Longleaf oil may have a familiar, clean and calming scent. Longleaf oil is also known as pine oil or fir leaf oil. Besides giving off that wonderful pine scent that makes you think of the holidays, longleaf oil has many health benefits and many uses.
Pine oil is a colorless to pale yellow essential oil. Depending on its source, pine oil may either have a fresh, earthy and forest-like fragrance or a strong, dry, balsamic, turpentine-like odor. Also called fir leaf oil or oleum folii pini sylvestris, pine oil should not be confused with pine nut oil. Pine nut oil, which is also referred to as pinon, pine kernel, or Indian nut, is a vegetable oil mostly used for cooking. It is derived from the seeds of the pine tree. 1
Pine oil, on the other hand, is extracted through steam distillation of the needle-like foliage of the pine tree. Generally, pine oil comes from trees of the genus Pinus. Some of its well-known varieties include:2
- Dwarf pine needle (Pinus mugo) – A tall and shrub-like tree harvested from the Swiss Alps. In Europe, this plant is used in healing skin and scalp diseases.
- Long leaf pine or turpentine (Pinus palustris) – This tree, which grows up to 150 feet, originates from the United States and is widely used for the distillation of American gum spirits of turpentine. It was also used to prevent scurvy. 3
- Scotch pine or Norway pine (Pinus sylvestris) – This high, evergreen tree has a reddish-brown and deeply fissured bark that grows pair of long, stiff needles. Largely produced in the Baltic states, the essential oil from this species is a hypertensive, tonic stimulant.
This evergreen tree can grow up to 40 meters (130 feet) and has a flat crown and has a reddish-brown, deeply fissured bark, needle-like gray-green leaves that grow in pairs, orange-yellow flowers and pointed brown cones.
Pine has a rich and multi-faceted history. Historically, mattresses were stuffed with the needles of the pine tree to help repel lice and fleas. The ancient Egyptians used pine kernels in their cooking.
Crude pine resin is distilled to produce rosin (used to give violinists’ bows the proper “stick”) and turpentine, a solvent most closely associated with paint. It is also extensively cultivated for its wood, tar and pitch, and is often used in building and construction. Pine is also a common fragrance component in soaps, detergents, cosmetics and toiletries.
This variety of pine (Pinus sylvestris), also known as Scotch pine, contains 50 percent to 90 percent monoterpenes, which endow it with its characteristic house cleaning abilities.
Pine has a long history of use in folk medicine, and the entire tree yields a wealth of healing properties. The fragrant needles and twigs have been used for centuries throughout Europe and beyond to treat a wide range of respiratory, muscular and painful joint conditions. The needles and shoots were used to treat bronchial conditions, coughs, colds, fevers and rheumatic pain, and many tribes would burn parts of the tree along with juniper and cedar in their purifying rituals and to repel mosquitos, lice and fleas.
The essential oil derived from the needles and twigs has been used throughout Europe for fevers, arthritis, rheumatism, muscular pain and respiratory conditions. It is incorporated in the fragrances of air-fresheners, disinfectants, detergents, soaps, bath toiletries and fougere fragrances.
One of the most important health benefits of pine essential oil is its role in treating various skin problems. Dermatologists often prescribe the oil for treating psoriasis, itching, pimples, eczema, skin diseases, poor skin, scabies, sores and fleas. It gives you balanced, smooth, renewed and shiny skin and can act as an antioxidant for the free radicals that can have such a negative impact on the health of your skin. Free radicals attack the healthy skin cells and cause them to mutate, resulting in premature aging, wrinkles and sagging skin. Pine essential oil can combat these negative effects.
Because of its potent properties, pine oil resists redness and swelling for people with joint pain and discomfort. Used topically, it may help relieve general muscular aches and pains. Add to a hot bath or to a base massage oil, such as almond or coconut.
Pine Essential Oil has been used traditionally for to support the respiratory system. It shares many of the properties of Eucalyptus globulus. And is found in a professionally made blend called RC (also contains three varieties of eucalyptus).
Remember Pine Sol? It was one of the first disinfectants on the market. Add a few drops of pine essential oil to your mop water, your toilet bowl or your dish water to disinfect your cleaning.
The health benefits of pine oil include some emotional benefits. It gives an energizing, invigorating feeling. Pine plant oil is useful for people suffering from loss of concentration and loss of memory. Regular massage with pine essential oil lends mental clarity;
Pine essential oil has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that aids in treating rheumatic pain, muscular aches, stiff joints and arthritis. Massaging the affected area with five to six drops of Pine oil added to soothing carrier oils like sesame oil or coconut oil followed by a hot bath blended with three drops of pine oil can grant you relief from all kinds of pain. This massaging also helps in boosting your metabolism and stimulates the process of digestion. Pine essential oil is also used as a diuretic for eliminating water retention and toxins from your body.
|Because it is so strong, it is best used sparingly in a massage or a bath. The effect will soothe away stress, improve the mood and stimulate the senses. It is one of the best oils for calming and relaxing without sedating.What Are Other Benefits of Longleaf Oil?Physical Benefits● Asthma● Bronchitis
● Excessive perspiration
● Insect Repellant
● Muscle aches
● Sore Throat
● Urinary infections
● Lighten fatigue
● Lessen stress
● Dispel exhaustion
Here is a video describing the benefits of pine oil.
