The scent of pine is often reminiscent of a brisk walk through the woods or a festive holiday season. While the scent is fresh and uplifting, it does so much more than just lift the spirits. The essential oil provides a range of health benefits—from boosting immune system function to improving respiratory function.
Scotch pine essential oil is just one of a handful of different pine essential oils, all steam distilled from different species of the genus Pinus. Scotch pine essential is distilled from Pinus sylvestnis, which is also commonly known as the Scotch pine or Scots pine. Other varieties of pine essential oil include Dwarf pine (Pinus mugo) and Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris). 1
The History of Scotch Pine
The Scotch pine tree is native to Europe and known as the national tree of Scotland. The tree can grow to a height of 130 feet and has needle-like leaves. The tree itself is often cultivated for its wood, tar, pitch, turpentine, and as a Christmas tree.
Alternatively, Native Americans used to chew pine needles as a way to prevent scurvy. The bark was often used to treat inflammation, sores, coughs, colds, respiratory problems, infections, and headaches. Mattresses were stuffed with pine needles to ward off lice and fleas. Even Hippocrates was known to have used pine to remedy respiratory issues. 2
Today, Scotch pine essential oil is steam distilled from the pine needles of Pinus sylvestnis. The resulting oil is clear and has fresh, earthy, woody, and balsamic notes. It is often used to improve respiratory function, reduce muscle pain, alleviate stress, and disinfect surfaces. 1
Scotch pine essential oil is known for its antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, bactericidal, deodorant, decongestant, diuretic, expectorant, and insecticidal properties. 2
These benefits come from its chemical composition, which primarily includes:
- Bornyl acetate
- P-Cymene 3
Scotch pine essential oil has a high concentration of A-pinene, which is known for its ability to clear the sinuses and increase airflow to the lungs. It is also known for being anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, and antispasmodic. 4
Common Uses for Scotch Pine Essential Oil
Whether you’re suffering from a respiratory condition or simply looking for a chemical-free way to clean your home, scotch pine essential oil has you covered. It can be used both aromatically and topically to reduce the symptoms of a variety of ailments.
The analgesic properties of scotch pine essential oil make it an ideal oil to use to reduce muscle and joint pain, especially for those suffering from arthritis and rheumatic conditions. Its anti-inflammatory properties also help to reduce swelling and inflammation. 2
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To reduce muscle and joint pain, mix scotch pine essential oil with a carrier oil and massage gently onto the affected areas. Alternatively, add a few drops of this oil to a relaxing bath.
Scotch pine essential oil can also be used to relieve headache pain. For this, either diffuse the essential oil of the home or mix with a carrier oil and gently massage onto your temples.
Scotch pine essential oil is a diuretic, meaning it increases the frequency of urination. This helps the body remove excess water, toxins, and salt. By increasing urination and removing toxins, it takes the strain off of the kidneys and keeps them healthy.2
Improves Respiratory Function
If you’re suffering from a cough, cold, flu, allergies, congestion, or bronchitis, scotch pine essential oil may help. The high A-Pinene content in this essential oil makes it especially effective at reducing symptoms of respiratory conditions. It is both an expectorant and a decongestant, which helps loosen and eliminate excess phlegm in the lungs and throat.1 Removing excess phlegm from the respiratory system allows the body to fight infection and heal more quickly.
If you’re having trouble breathing, add a few drops of scotch pine essential oil to a bowl of steaming water. Cover your head with a towel and breathe in the steam for five minutes. You can also mix this essential oil with a carrier oil and gently massage onto the chest and neck to help open up the nasal passages.
Treats Skin Conditions
Scotch pine essential oil has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties, which help reduce the symptoms of various skin conditions. If you’re suffering from acne, eczema, athlete’s foot, psoriasis, or simply dry, itchy skin, try using scotch pine essential oil. It can also be used to reduce the risk of infection in minor scrapes, cuts, and bites. 2
Scotch pine essential also has antioxidant properties due to its limonene content. When used topically, it helps fight free radicals and reduce their negative impact on the skin. This helps reduce signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles.
To treat minor skin conditions, apply scotch pine essential oil directly to the affected areas. If you have sensitive skin, dilute this oil in a carrier oil before applying.
If you’re suffering from stress, anxiety, or mental fatigue, diffusing scotch pine essential oil throughout the home can help alleviate these feelings. For those with a lot of stress or nervous tension, this essential oil proves helpful when added to a massage oil. You can also choose to add a few drops of this essential oil to a relaxing bath.
Scotch pine essential oil can also boost mental clarity, increase energy, and help you maintain focus. This makes it an ideal essential oil to diffuse when you need to focus on a difficult assignment or a tedious task. For a quick, on-the-go remedy to stress, use scotch pine essential oil through a personal essential oil diffuser like Forest, Ocean, or Mountain MONQ.
Supports Immune System Function
The antimicrobial properties of scotch pine essential oil kill against harmful pathogens, helping the body fight disease. Diffusing essential oil throughout the home can cleanse the air and reduce bacteria and viruses that make you sick.
Adding scotch pine essential oil to massage oil or a relaxing bath is also a great way to topically inhibit bacterial and viral infections.
Alternative Uses for Scotch Pine Essential Oil
This powerful essential isn’t only used to boost health but can be used in the home.
The potent antimicrobial properties of scotch pine essential oil make it an ideal natural disinfectant. Simply add a few drops of scotch pine essential oil to a spray bottle with water and use as a disinfecting spray throughout the home. You can also diffuse this essential oil throughout the home with a room diffuser to naturally disinfect the air.
The fresh, woodsy scent of pine is a delightful way to freshen the smell of your home. Scotch pine essential oil doesn’t smell anything like the “pine” cleaners you may be used to. Instead, it fills the air with a fresh scent reminiscent of a crisp walk through the woods. It’s perfect for entertaining guests during the holidays or for simply adding a fresh scent to your everyday routine.
Safety and Precautions
Scotch pine essential oil is safe for topical and aromatic use, but it should not be used internally. Consuming scotch pine essential oil can cause damage to the kidneys and may increase blood pressure. 2
Before using this oil topically, you should always conduct a patch skin test to ensure you don’t experience an allergic reaction. Because this essential oil is potent, it is recommended to dilute it with a carrier oil even if you don’t usually have sensitive skin.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid the use of essential oils unless otherwise advised by their doctor. Do not attempt to use scotch pine essential oil in place of a prescription medication or to treat a chronic condition without first consulting with a medical professional.
When stored correctly in a cool, dark place, this essential oil should last for approximately three years. 6
With its multitude of uses, Scotch pine essential oil could prove to be a wonderful addition to your collection. Whether you’re using it topically to alleviate pain or reduce chances of infection, or aromatically to cleanse the air and alleviate stress, you will reap the benefits of incorporating this essential oil into your daily routine.