopropyl alcohol and blends in with other oils.

Chemical Composition

Scots pine is rich in monoterpene hydrocarbons such as α- and β-pinene, δ-3-carene, limonene, α- andγ-terpinene, (Z)-β-ocimene, myrcene, camphene, sabineneand terpinolene [1]. Other constituents include 8-cineole, citral, terpineol, α-cadinol, α-muurolol, (β)-caryophyllene and chamazulene.

Origin

  • Historians trace back the origins of Scots pine use to several hundred years.
  • Strong, durable wood from the pine trees was used to make furniture and boats.
  • Ancient Egyptians ate the kernel of the Scots pine.
  • Native Americans used pine oil extracted from pine needles and bark to prevent scurvy.

Extraction

Essential oil extraction methods include distillation, maceration, solvent extraction, and so on.

Steam distillation method:

  • First container: Water and needles, barks or leaves of Scots Pine are placed in a container. Steaming water is introduced through an inlet at the bottom of this container. Warm temperature and steam simmers the content and carries the aroma through a serpentine tube into a second container.
  • Second container: Cold water condenses the essential oil vapors. Lighter density of water than essential oil ensures water collects at the bottom while the oil floats on top. Further, distillation and filtering processes separate the two liquids.

Precautions

  • Avoid use of pine essential oil in pregnant or nursing women.
  • In individuals with sensitive skin, even diluted pine essential oil may cause skin irritation and sensitivity. Test essential oils in a small area before application. If you notice a skin reaction, wash the area immediately and consult a doctor.
  • Do not ingest pine oil without supervision. Talk to a qualified aromatherapy practitioner or your doctor before inhaling or ingesting pine oil.

Benefits

  • Pine essential oil acts as an expectorant and decongestant to relieve respiratory disorders such as cold, cough, asthma, bronchitis and mucous.
  • Topical application of pine oil helps relieve itching, dryness and flaking.
  • Inhalation of pine oil vapors soothe anxiety and stress, beat mild depression, and treat mental and physical fatigue.
  • Pine oil disinfectants can terminate E.

    coli, toxic yeast spores, and mildew. Hospitals use pine oil sprays and cleaners to disinfect rooms and promote an invigorating atmosphere.

Therapeutic Applications

  • Pine oil acts as an excellent deodorizer for excessive sweating. Studies show antibacterial and antimicrobial properties of pine essential oil may treat infections, cuts, burns and bruises.
  • Individuals suffering from athlete’s feet can use pine essential oil topically.
  • Tannins in pine essential oil can fight free radical damage reversing the signs of aging.
  • Beauty and cosmetic industry uses the astringent and cleansing properties of pine oil to treat skin problems like acne, eczema, psoriasis and so on.

Essential Oil Blends

Pine essential oil blends with oils such as bergamot, cedarwood, cypress, eucalyptus, juniper, lemon, marjoram, niaouli, rosemary, peppermint, sandalwood and tea tree oils.

How to Make Pine Essential Oil?

You can make pine essential oil with freshly harvested pine needles. It is an inexpensive method to make essential oils in small quantities.

  • Use fresh pine needles. Clean with warm water and soap. Dry them thoroughly.
  • Remove all moisture from needles. Use a mortar and pestle to bruise pine needles and allow oil extract to escape.
  • Add base oil such as sweet almond, grapefruit or safflower to a clean, glass jar. Add pine needles, tighten cap on the jar and shake it to blend the ingredients.
  • Keep jar out of direct sunlight. Storage temperature must read around 75 degree Fahrenheit /24 degree Celsius. Let essential oils blend for one week. Shake jar gently at least once a day. After a week, remove the jar to a dark location. Let it age for 10 to 14 days.
  • Strain oil through a fine mesh cloth into a dark bottle with an airtight seal. Pine essential oil made at home may last from 10 months to a year.
Pine Essential Oil
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