Pine oil can be used as:
● Fragrance in soaps, creams, detergents, and many pharmaceutical preparations – Analgesic ointments, nasal decongestants, and cough and cold medicines
● Flavoring component in many edible products, including alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, baked goods, confectionery, frozen dairy desserts, gelatins and puddings
● Insect repellant – To protect your wool sweaters from moths and other insects, pour 10 drops of pine oil onto small pieces of untreated wood. Place the pieces of wood in your closets or drawers.5
● Air freshener – Eliminate the awful smell of cigarettes and stale air by adding four drops of pine oil to one cup of water. Pour the mixture in a spray bottle, shake it well, and spray it to instantly freshen up your room. Avoid spraying it on furniture.
● Massage oil before and after exercise – Create your own pre-and post-workout massage oil to prevent or soothe strained muscles. Add three drops of pine oil, juniper-berry oil and rosemary oil in two ounces of jojoba oil.
Pine needle essential oil has a range of uses, including a powerful antiseptic quality that can be put to great use during the cold and ‘flu season. Vaporising this oil can help to stop the spread of infection while also clearing a stuffy nose. Used in massage, its rubefacient and diuretic properties are invaluable for muscular aches and pains, arthritis, rheumatism, fluid retention and cellulite.
Although not documented, pine needle oil appears to have a mild analgesic action that really helps ease the pain of stiff joints and muscles. Pine oil acts as a tonic to the whole system making it good for convalescence as well as boosting the emotions, bringing upliftment and strength to negativity, sadness, nervous exhaustion and stress. It is a strengthening and grounding oil.
Classed as a top note, pine needle essential oil adds a fresh, green note wherever it is used, and works especially well with cypress, cedar atlas and virginian, citronella, juniper berry, lavender, lemongrass, linaloe wood, marjoram sweet, peppermint, rosemary, sandalwood, spearmint and most citrus oils.
Essential pine oil should be used with care because it is very powerful. If left undiluted, it may irritate skin and mucous membranes. Internal consumption may be hazardous to human health.
- Eyes, ears, nose, and throat
- Difficulty swallowing
- Throat burning
- Eye burning
- Breathing difficulty
- Heart and blood circulation
- Nervous system
What to Expect at the Emergency Room
The health care provider will measure and monitor the patient’s vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate and blood pressure. Blood and urine tests will be done. The patient may receive:
- Endoscopy — camera down the throat to see burns in the esophagus and the stomach
- Fluids through a vein (by IV)
- Medicines to treat symptoms
- Tube through the mouth into the stomach to wash out the stomach (gastric lavage)
- Washing of the skin (irrigation), perhaps every few hours for several days
- Skin debridement (surgical removal of burned skin)
How well a patient does depends on the amount of poison swallowed and how quickly treatment was received. Swallowing pine oil can have severe effects on many parts of the body. Usually, the biggest problem is that pine oil is swallowed (aspirated) into the lungs instead of the stomach, causing problems breathing. The faster a patient gets medical help, the better the chance for recovery.
The essential oil is obtained by steam distillation of fresh twigs and needles of the pine tree. Sometimes sawdust from the hard wood is used. To extract the oil, the botanical material is placed in a still and is subjected to extremely high temperatures.
To make your own pine oil at home, follow this easy do-it-yourself guide from eHow.10
What you will need:
- 1/ 2 cup sweet almond oil
- 2 to 3 cups pine tree needles
- Large-mouth jar with lid
- Mortar and pestle
- Cheesecloth or fine-mesh cotton gauze
- Dark bottle with cap for storage
- Harvest fresh pine needles. Do not use pine needles that have fallen to the ground, as they are very likely to cause molds and spoil your essential oil.
- Wash the pine needles with warm water and mild detergent soap to remove impurities. Rinse thoroughly.
- Pat the pine needles dry with clean paper towels.
- Gently bruise the leaves using mortar and pestle.
- Pour the sweet almond oil into the large-mouth jar.
- Add all the pine needles into the jar.
- Cover the jar and shake it to cover the needles with almond oil.
- Store the jar in a warm room with an ambient temperature of at least 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep it out of direct sunlight.
- Shake the jar once a day for seven days.
- After one week, put in a dark storage – for example, inside your cupboard – and allow it to age/ferment for at least 14 days. Do not shake the jar during this time period.
- After 14 days, sift the oil through a piece of cheesecloth or fine-mesh cotton gauze to remove solid particles. Squeeze cheesecloth to get remaining essential oil.
- Transfer your homemade pine oil in a dark bottle. Cover with cap tightly to keep it fresh longer and to avoid contamination.
Warning: Do not ingest homemade essential oils. Discard homemade pine oil after 10 to 12 months.
Here is a video on how to extract essential oil from pine needles: