Pine has a long history as a remedy against many health conditions. Pine essential oil is intensely studied for its many benefits. This includes also the ability to clear respiratory issues. Its forest-like fresh scent is well known from all the household products. But above all that, it is also a great lung antiseptic.
It doesn’t really matter the season because an allergy can act out anytime. The same goes for having trouble breathing. The air is filled with bacteria, germs and viruses that go into the lungs while you inhale. A bottle of Pine essence held close by could really make a difference in these situations. I will tell you more about this in the chapter that follows.
You’ll find details about common respiratory and pulmonary conditions there. I will also give you some simple blend recipes so you can start using your oil right away.
The sooner you use Pine essential oil in your home, the better protection you get. It can be used in diffusions, inhalations, and skin applications. This gives you plenty of choices, so you can use the oil as you want, when you want.
The second chapter of this post is about getting to know this oil better. You need to know that there are more types of pine oils out there, and each has different properties. Knowing your oils will help you get the result you’re looking for. Also, because of this, I’ll tell you how to choose a pure essential oil on your next order.
Did You Know?
- Depending on species, pine trees reach maturity somewhere around 200 – 300 years. Many pine species can live up to 1000 years!
The Connection between the Air You Breathe and Respiratory Problems, and How to Clear Them
Botanical name: Pinus sylvestris
Texture: thin oil, almost watery.
Color and Aroma: pale yellow (or clear), with a concentrated forest-green and resinous scent.
Other names: Scotch pine, Scots pine (Riga pine) or Northern pine.
Pine is a very popular scent in many toiletries and household products. It must be because its perfume is a fresh and invigorating one, and it makes us think of clean, mountain air. In a pine forest, you’ll always smell that balsamic, resinous scent that calms the mind and lifts up the spirit.
The pine scent is also a symbol of purification. When you take all these and think about it, pine does seem like the perfect scent for a clean household.
Pine and fir varieties are also used as Christmas trees all over the world. But it’s its medicinal properties that count in Aromatherapy. Since its smell is so pleasant and dear to the majority, Pine essential oil is widely used in this therapy.
But let’s see what it’s made of so we can understand its properties better:
- 35 – 60% Alpha Pinene. There is no alpha without beta, and both have stimulant and decongestant effects. They are also good antivirals and anti-tumor agents.
- 9 – 25% Beta Pinene.
- 4 – 12% Limonene. This constituent works in synergy with alpha and beta pinene, and helps them absorb more efficiently.
- 2 – 3% Beta-Caryophyllene. This constituent has sedative effects on the mind and locally. It can relieve anxiety and depression, especially in combination with limonene.
Pine essences (from the whole Pinaceae family) have the highest concentration of pinene. That’s where they were first discovered. Therefore, the constituents took their name from the tree.
Pine essential oil also has anti-inflammatory and antifungal effects. It can also be used as a mild skin pain reliever and antiseptic (against infections). Pine oil has impressive cortisone-like effects. Cortisone is a hormone with anti-allergy and anti-inflammatory effects.
One study has found four species of Pine oils to have acaricidal action. They were tested through diffusion. This means that when diffused, the essence of Pine can kill many strains of mites and germs. Even ticks and viruses can be killed this way.
How to use Pine essential oil (EO) to Prevent Respiratory Issues
This oil is relatively safe to use in almost any way you wish, except internally. I say relatively because in a very high dose, even the safe-considered oils can have side effects. The oil can be used in diffusions or skin applications.
In Aromatherapy, this oil needs to be diluted for skin applications. The recommended dosages are as follows:
- For face blends (cosmetics): 3 – 15 drops of EO in a fluid ounce of vegetable oil.
- For body blends (massage oils): 18 – 30 drops of EO in a fluid ounce of vegetable oil.
Essential oils diffusion is beneficial because it can help purify the air. There are always thousands or millions of germs, bacteria, fungi and viruses around us. They get into the lungs while we inhale and if the immune system is weaker, then they can attack the body.
Essential oils that are high in antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal compounds can kill most of them. Pine makes no exception and can be diffused for the purification of the air you breathe at home, work or in a bus. This is a simple and pleasant way to prevent many respiratory infections.
If we talk about diffusion, then there are several methods here which you can use:
- Bath water: you have to blend 10 drops of Pine EO in some milk, honey or bath salts and add it to your steaming water. This will benefit the skin as well as the mind and respiratory system!
- Steam baths: Boil a bit of water and pour it in a wide bowl. Add up to 2 drops in, cover your head with a towel and inhale deeply for 10 minutes. That will clear your nasal passages right away.
- Essential oils diffuser: No matter what type of diffuser you have, you can add up to 7 – 8 drops of Pine essence in the small water recipient. The flame underneath or the electrical mist will spread the molecules throughout the room.
Be careful with diffusers and try not to overdo it. Some studies suggest that less than 60 minutes’ inhalations can lower the heartbeat and the blood pressure. That will slowly induce relaxation.
Longer diffusions can have the opposite effect. I recommend diffusing for 20 – 30 minutes per hour. The inhalation process continues even after you’ve stopped the diffuser!
You can find more details on how to diffuse essential oils and how to clean your diffusers here.
Here’s a list with what you can use Pine essential oil for, and how:
Allergies or Stuffy Nose
For allergies or hypersensitivity, you can use a few drops of Pine essence. Depending on where it happens, you can use one of the above mentioned methods in diffusion and inhalation. You can pour 2 – 3 drops in your cupped hands and inhale deeply for a few good minutes.
Essential oils can reach the blood, the lungs, the kidneys and the brain very fast this way. We’re talking about a proportion of 50 – 70% of the oil’s molecules getting into your body through inhalation.
