Discover the Health Benefits of the ‘Christmas Tree’, Spruce Oil and Pine Oil

The Pine tree is easily recognized as the “Christmas Tree,” but it is also commonly cultivated for its wood, which is rich in resin and is thus ideal for use as fuel, as well as for making a pitch, tar, and turpentine, substances that are traditionally used in construction and painting.

In folk tales, the height of the Pine tree has led to its symbolic reputation as a tree that loves the sunlight and is always growing taller in order to catch the beams. This is a belief that is shared throughout many cultures, which also refer to it as “The Master of Light” and “The Torch Tree.” Accordingly, in the region of Corsica, it is burned as a spiritual offering so that it can emit a source of light. In some Native American tribes, the tree is called “The Watchman of the Sky.”

In history, the Pine tree’s needles were used as filling for mattresses, as they were believed to have the ability to protect against fleas and lice. In ancient Egypt, pine kernels, better known as Pine Nuts, were used in culinary applications. The needles were also chewed to protect against scurvy. In ancient Greece, Pine was believed to have been used by physicians like Hippocrates to address respiratory ailments. For other applications, the tree’s bark was also used for its believed ability to reduce symptoms of colds, to calm inflammation and headaches, to soothe sores and infections, and to ease respiratory discomforts.

Today, Pine Oil continues to be used for similar therapeutic benefits. It has also become a popular aroma in cosmetics, toiletries, soaps, and detergents. This article highlights the various other benefits, properties, and safe uses of Pine Essential Oil.

PINE OIL BENEFITS

It is believed to have cleansing, stimulating, uplifting, and invigorating effects. When diffused, its purifying and clarifying properties are known to positively impact the mood by clearing the mind of stresses, energizing the body to help eliminate fatigue, enhancing concentration, and promoting a positive outlook. These qualities also make it beneficial for spiritual practices, such as meditation.

Used topically, such as in cosmetics, the antiseptic and antimicrobial properties of Pine Essential Oil are known to help soothe skin conditions characterized by itchiness, inflammation, and dryness, such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis. These properties combined with its ability to help control excessive perspiration may help prevent fungal infections, such as Athlete’s Foot. It is also known to effectively protect minor abrasions, such as cuts, scrapes, and bites, from developing infections. Its antioxidant properties make Pine Oil ideal for use in natural formulations intended to slow the appearance of signs of aging, including fine lines, wrinkles, sagging skin, and age spots. Furthermore, its circulation-stimulating property promotes a warming effect.

When applied to the hair, Pine Essential Oil is reputed to exhibit an antimicrobial property that cleanses to remove bacteria as well as a build-up of excess oil, dead skin, and dirt. This helps prevent inflammation, itchiness, and infection, which in turn enhances the hair’s natural smoothness and shine. It contributes moisture to eliminate and protect against dandruff, and it nourishes to maintain the health of the scalp and strands. Pine Essential Oil is also one of the oils known to protect against lice.

Used medicinally, Pine Essential Oil is reputed to exhibit antimicrobial properties that support immune function by eliminating harmful bacteria, both airborne and on the skin’s surface. By clearing the respiratory tract of phlegm and soothing other symptoms of colds, coughs, sinusitis, asthma, and the flu, its expectorant and decongestant properties promote easier breathing and facilitate the healing of infections.

Used in massage applications, Pine Oil is known to soothe muscles and joints that may be afflicted with arthritis and rheumatism or other conditions characterized by inflammation, soreness, aches, and pain. By stimulating and enhancing circulation, it helps facilitate the healing of scratches, cuts, wounds, burns, and even scabies, as it promotes the regeneration of new skin and helps reduce pain. It is also reputed to help relieve muscle fatigue. Additionally, its diuretic properties help promote the body’s detoxification by encouraging the expulsion of pollutants and contaminants, such as excess water, urate crystals, salts, and fats. This helps maintain the health and function of the urinary tract and the kidneys. This effect also helps regulate body weight.

