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7 December 2021 / Laura Garvin Gomez

Pine Needle Essential Oil: History, Uses and Benefits

The protective power of pine oil can help to guard the health of you and your family.

Close up of a pine cone and needles

Said to capture the scent of forests, pine needle is a fresh, faintly balsamic oil with purifying properties.

Also known as the highly common Christmas tree, hardy pine trees have been held in high regard across many cultures for centuries, largely due to their strength.

These pines have also become famous for withstanding temperatures as low as -40 degrees Celsius, as well as the high temperatures of the Mediterranean, while still providing a natural forest freshness.

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What is Pine Needle Essential Oil?

Pine needle oil, also known as “Scots Pine” or by the botanical name Pinus Sylvestris, is perhaps most distinguished by its strong, refreshing scent reminiscent of a Christmas tree.

Largely found in Australia, the pine tree produces a pale yellow oil that has become largely abundant in everyday household items, including floor cleaners, air fresheners, and disinfectants.

Not to be confused with pine needle extract, pine needle essential oil is considered a protective and purifying, and is largely used for its ability to prevent infection and disease, among other distinctive benefits.

What are the health benefits of pine needle essential oil?

The benefits of pine needle oil are broad and, beyond their scent, largely unknown - mostly because its associations are very seasonal and therefore many of its other properties are overlooked. Pine needle oil has been known to help:

  • Purify air
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Remove bacteria
  • Cleanse skin
  • Relieve stress

Close up of pine needle tree

Can pine needle essential oil purify the air?

Pine needle is perhaps best known as an incredible natural air freshener.

tested pine oil against thirteen species of bacteria, fungi, and other toxins that were present in the air.

The researchers found that pine oil was able to reduce the level of all of them and was particularly effective against the bacteria.

Pine oil’s ability to purify the air is an incredibly useful one, especially in chillier months, as it allows it to slow the spread of viruses by helping to rid the air of harmful microbes.

Diffusing pine oil, or combining it with water in a spray bottle, is a great way to protect your own health and that of your household during cold and flu season.

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Pine needle oil can reduce inflammation and protect the heart

Pine needle is a soothing oil, able to help protect against the effects of inflammation in the body and reduce discomfort.

Using pine needle oil on sore and swollen muscles and joints is a great way to manage pain and soothe distress, and some people even use pine oil to combat symptoms of arthritis.

Furthermore, pine bark has been found to contain anti-inflammatory lignans, which a  suggested may be able to reduce strain on the heart and improve heart health.

also found that pine bark contains many other compounds that inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory mediators.

The ability to reduce inflammation is a powerful one, as inflammation is a contributing factor to many serious conditions.

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Can pine needle essential oil be used as a cleaning agent?

Pine needle oil’s strong antibacterial effects also make it a useful addition to home cleaning sprays.

Adding a few drops of pine needle oil to a spray bottle of water and spraying on contaminated surfaces can help to leave your home sparkling clean.

It’s also been found to be a great carpet cleaner, as its deodorising effects don’t just clean at a surface level but neutralise unpleasant odours.

This allows it to clean deeply and leave a freshness that lasts.

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Can I use pine needle for skin?

The antibacterial effects of pine needle oil also make it ideal for clearing up skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and rosacea, as it can remove unwanted bacteria from pores and inhibit further infection.

Pine needle’s anti-inflammatory properties can also help to remove redness and discomfort from these areas.

Its antifungal effects have been known to help get rid of fungus on the skin, including on the feet, while its antimicrobial benefits can be used for minor infections and burns.

A powerful deodoriser, pine needle doesn’t just leave us looking great but also smelling fresh. A dab of pine needle oil under the armpits on the neck can mask personal odour and act as an all-natural perfume or deodorant.

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Does pine needle essential oil help reduce stress?

Some have suggested that pine needle oil’s refreshing aroma may help relieve symptoms of low mood and anxiety – including weakened concentration and, in some cases, memory loss.

It has also been suggested that pine needle oil can help create an energising feeling in the brain that in turn reduces stress.

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How to use Pine Needle Essential Oil

Aromatherapy

Many pine needle essential oil benefits can be unlocked through the common practice of aromatherapy.

Diffusing this refreshing and balsamic scent throughout your home can help purify the air in your home as well as provide a fresh, seasonal aroma that can protect during the winter months.

Combine 5-7 drops of the oil with water and add to an oil burner or diffuser for a clean and earthy scent.

Alternatively, you can simply hold a bottle of pine needle essential oil to your nose and gently inhale.

Adding a few drops to a tissue or cotton ball can also be beneficial for on-the-go aromatherapy.

Massage

Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, pine needle essential oil makes for a great at-home massage remedy for joint and muscular pain.

Dilute 5 drops to 10ml of carrier oil (such as  or ) and massage evenly into the skin.

We always advise performing a patch test before applying pine needle essential oil to the skin.

Bath 

Add 6-8 drops of pine needle essential oil to warm bathwater for a refreshing, restorative experience for the body.

Adding pine needle oil to your bath can carry many of the same therapeutic benefits as aromatherapy, as the scent will carry through and fill the air with a pure, relieving aroma.

Skincare 

Add a couple of drops of pine needle essential oil to a carrier oil (such as sweet almond or jojoba oil) or your chosen lotion and spread evenly, or onto affected areas.

Pine needles’ anti-bacterial properties are great for clearing skin conditions like acne and rosacea as well as removing excess bacteria from pores.

We always advise performing a patch test before using pine needle essential oil on the skin.

Soap & Candles 

Suitable for soap making and candle making – especially seasonal ones! We recommend following a tested recipe.

Looking for creative ways to use your pine needle essential oil? Discover a number of fun candle and soap recipes in our Make at Home blog section.

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History of Pine Needle Essential Oil

Pine was used medicinally among the Ancient Greeks - including by the father of medicine, Hippocrates – and in the cooking of the Ancient Egyptians in order to kill food bacteria and decrease contamination.

Their needles and shoots were used by Europeans and Native Americans alike to treat fevers, respiratory conditions, and chronic rheumatism.

It’s also said that mattresses used to be stuffed with pine needles in order to repel lice and fleas.

Pine Needle Illustration

    Pine needle essential oil strikes a delicate balance between earthy and fresh. Like other woody oils before it, the oil is associated with the kind of protective power we would expect from strong, ancient forests.

    However, the lightness of the scent brings a refreshing element that not only guards our health but prepares our minds to face the cold weather.

    Shop our pine needle essential oil here.

    Product Name

    100% Pure Pine Needle (Scots Pine) Essential Oil
    Botanical Name Pinus Sylvestris
    Scent Type Earthy
    Benefits & Uses Skin, Antibacterial, Fresh
    Suitable for Diffusers? Yes, this pine needle (scots pine) essential oil is perfect for diffusers.
    Suitable for Candles and Soaps? Yes, this pine needle (scots pine) essential oil is perfect for candle and soap making.
    Extraction Method Steam Distillation
    Bottle Type Tamper proof and UV resistant

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