You can do the same thing for stuffy nose, or make yourself a simple inhaler. You will have to find a special recipient, which can be done quite easily. Infuse the special paper inside with Pine oil and inhale deeply anywhere, anytime you need it.
For stuffy nose, if you’re at home, you can also make yourself a blend and massage the chest and the sinuses with it. Keep the areas warm and do not leave the house for 1 or 2 hours to avoid aggravating the situation.
- Pine EO: 4 drops
- Lavender EO: 2 drops
- Eucalyptus EO: 3 drops
- Sweet Almond oil: 1 Oz (30ml)
Apply this blend with circular massage movements as many times as necessary. You can also leave out the vegetable oil (Almond oil) and add 2 drops of the essential oils mixture into a steam bath.
Congestion and Phlegm
At first, it may seem like you’re getting temporary relief, but don’t give up. It takes a little while until the oil starts working towards eliminating the mucus. This oil is a good decongestant and expectorant. Pine essential oil will help loosen and eliminate all the mucus and phlegm that block the respiratory passages.
You could also use your blend to massage the spine, the thorax or the soles.
Respiratory Infections, Bronchitis or Colds
One of the best ways to improve these symptoms is by taking a hot bath infused with some Pine oil. Don’t forget to dilute the oil in a neutral base (salts, milk, etc.) before adding it to the water. The steam will open up the pores and absorb as many beneficial molecules as possible.
Such a therapeutic bath will help relieve headaches, muscle and joint pain. The oil will clear up the nasal passages and act on any lung inflammation. It will soothe chest pain too.
You can also continue with a massage on the sinuses, chest and thorax with a simple blend from:
- Cajeput essential oil: 3 drops
- Pine essential oil: 5 drops
- Jojoba or Grapeseed oil: 1 Oz (30 ml)
Mix well all these ingredients in a roll-on bottle for a simpler application. Don’t forget to shake well before use and keep it stored in a cool, dark and dry place.
Apply as many times as necessary. You can, of course, pair this method with a few minutes of diffusion too. Applied to the skin, the aromatic oil of Pine has a warming effect, which is always helpful in colds.
Did You Know?
- Pine trees are used in many industries and nothing goes to waste. The wood is used in the building industry. The tar and the pitch of the pine are also used in constructions or shoe making industry. The pine needles are used in Aromatherapy for distillation, and the pine resin is used in the music industry. The latter produces a substance called rosin, which is used to smear the violin bows for a proper grip. In the food industry, we use pine cone nuts too.
Other Pine Tree Varieties and How to Choose a Pure Pine Essential Oil
Now you know how to use this amazing concentrated essence to enjoy all its properties. But you must also learn how to choose the right type when you want to prevent or improve/treat respiratory conditions. But first, let’s see a few general facts about it.
This essential oil is extracted through steam distillation, from the needles of the tree. Sometimes, pine cones are also used for the extraction of oils. There’s a need of 250 kilos of needles to get half a liter of Pine essential oil! That’s how concentrated the oil is, so you can imagine the power in one single drop.
Pinus sylvestris trees grow in a very large number, on vast areas in Europe (Russia, Siberia, Norway). However, they can also be found in Asia and America. Other varieties can be found throughout the continents.
There are male pine cones and female pine cones. The female pine cones look exactly like we know a cone looks like, and it bears edible nuts. The male pine cones are necessary for the production of these cone nuts that can be very expensive, by the way. It may take between 18 to 36 months for the nuts to mature!
To make sure the oil you purchase is good quality and pure, you must look after the Latin name, extraction method and the country of origin. They must all be stated on the label of the bottle. The bottle needs to be dark glass (amber or blue). Essential oils can interact with plastic and in time, eat away at it. Here’s more info on how to choose high quality essential oils.
I am telling you all these because Pine oils are among the most frequently adulterated (spoiled) oils. They’re usually spoiled with synthetic turpentine, which makes the oil synthetic.
The price is usually a giveaway, even though the pure one is relatively cheap too. Better to make sure by doing your research first. I recommend comparing prices if you don’t have a trustworthy source for your oils.
Other Pine essential oils that are very different in chemical composition and properties than Pinus sylvestris are:
- Dwarf pine (mountain pine) (Pinus mugo).
- Long-leaf pine (Pinus palustri).
- Black pine or Austrian pine (Pinus laricio).
- Maritime pine or Cluster pine (Pinus pinaster).
- North American pine (Pinus ponderosa).
- Red pine (Pinus resinosa).
- Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus).
There are many other species in the Pinaceae family, but these are more popular besides the Pinus sylvestris variety.
A few safety words for the use of Pine essential oil (Pinus Sylvestris):
- Don’t use the oil undiluted! It may cause sensitization or irritation. Always mix it with a carrier oil before skin application.
- Always test the oil for allergic reactions before the first use. Apply a small amount on your forearm and wait a few hours.
- In diffusions, combine this oil with a citrus essential oil whenever possible.
- Don’t use large dosages!
- Avoid using this oil before bedtime because it has stimulant properties and can act as a tonic.
- Avoid the use of Pine oils in the first 5 months of pregnancy or nursing.
- Also, avoid using it on children younger than 6 years old without medical approval.
- Seek medical consultation before using Pine oil if you suffer from hypertension or asthma.
- Do not take the oil internally, at least not without your doctor’s approval.
As you can see, the essence of Pine is quite impressive. It can be used in so many ways and can do so many things! As long as you take into consideration all the safety precautions and the recommended dosages, you should always keep a bottle close by.
Make sure you pay attention to the label of the product and the company that sells it to you. You wouldn’t want to use synthetic Pine essential oil, would you?!
Is this oil something you consider using from now on to improve your breathing or allergies? Or maybe you already have some experience with it and you would like to share? I’ll be looking forward to your comments.