Pine Essential Oil is reputed to have many therapeutic properties. The following highlights its many benefits and the kinds of activity it is believed to show:

  • COSMETIC: Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-Oxidant, Deodorant, Energizing, Cleansing, Moisturizing, Refreshing, Soothing, Circulation-Stimulating, Smoothing
  • ODOROUS: Calming, Clarifying, Deodorant, Energizing, Focus-Enhancing, Freshening, Insecticidal, Invigorating, Uplifting
  • MEDICINAL: Antibacterial, Antiseptic, Anti-Fungal, Anti-Inflammatory, Antibacterial, Analgesic, Decongestant, Detoxifying, Diuretic, Energizing, Expectorant, Soothing, Stimulating, Immune-Enhancing

PINE OIL USES

By diffusing Pine Oil, whether on its own or in a blend, indoor environments benefit from the elimination of stale odors and harmful airborne bacteria, such as those that cause colds and the flu. To deodorize and freshen a room with the crisp, fresh, warm, and comforting aroma of Pine Essential Oil, add 2-3 drops to a diffuser of choice and allow the diffuser to run for no more than 1 hour. This helps to reduce or clear nasal/sinus congestion. Alternatively, it may be blended with other essential oils that have woody, resinous, herbaceous, and citrusy aromas. In particular, Pine Oil blends well with the oils of Bergamot, Cedarwood, Citronella, Clary Sage, Coriander, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon, Marjoram, Myrrh, Niaouli, Neroli, Peppermint, Ravensara, Rosemary, Sage, Sandalwood, Spikenard, Tea Tree, and Thyme.

To create a Pine Oil room spray, simply dilute Pine Oil in a glass spray bottle filled with water. This can be sprayed around the house, in the car, or in any other indoor environment in which a considerable amount of time is spent. These simple diffuser methods are reputed to help purify indoor environments, promote mental alertness, clarity, and positivity, and to enhance energy as well as productivity. This makes Pine Oil ideal for diffusion during tasks that require increased focus and awareness, such as work or school projects, religious or spiritual practices and driving. Diffusing Pine Oil also helps soothe coughing, whether it is linked to a cold or to excessive smoking. It is also believed to ease symptoms of hangovers.

Massage blends enriched with Pine Essential Oil are also reputed to have the same effects on the mind, helping to promote clarity, ease mental stresses, strengthen attentiveness, and improve memory. For a simple massage blend, dilute 4 drops of Pine Oil in 30 ml (1 oz.) of a body lotion or carrier oil, then massage it into areas affected with tightness or soreness caused by physical exertion, such as exercise or outdoor activities. This is gentle enough for use on sensitive skin and is believed to soothe aching muscles as well as minor skin ailments, such as itching, pimples, eczema, psoriasis, sores, scabies. In addition, it is also reputed to soothe gout, arthritis, injuries, exhaustion, inflammation, and congestion. To use this recipe as a natural vapor rub blend that promotes easier breathing and soothes a sore throat, massage it into the neck, chest, and upper back to help reduce congestion and comfort the respiratory tract.

For a hydrating, cleansing, clarifying, and soothing facial serum, dilute 1-3 drops of Pine Essential Oil in 1 teaspoon of lightweight carrier oil, such as Almond or Jojoba. This blend is reputed to have purifying, smoothing, and firming qualities. Its antioxidant properties are reputed to result in skin that feels smoother, suppler, balanced, and younger, while its analgesic properties are reputed to reduce pain and swelling.

For a balancing and detoxifying bath blend that is also reputed to enhance energy as well as metabolic function and speed, dilute 5-10 drops of Pine Essential Oil in 30 ml (1 oz.) of carrier oil and add it to a bathtub filled with warm water. This helps to eliminate infection-causing bacteria and viruses that may be on the skin.

