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Scots Pine

Pinus sylvestris

Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) is a tree of the Pinaceae family with ochre-brown bark, that grows throughout Europe and even Syberia. This tree can grow to a height of forty metres and live for up to five hundred years. Its leaves are small needles grouped in pairs with a common seed at their base.

Grandmother’s medicine” used a decoction of buds as an inhalation against colds or sinusitis and as a gargle against laryngitis.

Main aromatic molecules: Monoterpenes (α and β-pinenes, camphene, δ-3-carene, limonene, myrcene), terpene esters (bornyl acetate), sesquiterpenes.
Family: Pinaceae.
Producing organs: needles.
Yield: 100 to 200g of essential oil per 100kg of needles.
Equivalence: 1ml → 31 drops (dosage calculated for a calibrated dropper European Pharmacopoeia).


Skin application

Oral route

Respiratory route

The flowers are located at the base of the branches for male trees, or at their ends for female trees. The fruit are elongated cones, smaller than those of the pinaster, that open to release seeds with wings.

Humans and pine trees have a long common history: an offering table dating back to 2265 BC, exposed at the Louvre museum, mentions Cilicia pine oil, or hatet-âch. In mythology, the great goddess Cybele changed the young and handsome Phrygian Atys into a pine and, in medicine, Hippocrates prescribed pine resin against pneumonia. Arabic physicians recommended its use against ”lung ulcers”, an expression which may have referred to tuberculosis. As the tree is very widespread, the cure was inexpensive: in the ”Edict of Maximum” (301 AD), pine resin was estimated at twenty denerii per pound, i.e. five times less than Arabian saffron. ”Old wives’ medicine” recommended inhaling a decoction of buds to treat cold or sinusitis and gargling it to treat laryngitis. Both poets and authors have praised the legendary beauty of pine.


Extracts from the book ’Aromatherapia – All about essential oils’, by Isabelle Pacchioni, watercolors by Patrick MORIN, Aroma Thera Editions . Extracts from the book ’41 essential oils essential for treating yourself differently’ and ’48 essential oils which every home needs to be healthy’ by Isabelle Delaleu and Isabelle Pacchioni, Publications of the Mandadori France group. Botanical illustrations by Agathe Haevermans.

The properties, benefits and method of use are given for information; they cannot in any case constitute or replace medical information that only health professionals can provide. For any use of essential oils for therapeutic purposes, please consult your GP or pharmacist.

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