Scots Pine - Effective Herb for Many Health Problems

Scots pine

Pinus sylvestris Pinaceae


Native to the mountainous regions of Europe and north and west Asia, Scots pine can reach a height !f 30m or more. In the Highlands, the trees were once used as dramatic lIIarkers for the burial places of !/larriors, heroes and chiiftains. Druids used to light large bonfires of Scots pine at the winter solstice to celebrate the passing of the seasons and to draw back the sun.


Parts used

  • Cones, resin and needles
  • Cone buds are picked in spring.
  • The essential oil is extracted or the buds are dried.
  • The needles are the source of essential oils used in disinfectants.
  • The resin, collected from cuts in the trunk, is distilled and provides turpentine oil for ointments and liniments.
  • Scots pine extracts are used in many pharmaceutical products.

Constituents

Scots pine buds contain an essential oil rich in pinene, limonene and resin. Pine needle oil is distilled from the fresh needles and branch tips.The needles also contain flavonoids and a small amount of vitamin C., Scots pine resin is rich in terpenes, which give it its aroma.


Medicinal uses

Pine has long been recognised as a powerful bronchial disinfectant.According to Egyptian papyruses physicians treating the pharaohs used to prescribe pine resin for pneumonia and lung problems to a lit has a soothing effect on mucous membranes making it a good inhalant for respiratory problems.


Scots pine has antiseptic, diuretic amI antirneumatic properties. It exerts a decongestant effect on the upper respiratory tract and isprescribed for chronic (long-term) bronchitis, coughs and laryngitis.Its powerful antiseptic action helps to eliminate respiratory and urinary tract infections. Finnish studies performed in 2000 found Scots pine to be effective against several species of bacteria as well as Candida albicans, the fungus responsible for causing thrush.Externally, turpentine oil rubbed into the skin stimulates circulation in the peripheral blood vessels, which helps to remove toxins and supply vital nutrients to the cells.


Pine needle oil is used in vapour rubs that are recommended as a supplementary treatment for colds and chills. Drops of the essential oil added to boiling water make a refreshing decongesting steam vapour for blocked nose or sinuses


PREPARATION AND DOSAGE

For internal use


TO TREAT bronchitis, coughs INFUSION Put 20g of buds into 1 litre of boiling water. Infuse for 10 minutes and strain. Drink 4-5 cups a day.


For external use


TO TREAT laryngitis
INFUSION (see above) Use as a gargle four or five times a day.
TO TREAT colds, chills INFUSION (see above) Inhale the steam from an infusion three or four times a day.
BATH Put 250g of dried pine needles into a fabric bag into a warm bath. Or put about 250g of pine needles into 2 litres of boiling water and let them infuse for 20 minutes. Strain and add to a warm bath.


TO TREAT rheumatic pains OINTMENTS, LINIMENTS Apply several times a day as directed. ESSENTIAL OIL Dilute, allowing 3 drops of essential oil to 10ml of carrier oil. and massage into affected areas.


IF SYMPTOMS PERSIST CONSULT A DOCTOR


Cultivation

The Scots pine grows very tall and can quickly dominate a small garden. It likes any well-drained soil and prefers a sunny location.


CAUTIONS

  • No adverse side effects from the use of Scots pine buds have been recorded to date.
  • Do not use essential oils internally without professional advice.
  • Do not use external applications if you are prone to skin allergies.


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