To enhance the health of the hair and the scalp by eliminating fungus-causing bacteria and by soothing itchiness, simply dilute 10-12 drops of Pine Oil in ½ cup of a regular shampoo that has minimal or no scent. This simple shampoo blend is believed to help get rid of lice.

A GUIDE TO PINE OIL VARIETIES & THEIR BENEFITS

PINE ORGANIC ESSENTIAL OIL

Botanical Name: Pinus sylvestris

Method of Extraction and Plant Part: Steam distilled from needles and twigs

Country of Origin: Bulgaria

Believed to:

  • Appear either colorless or pale yellow
  • Exude a strong, fresh aroma reminiscent of a forest
  • Blend well with Citronella, Clary Sage, Coriander, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Juniper, Lavender, Myrrh, Rosemary, Spikenard, and Tea Tree
  • Have an uplifting, cleansing, and clearing effect on the body and mind, making it ideal for use in meditation and other spiritual applications
  • Eliminate fatigue and enhance concentration
  • Boost energy and uplift negative moods
  • Promote easier breathing by clearing the respiratory tract of congestion-causing mucus
  • Ease sore muscles and joints as well as headaches
  • Be ideal for adding to natural formulations that require the use of organic ingredients

PINE SCOTCH ESSENTIAL OIL

Botanical Name: Pinus sylvestris

Method of Extraction and Plant Part: Steam distilled from needles and twigs

Country of Origin: Hungary

Believed to:

  • Appear either colorless or pale yellow
  • Exude a woody, evergreen scent similar to natural turpentine
  • Blend well with Citronella, Clary Sage, Coriander, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Juniper, Lavender, Myrrh, Rosemary, Spikenard, and Tea Tree
  • Have an uplifting, cleansing, and clearing effect on the body and mind, making it ideal for use in meditation and other spiritual applications
  • Eliminate fatigue and enhance concentration
  • Boost energy and uplift negative moods
  • Promote easier breathing by clearing the respiratory tract of congestion-causing mucus
  • Ease sore muscles and joints as well as headaches

PINE SCOTCH OIL SIDE EFFECTS

Pine Essential Oil is for external use only. It is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using this oil for therapeutic purposes. Pregnant and nursing women are especially advised not to use Pine Essential Oil without the medical advice of a physician, as it may have an effect on certain hormone secretions and it is unclear whether these effects are transferable to babies at these stages of development. The oil should always be stored in an area that is inaccessible to children, especially those under the age of 7.

Those with the following health conditions are recommended to be advised by a physician: cancer, heart-related ailments, skin disorders, hypertension, or hormone-related ailments. Individuals that are taking prescription drugs, undergoing major surgery, or who are at a greater risk of experiencing strokes, heart attacks, or atherosclerosis are also advised to seek medical consultation prior to use.

Prior to using Pine Oil, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by diluting 1 drop of the Essential Oil in 4 drops of a Carrier Oil and applying a dime-size amount of this blend to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. Pine Oil must never be used near the eyes, inner nose, and ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin. Potential side effects of Pine Oil include mild irritation of the respiratory tract.

Those seeking medical care to manage moods, behaviors, or disorders should treat this essential oil as a complementary remedy rather than a replacement for any medicinal treatments or prescriptions. In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the product and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.

