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Pine needles - beneficial for the respiratory tract and musculoskeletal system

Exercising in the fresh air among spruces, firs and pines is beneficial for body and soul. During a walk through the forest, we absorb organic substances from the conifers and their essential oils through our respiratory tract and skin. Pine is one of the most common trees in Austria - yet only a few know about thehealing effect of pine. We want to change this and today we are giving information and tips on the effect and application of pine needle oil.

In ancient Greece, the effect of pine on ulcers and coughs was already known. Even today, Scots pine is used as a household remedy and can help with all kinds of complaints. The pine tree, Pinus sylvestris, originated in Austria and spread from there all over Europe. The needles of the pine tree contain plenty of natural vitamin C. Hippocrates, the great physician of antiquity, was also aware of the healing properties of pine needles for the lungs and respiratory tract. The all-natural, essential oil of pine offers a variety of health benefits and is gently extracted by steam distillation. As an active ingredient, pine contains mainly essential oils, which consist mainly of pinene, but also resins, bitter and tannins as well as flavonoids. Together, these have a mucolytic and expectorant effect. Highly pure essential pine oil can be recognised when it is colourless and has the typical, deeply resinous scent. In aromatherapy, pine oil is indispensable.

Effect and use of pine needle essential oil

The healing effect of pine is particularly popular for respiratory problems such as a stuck cough, bronchitis, sore throat or hoarseness. Inhalation with pine needle oil or a tea made from pine shoots has been proven to have an effect on inflammatory diseases of the airways and can be used both internally and externally. The oil of the pine tree is also often used in a cough-relieving syrup. Among other things, it has an expectorant, balancing effect on the nervous system, anti-inflammatory and germicidal effect. In particular, the antibacterial and antiviral effect has been proven many times in studies. Chewing pine needles is also said to strengthen the immune defence.

Tips for using pine needles

  • Inhalation: For a cold, runny nose or mild bronchitis, a handful of pine needles can be coarsely crushed using a mortar and mixed with a litre of boiling water in a large bowl. Inhale the vapours for about five to ten minutes to achieve an expectorant effect. Alternative: five drops of pine needle essential oil as an additive to inhale.
  • Bath: Either use pine needle essential oil or simmer about 100 grams of pine needles with two litres of water for 20 minutes, strain and add to the bath water. The essential oil has a relaxing effect and relieves muscle and joint pain.
  • Tea: Brew a teaspoon of finely chopped pine needles or pine shoots with a cup of hot water and steep covered for about five minutes. The soothing essential oils of the tea and the high vitamin C content of the needles are particularly helpful for colds and flu. Tip: If you don't like the slightly tart taste of the tea, you can sweeten it with a little honey.

Also suitable for skin care:

  • For a variety of skin conditions: including acne, blemishes, athlete's foot, psoriasis or itching. 
  • Perfect care product for the hair: The specific composition, including vitamins C and E as well as high-quality proteins, extensively cares for the hair.
  • Full bath or massage: with a few drops of pine oil has a comprehensive decongestant effect, promotes blood circulation, relaxes the muscles and is a boon for body, mind and soul. For sore muscles, the pine needle oil, mixed with a base oil, can also be applied locally to the affected area, e.g. legs.

When used and dosed correctly, pine needle oil is not expected to have side effects. However, it should never be applied directly undiluted, but mixed with a base oil (e.g. jojoba oil). Furthermore, pine needle oils must not be used in bronchial asthma and whooping cough. If you have any further questions about pine oil, please contact our pharmacists in Vienna or Berlin, or visit one of our Saint Charles stores.

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