7 December 2021 / Caitlin Devlin
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.
Said to capture the scent of forests, pine needle is a fresh, faintly balsamic oil with purifying properties.
Hardy pine trees have been held in importance in many cultures for centuries due to their strength and can withstand temperatures as low as -40 degrees Celsius. 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. It’s also said that mattresses used to be stuffed with pine needles in order to repel lice and fleas. Pine needle is still considered a protective, purifying oil today, and is largely used for its ability to prevent infection and disease.
Pine needle essential oil can purify air.
Pine needle is perhaps best known as an incredible natural air freshener. A study in 2004 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 air is an incredibly useful one, especially in chillier months, as it allows it to slow the spread of viruses by ridding 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.
It reduces inflammation and protects the heart.
Pine needle is also a soothing oil, able to protect against the effects of inflammation in the body and reduce discomfort. Using pine 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 2006 study suggested may be able to reduce strain on the heart and improve heart health. A study in 2004 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.
It’s a powerful home cleaning agent.
Pine needle’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.
It’s great for skin.
The antibacterial effects of pine needle oil also make ideal for clearing up skin conditions, as it can remove unwanted bacteria from pores and inhibit further infection. Its antifungal effects can also help it to get rid of fungus on the skin, including on the feet.
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.
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.