Commonly referred to as maritime or sea pine, ocean pine essential oil is derived from the needles and bark of pine trees native to the coastal regions of the Mediterranean. With a scent that offers woodsy, floral, and balsamic notes, this oil is grounding and comforting.
Ocean pine oil not only purifies the mind but can also help heal the body. This essential oil has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic properties, and can act as a disinfectant. Additionally, it has a variety of topical and aromatic uses.
Ocean pine essential oil falls into the well-known pine family. This variety of oil is lesser-known but still provides some amazing benefits. We’ve put together this guide to help you learn about ocean pine and the benefits it can add to your essential oil collection. Let’s dive in!
The History of Ocean Pine
Using the bark of the maritime pine tree dates back to the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates.1 In the fourth century BCE, Hippocrates used the tree bark therapeutically to reduce inflammation. By the 15th century, the bark of the maritime pine was used to heal wounds and topically treat skin disorders.
Maritime pine bark was later used by French Explorer Jacques Cartier to treat crewmen that developed scurvy while at sea.2 French researchers who discovered Cartier’s journal explaining the bark’s scurvy-curing power began experimenting with ocean pine. These scientists learned the extracts from the tree act as an antioxidant that promotes a healthy circulatory system, reduces inflammation, and protects the skin.
The bark of ocean pine trees is still used therapeutically throughout the world. Now, more of the tree is used as the pine tree’s needles are steam distilled to make ocean pine oil.
Today, ocean pine essential oil is used medicinally to treat respiratory problems including the common cold. It’s also used in the sporting world as a pain reliever for sore muscles and joints. Ocean pine essential oil is also commonly used in aromatherapy for its ability to reduce stress.
A few chemical compounds make up the unique structure of ocean pine oil. The benefits of the oil come from the combined effects of these compounds:
- Alpha-pinene and beta-pinene
- Oligomeric proanthocyanins
This can be a bit confusing if you aren’t a chemist, so let’s break it down. Several of these compounds are the building blocks of many different oils and provide them with the healing properties we know and love. Essentially, the chemical makeup of an oil is what makes it so beneficial.
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Terpenes like pinene help give ocean pine oil its distinct aroma while also contributing cleansing and antioxidant properties to the oil. The anti-inflammatory benefits from ocean pine oils come from sesquiterpenes. These constituents can also positively affect emotions in aromatherapy with ocean pine. The esters in ocean pine oil are also relaxing and can calm the nerves.
When combined, these chemical compounds make ocean pine healing for both the mind and body. In fact, the oil has a lot of versatility and can be used for many ailments.
Common Uses for Ocean Pine Essential Oil
Ocean pine oil has countless therapeutic uses and is currently being researched for its potential to treat diabetes, varicose veins, asthma, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and more.3 The oil has a lot of potential, and there are already a few common ways to incorporate ocean pine essential oil into your life that are tried and true.
Refreshes the Mind
One of the main uses for ocean pine essential oil is aromatherapy. Just like its aquatic namesake, ocean pine oil calms the nerves and relaxes the mind. Think of it as a miniature vacation in a bottle. The oil is said to promote feelings of positivity, confidence, and improved self-image.
This is why ocean pine is often used in yoga practices to provide grounding and support. It is also a good essential oil choice to diffuse during the workday or when you need a little serenity and focus.
Ultimately, ocean pine oil can help users remain balanced within the ebbs and flows of life while standing tall (just like the pine tree from which the oil is derived). The oil can be combined in aromatherapy to maximize benefits and meet individual needs.
It blends well with pine, rhododendron, eucalyptus, lavender, tea tree, terebinth, sage, peppermint, lemon, myrtle, sandalwood, and even grapefruit essential oils. Play around with blends, or just place a few drops of ocean pine essential oil in a diffuser to reap its benefits.
Cleans the Air
Ocean pine oil is great for aromatherapy, and it offers additional benefits when used in the air (such as when the oil is diffused) This essential oil can cleanse the air of bacteria and other pollutants. Ocean pine is kind of like an air filter as it replaces stuffy rooms with a refreshing and relaxing aroma.
The oil can even reduce particles like dust mites, pollen, and pet dander that often linger in the atmosphere of the home. In this way, ocean pine can help relieve allergies, hay fever, and generally help you breathe easier.
Since ocean pine oil acts as an environmental disinfectant, it can encourage a healthy immune system. The oil might kill airborne viruses such as the common cold or the flu. Even if you do get sick, ocean pine oil can provide effective treatment for the respiratory system (but we’ll cover that more in just a second).
Ocean pine oil can also be added to homemade household cleaners to kill bacteria and leave the whole house smelling great.
