Pinus sylvestris L., (Pinaceae), commonly called pine. In French, it is Pin sylvestre; in German, it is Wald-Kiefer or Föhre. Essential oil is also obtained from P. palustris and other Pinue species.
Pine trees can be found growing in light sandy soils around the world. The resin from Pinus palustris is used to make turpentine. The essential oil obtained from the needles is usually added to liniments used to help support muscle sprains, while the sprouts, collected in spring from P. silvestris, can be used to help support cough and respiratory infections. Pine bark, particularly that of P. silvestris contains a clinically promising antioxidant called pycnogenol.
Pine oils have been used as liniments, and for bathing, since ancient times. Homeopaths, in particular, recommended external application of the oil against symptoms of joint pain.
Traditional Support Uses
Pine is used to increase secretions, as a mild antiseptic and to increase circulation.
Commission E Recommendations
The Commission recommends pine oil as an internal product for inflammation of the upper and lower respiratory tract, and externally for rheumatic and neuralgic complaints. It recommends using the sprouts for essentially the same complaints.
Turpentine is not prescribed by allopathic physicians. Although Commission E recommends both the essential oil and the sprouts for upper respiratory infections, these recommendations have never been validated in a clinical trial.
Pycnogenol (classified chemically as a procynanadin), found in the bark, has been studied extensively in the laboratory where it has been found to be an effective antioxidant/free radical-scavenger. But, in addition to its antioxidant activity, it stimulates nitric oxide production (ginkgo biloba does the same thing), an effect which could counteract many of the deleterious actions of the stress hormones, epinephrine and norepinephrine. Nitric oxide also helps keep platelets from sticking to each other and helps reduce the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, two actions which could protect against atherogenesis and thrombus formation.
Even the sawdust remaining after pine trees are processed in lumber mills seems to be of some value in improving cardiovascular health. A chemical called sitosterol is extracted from the residue and converted into sitostanol, a compound that reduces the absorption of cholesterol from the gastrointestinal tract. Sitostanol is the active ingredient in the cholesterol-lowering margarine sold in Europe that will soon be introduced in the United States.
Commission E recommends a daily dose of 2 to 3 grams of fresh or dry pine sprouts for respiratory infections. Alternatively, several drops of pine oil can be placed in hot water and inhaled. For sprains and muscle aches, a few drops of the oil should be rubbed into the tender area.
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Take 1 capsule, 3 times daily, with meals.
The essential oil can be very irritating when applied to mucous membranes.
Very large doses of turpentine can cause seizure and even coma, although the few case reports in the literature suggest that most overdose victims recover.
None of the components of the essential oil should interfere or interact in any way with standard workplace urine drug screening tests.
End of More Photographs - White Pine Bark - 450 mg
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Products are intended to support general well being and are not intended to treat, diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or cure any condition or disease. If conditions persist, please seek advice from your medical doctor. Information provided at ZooScape.com relies partly on Traditional Uses. The essence of the current American rule on Traditional Uses is, as stated by FTC, "Claims based on historical or traditional use should be substantiated by confirming scientific evidence, or should be presented in such a way that consumers understand that the sole basis for the claim is a history of use of the product for a particular purpose."