PINE ESSENTIAL OIL ESSENCE…

    • Pine Essential Oil is derived from the needles of the Pine Tree, commonly recognized as the traditional Christmas tree.
    • The scent of Pine Essential Oil is known for having a clarifying, uplifting, and invigorating effect.
    • Used in aromatherapy applications, Pine Essential Oil positively impacts the mood by clearing the mind of stresses, energizing the body to help eliminate fatigue, enhancing concentration, and promoting a positive outlook.
    • Used topically, Pine Essential Oil is reputed to soothe itchiness, inflammation, and dryness, control excessive perspiration, prevent fungal infections, protect minor abrasions from developing infections, slow the appearance of signs of aging, and enhance circulation.
    • When applied to the hair, Pine Essential Oil is reputed to cleanse, enhance the hair’s natural smoothness and shine, contribute moisture, and protect against dandruff as well as lice.
    • Used medicinally, Pine Essential Oil is reputed to support immune function, clear the respiratory tract, address symptoms of colds, coughs, sinusitis, asthma, and the flu, and facilitate the healing of infections.
  • Used in massage applications, Pine Essential Oil is known to soothe inflammation, soreness, aches, pain, and gout; to stimulate and enhance circulation; to facilitate the healing of scratches, cuts, wounds, and burns; to promote the regeneration of new skin; to reduce pain; to relieve muscle fatigue; to promote the body’s detoxification; to maintain the health and function of the urinary tract and the kidneys, and to regulate body weight.

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Black Spruce Essential Oil

It reaches up into the sky but stays firmly grounded by also reaching deep into the earth. It’s stable and elevated at once, and the air flows easily around it.

This is the way Black Spruce essential oil can support us. It opens up the breath while helping us feel grounded in our bodies and uplifted in our minds.

Black Spruce is like a friend who cheers you up after a long day—when you feel tired and all you want to do is lay down, but then you spend time with your friend and are filled with a fresh flow of relief and happy energy. Soon you can’t remember being tired at all!

These recipes show you some of these soothing, restoring aspects of Black Spruce.

Black Spruce is helpful for nighttime allergy symptoms

Black Spruce can be very helpful for allergy symptoms that might keep us from resting at night.

Here’s a blend you can make in 1 oz (28 gm) of aloe (Aloe barbadensis). There’s a version for kids over five years old (with less essential oil) and one for adults.

Kids Nighttime Aloe Allergy Relief

  • 2 drops Black Spruce (Picea mariana)
  • 2 drops Cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana)
  • 2 drops Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Grown-Up Nighttime Aloe Allergy Relief

  • 5 drops Black Spruce (Picea mariana)
  • 5 drops Cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana)
  • 5 drops Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Combine all the ingredients in a 1 oz (30 ml) flip-top bottle. Then just apply the blend to the back of your neck, your upper back, and chest before bed.

It has a one to two-month shelf life, so when it’s time to make it again you can either use the same oils or switch them out for others with similar properties. For another nighttime allergy blend, try Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) and Cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana).

To make this blend for the daytime, try Peppermint (Mentha x piperita), Lemon (Citrus limon), and Siberian Fir (Abies sibirica).

A few words of caution: Be sure to have people with asthma smell this blend before using it. If it makes their chest feel a little tight, try a different remedy.

Black Spruce Gives Great Massages!

When massaging someone who is tired and sore all over (maybe they’ve hiked a little too far, or have achy muscles due to the flu), it is so wonderful to use essential oils that ease pain and offer a gentle infusion of energy.

Black Spruce essential oil fits the bill.

It helps stuck energy flow more freely. That means that physically, it can help relieve tight, constricted areas of pain. Emotionally, it chases away fatigue to make room for more energy!

This blend combines Black Spruce with other oils that relieve pain, while soothing and energizing the heart. Make it in a 1 oz (30 ml) glass bottle.

Tired & Achy Massage Oil

  • 1 oz (30 ml) Trauma Oil (Trauma Oil is a skin-nourishing, pain-reducing oil made by infusing three herbs (arnica, calendula, and St. John’s wort) in a base of carrier oil—usually that’s olive oil.)
  • 8 drops Black Spruce (Picea mariana)
  • 5 drops Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
  • 3 drops Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)
  • 2 drops Lemon (Citrus limon)

This blend works well as an all-over massage oil, but you can also concentrate your attention on specific areas.

The other three oils in the blended support Black Spruce’s effects. Peppermint and Lemon add a wonderful cooling action, and the Lavender soothes pain and helps muscles relax.

How Black Spruce supports respiratory health

When we’re trying to recover from a cold or the flu (or any respiratory issue), what are we actually trying to do?

