In the spirit of the deep freeze most of the country is currently experiencing, today’s Friday Feature is highlighting a quintessential element in the Canadian winter:Pine.
Originally from Eurasia, Scots pine is now cultivated in the USA, Europe, and Scandanavia. Pine has been long known for its connection to good health, and the needles themselves have been used medicinally for hundreds of years. Pine was a favourite of the father of Western medicine, Hippocrates, who used it for its strong healing effect on the respiratory system. Aboriginal tribes have also long revered pine needles in bedding, as they help to prevent bedbugs and lice.
In modern society, pine is still recognized for its fresh and cleansing qualities– that is why many household cleaning products are scented with ‘fresh pine’. But pine is good for much more than just perfumery – in fact, it has one of the largest range of uses of any essential oil.
Uplifting pine has been know to have a warming effect on sore joints and muscles, and its clearing action may help to unblock sinuses and ease breathing, amongst other things. Let’s take a deeper look at this multipurpose essential oil.
KEY ACTIONS | Energizing, cleansing
METHODS OF USE | Massage, bath, compress, room fragrancing, inhalation, sauna
TOP REASONS FOR USE | Decongestant, bronchitis, hay fever, urinary infections, rheumatism
METHOD OF EXTRACTION | Pine oil for aromatherapy is steam-distilled from the needles. Distillation occurs mainly in the USA and Eastern Europe.
Eases breathing Decongesting and antiviral, Pine Essential Oil may protect against viruses, and may ease hay fever symptoms.
Acts as a painkiller A warming oil, pine’s analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties soothe muscular aches and painful joints. It can be applied locally in a base oil to boost circulation to affected areas.
Acts as an antiseptic The oil may be used to treat infectious skin problems such as impetigo and boils.
Acts as an insect repellent Add a few drops to a strip of fabric or piece of wood and place with clothes to protect them from moths.
Supports urinary health The oil has been know to be effective for soothing cystitis, prostate problems, and urinary infections.
Enhances wellbeing A grounding oil, pine’s aroma revitalizes mind and spirit, relieving exhaustion, tension, and other stress-related symptoms.
Freshens air Pine is ideal for clearing stale smells and eliminating odours.
As an air freshener Add 20-30 drops to 60ml each of vodka and water. Pour into a spray bottle and use to clear the air, avoiding furniture. Not for internal use.
Pine is appropriate if you have a strong tendency to feel guilty. You may have been repressed as a child and punished for having a rebellious spirit or non-conformist attitudes. You may come from a strongly religious background, expecting divine retribution for your sins. This type of early experience will tend to make you fearful of enjoyment and to negate inner feelings that may cause conflict. This can produce a tendency to rigidity and self-punishment and on the physical level induce tension and a tight chest. Using pine will help to break through all types of rigidity and will enable you to reconnect with your own sensitivity, affording you greater enjoyment and happiness in life.
Safety: Sensitization possible. Do not use in concentrations above 2%.
Refreshing Diffusion Blend
If you feel sluggish or overcome by nervous exhaustion, this energizing diffusion blend could be the perfect pick-me-up. Pine Essential Oil has a refreshing effect, stimulating the nervous system and, along with eucalyptus, enhancing concentration. Peppermint is reviving and refreshing.
*Article published with reference to Neal's Yard Remedies Essential Oils book. A definitive guide to 42 essential oils, including descriptions of each oil's character, uses, therapeutic properties, psychological profile and safety information.
Curtis, Susan. Neal's Yard Remedies Essential Oils. London: Winter Press, 2017
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