Ocean pine oil is anti-inflammatory. In fact, reducing inflammation was the first way the maritime pine tree was used—way back in ancient Greece. The oil still has value in modern medicine today.4 When applied topically, the oil can help reduce the effects of arthritis, joint pain, and cramps.
Ocean pine oil also offers value to athletes. The oil can calm inflamed muscle due to overuse or injury. It may increase circulation, meaning an affected area can heal itself more quickly. Further, ocean pine is antiseptic and can disinfect injured areas as it decreases the growth of potentially harmful bacteria.
Essential oils of any source are highly concentrated, and ocean pine oil is no exception. If you want to try using this oil topically, be sure to dilute a few drops into a carrier oil or lotion before applying to sore muscles or aching joints. You can also mix ocean pine with a variety of other oils that aid in pain relief, but keep in mind that a little goes a long way.
Maintains Respiratory Function
There are a variety of essential oils that can help treat the respiratory system and ocean pine can easily be added to the list. This oil provides relief from congestion, sinus infections, flu, or simply the common cold.
Ocean pine oil helps get rid of the stuffiness in the head on two levels. The oil works by reducing inflammation caused by infected tissue in the respiratory system while working to expel excess mucus. It calms pressure while increasing the ability to breathe.
There are a couple of ways to benefit from ocean pine healing. The oil can be added to a room diffuser to reduce congestion and clear the air of allergens, bacteria, and other pollutants. A few drops of the oil can also be placed at the bottom of the shower to increase the power of the steam. The other way to enjoy ocean pine oil is through topical application. This is ideal when congestion is in the chest and can also be used to combat issues with the lungs.5 Simply dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil and apply to the chest, throat, or under the nose.
Acts as an Antioxidant
Research has shown essential oils to be a natural source of important antioxidants.6 Many essential oils, including ocean pine, help stop damage to the body on the cellular level caused by free radicals. Cellular damage can lead to signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles, as well as a weakened immune system, illness, and potentially even cancer.
The antioxidant properties in ocean pine essential oil prevent free radical damage and may be able to reverse some of the effects. The oil can prove beneficial to smokers, those exposed to other environmental pollutants, and those who tan or otherwise have excessive exposure to the sun.
Try ocean pine oil in a bath or add it to skincare creams and lotions to reap the skincare antioxidant benefits. Add ocean pine oil to sunscreen to prevent damage from UV rays, or use the oil in a diffuser to reduce free radicals caused by environmental contamination. Ocean pine can also be mixed with other oils such as cedarwood, rose, myrrh, nutmeg, sage, and clove that are also extremely high in antioxidants.
Alternative Uses for Ocean Pine Essential Oil
Ocean pine essential oil is currently being researched because it has the potential for even more exciting benefits and therapeutic uses.7 While these perks of ocean pine have not yet been indisputably proven, they are worth watching. Of course, ocean pine essential oil will not be an end-all cure for every possible ailment, but it could be an effective addition to a full treatment plan.
Research indicates that ocean pine oil can be an effective, natural treatment for certain symptoms of viral diseases. This is shown in the oil’s ability to reduce inflammation and clear congestion. Maritime pine oil is already available in health products like vitamins around the world. There’s also some evidence that the bark from the ocean pine may help treat asthma as it helps users breathe more easily.
Some researchers think ocean pine oil can be useful in treating heart disease, as it may be able to reduce cholesterol deposits and blood clotting.8 The antioxidant properties of the oil can also protect against carcinogenic damage, meaning it might be helpful in preventing some cancers.
Finally, the pine is believed to be beneficial in maintaining healthy brain cells and improving memory. This, coupled with the calming effect the oil can have during aromatherapy, might make it useful as part of a treatment plan for mental health.
Safety and Precautions
Ocean pine essential oil is typically safe to use for otherwise healthy adults. There are a few things to be cautious of before adding this oil into your normal routine.
Ocean pine oil should not be ingested as it can cause stomach discomfort. It may also be dangerous to those with diabetes as it can change blood sugar levels.
If applied topically, it should be diluted before use. Always test a new oil on a small patch of skin to ensure no negative reactions or sensitivity occurs. Ocean pine might cause photosensitivity, so avoid direct sunlight (or wear sunscreen) while using the oil.
Consult a physician before using ocean pine oil if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Ocean pine essential oil belongs to a highly celebrated family of pine oils, though the maritime variety is lesser known. Thankfully, ocean pine is becoming more recognized for its great potential in combating diseases both mental and physical.
Ocean pine oil can help reduce pain, calm the nerves, cleanse the air and home, heal the respiratory system, and much more. Add ocean pine to your oil routine with topical application or by adding a few drops to a diffuser. Ocean pine oil also greatly complements several personal and portable essential oil diffusers. Try it alongside carefully crafted blends like Ocean MONQ.