We’re trying to:

  • Break up and expel mucus.
  • Reduce inflammation.
  • Open up our sinuses.
  • Fight viruses or bacteria (or both!).
  • Boost immunity.
  • Relax tension in our muscles.
  • Ease aches and pains throughout the body.
  • Increase energy (but at the same time support healthy rest).

There are some amazing essential oil components that can do all of this! I’d like to tell you about two:

Bornyl acetate — Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, sedative

1,8 cineole — Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, mucolytic (breaks up mucus), antispasmodic, and airborne antimicrobial

Black Spruce is one of a handful of essential oils that contains bornyl acetate, and a healthy dose of 1,8 cineole is found in Ravensara. The 1,8 cineole in Ravensara is even an airborne antimicrobial so it can help destroy airborne germs before you ever breathe them in.

What would be a good way to make use of these oils and their components? Breathing them in as much as possible! I like to use Aromatherapy inhalers because I can take them with me everywhere

Here’s a great inhaler recipe with Black Spruce:

Fresh Forest Inhaler

  • 8 drops Black Spruce (Picea mariana)
  • 7 drops Ravensara (Ravensara Aromatica)

Making an Aromatherapy inhaler is simple! An inhaler looks like a little lip balm tube. It’s plastic with a cotton insert. The cotton is what holds the essential oils. To make the inhaler, all you have to do is drop the essential oils onto the cotton (I sometimes like to put the cotton in a little bowl first, so I don’t spill any essential oil), then put the cotton into the plastic inhaler sleeve, snap the bottom closed, and you’re done.

Use Black Spruce for back pain blends

I have a lot of favorite essential oils that I turn to in the winter.

Black Spruce essential oil is one of these cold-weather favorites. It has the ability to restore and revitalize your spirit.

Here’s a blend you can rub on your lower back several times a day. It helps support your adrenals so you have more energy to get up, go to work, and deal with your daily tasks on top of cold, foul weather.

“Get Your Groove Back” Back Blend

  • 1 oz (30 ml) jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis)
  • 10 drops Black Spruce (Picea mariana)
  • 3 drops Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)
  • 4 drops Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata)

Make your back blend in a 1 oz (30 ml) glass bottle, and use it when you wake up, in the middle of your day, and as evening sets in. It won’t be long till you’re back in the groove of feeling like yourself.

Black Spruce is one of those bacteria reducing essential oils that makes a great ingredient in natural soaps

This is also a great way to get the respiratory benefits of Black Spruce, as you breathe it in with the steam in the shower. It helps open up your lungs and reduce any mucus or congestion. And its fresh, foresty scent is so refreshing!

Black Spruce Body Wash

  • ½ oz (14 g) castile soap
  • ½ oz (14 g) aloe vera gel (Aloe barbadensis)
  • 6 drops Black Spruce (Picea mariana)
  • 6 drops Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)

This blend works well in a 1 oz (30 ml) plastic flip-top bottle, so it’s safe to use in the shower. I recommend making it fresh every week, as it’s not made with preservatives.

This shower gel has wonderful emotional and mental benefits, too. Black Spruce helps you feel grounded and centered—very down to earth—while also imparting a sense of optimism, possibility, and peace. This is a great way to start the day!

Pine Bark Extracts A Wonderful Remedy for Psoriasis

Pine bark is among the most potent natural substances that promote blood circulation, cleanses arterial plaque and, at the same time, enhances the health of blood vessels. Findings of three latest studies undertaken on the bark extract of French maritime pine trees have shown that this potent substance possesses the aptitude to cure various diseases related to blood and blood vessels, counting hemorrhoids and psoriasis. In fact, the pine bark extract is marketed under the label Pycnogenol.

