Scotch Pine Essential Oil: A Refreshing, Comforting "Essence of the Forest"


| 12/9/2019 6:35:00 PM


I refer to pine trees as “feel-good trees” because they offer so many benefits.  Many of the more than 100 species of pines have been used medicinally throughout the world by cultures ranging from the Greeks, Egyptians, and Arabians to the Native Americans, and Scandinavians.  The needles have been burned to clear away respiratory infections and insects and stuffed into mattresses to repel lice and fleas and fend off rheumatism.  The twigs were mixed with cedar and juniper for use as a purification incense.  

The sticky pitch or resin that often exudes from injuries to the tree’s trunk and larger limbs contains a concentration of the essential oil (as does the sap from the fir tree) and has been utilized to heal cracked skin, eczema, psoriasis, and infected wounds, and to bind cuts.  Infused into a base oil and massaged into the skin, it relieves joint pain, gout, sore or stiff muscles, sciatica, poor circulation of the arms and legs, chest complaints, symptoms of colds and flu, exhaustion, and adrenal fatigue.  I employ the refreshing, comforting, Scotch Pine (Pinus sylvestris) essential oil to treat many of these conditions using it both topically and via inhalation.  Other species that I occasionally use, but which can be limited in availability, include the eastern white pine (P. strobus), sea pine (P. pinaster), and the pinyon pine (P. edulis).

scotch pine branch
Photo by Arbor Day Foundation

From Herb To Oil

Indigenous to northern Europe and Asia and introduced to North America by European settlers, this tall conifer has deeply fissured, papery, reddish-brown bark, 2-inch to 4-inch long, stiff needles that grow in pairs, and small-to-medium brown cones.  It has long been cultivated in the eastern United States and Canada, mostly for Christmas tree production and as a landscape planting.  The essential oil is produced primarily in the United States, Bosnia, France, Hungary, Scotland, Russia, and Austria and is one of the most commercially-produced oils – being in demand for products ranging from household disinfectants, detergents, insecticides, and fragrances. A pale yellow or colorless liquid with a potent, fresh, clean turpentine-like aroma, the essential oil is steam-distilled from the fresh twigs and needles.  An inferior essential oil is produced by dry distillation from the chipped wood and stump grindings.

Psychological Benefits:  Naturally uplifting and refreshing, strengthening, empowering, and grounding, Scotch pine helps you feel open and aware.  It brings strength and comfort when you are feeling weak, unworthy, unsure, or sad; dispels negative emotions.  When you are experiencing nervous exhaustion and extreme fatigue as a result of stress, it is an excellent choice.



Essential Properties In A Nutshell:  Scotch pine essential oil has an affinity for the respiratory tract, being a strong pulmonary antiseptic, decongestant, and expectorant; purifying and cleansing; warming circulatory stimulant that is good for pain relief; promotes healing of wounds and dry, cracked skin; deodorant; effective parasiticide against scabies and lice; strengthening, fortifying, and energizing, emotionally and physically.



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