Researchers in Italy’s Chieti-Pescara University have discovered that when people enduring plaque psoriasis were given 150 mg pine bark extract in the form of a supplement every day for a period of three months experienced considerable improvement in the condition compared to patients in a control group, who were provided with the usual therapy. The researchers also found that patients who took the extract also had notably elevated water content in their skin and reduction of symptoms like induration, erythema, and desquamation.

Pine bark extract facilitates healing inexpensively:

The healing of people taking pine bark extract augmented by 32 percent, while they experienced a 36 percent reduction in expenses compared to the patients in the controls group. In fact, treatment with pine bark extract is very affordable. At the same time, it needs to be mentioned that actually, people with very serious types of plaque psoriasis have benefited most from pine bark extract. This shows the positive effects of this substance.

Another research was undertaken by scientists at the same university for women suffering from chronic hemorrhoids, including third and fourth-degree cases, also experienced the same level of relief when they took a course of 150 mg pine bark extract for over six months – rather than three months. The findings of this study revealed that 75 percent of patients who used the extract did not experience the symptoms associated with hemorrhoids while just 50 percent of patients in the controlled group receiving conventional treatment experienced similar relief.

As in the case of the first study, people enduring extreme symptoms of hemorrhoids benefited most by using pine bark extract. By the time the study concluded, it was found that as high as 75 percent of patients with fourth-degree hemorrhoids did not experience any symptom at all. On the other hand, just 36 percent of patients in the control group receiving the best available standard medicines experienced similar relief.

Pine bark extract helps control cholesterol, blood sugar levels and is effective for arterial health:

A different study was undertaken to determine the efficacy of pine bark extract in treating diseases and conditions related to blood showed that the use of this substance helped to enhance the blood vessels’ flexibility and, at the same time, cleaned the plaque that may cause blockages, thereby affecting blood circulation. This was revealed after researchers gave 93 patients suffering from ailments related to blood or arteries a daily dose of 150 mg of the pine bark extract for two months.

At the end of two months, it was found that the blood circulation of people with high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure or blood sugar issues increased by 54 percent on average. After using the extract for another month the blood flow in the patients’ vessels increased by over 66 percent.

Pine bark extract apparently works by diminishing the oxidative stress that often results in the development of blood circulation and other related problems. To understand the functioning of this natural substance, just visualize the drains and piping at your residence. When they become blocked due to gunk accumulation, it is essential to remove these obstructions by using a dissolving agent or drain rooter. In the case of humans, pine bark extract serves as a dissolving agent.

According to Green Med Info, it has been found that oxidative stress is associated with health conditions like high levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) or “bad” cholesterol and artery plaque. This is because lipid peroxidation changes LDL cholesterol into free radicals that are detrimental to the walls of our blood vessels. It goes on to say that the findings of several studies show that pine bark extract neutralizes free radicals effectively.

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Essential Oils for Grief

I am already such a huge fan of essential oils and their healing ways.  I love how they address body, mind, and spirit.  We lost an adventurous, kind, and joyful friend this month to an Avalanche.  I wanted to make an essential oil blend for his partner, knowing that just smelling these oils or wearing them would be something simple enough that she could manage to do.  I had the advantage of knowing that she is very drawn to Frankincense, so I knew that this sacred oil would be part of the blend.  Frankincense is also one of the best choices for grief. As I did some further research, I found it very fitting that many of the oils that come up for comfort and support are the tree oils.  Both of them were most at home in wild places.  I chose Atlas cedar, cypress, noble fir, and some bergamot to blend with the frankincense.  The result made me feel comforted immediately like I was with family and held.  Others who also smelled it had a similar experience.  Oh, the plants and their mystical, healing ways.  I am forever in their gratitude.  Here is the blend if you ever want to make some for yourself or for someone you know that could use it.  These oils are meant to be inhaled, diffused, or diluted with a carrier oil.  Or put a drop on a pillowcase, shirt sleeve, or tissue.  10 drops frankincense, 5 drops atlas cedar, 5 drops cypress, 5 drops bergamot and 2 drops noble fir.