Scots pine Tree Uses
Tree Healing Therapy
Botanical name Pinus sylvestris / Family PinaceaeThe Scots pine is a large, evergreen, coniferous tree that is native to Europe and Asia. Mature trees have bare, cylindrical, straight trunks with a flattish top of massed foliage, composed of pairs of stiff, bluish-green needles. In winter the male flowers are yellowish buds that release their pollen in the spring; the female flowers (seed cones) contain blackish seeds that are released the following spring.History, mystery and spiritual healing Sir James Frazer's The Golden Bough (1890) recounts how the ancient Egyptians buried an image of the god Osiris in the hollowed-out centre of a pine tree, which symbolized the tree being inhabited by a spiritual 'life form'.
In the description of the ancient Greek 'pine goddess' Pitthea, the tree was a symbol of royalty. Greeks carried pine- cone-tipped wands, a symbol of fertility among worshippers of Bacchus. The tree itself was an object of worship by the ancient Romans during the spring equinox festival.
A folk-healing ritual of 'transfer magic' credited the pine tree with healing by absorbing the pain of whoever was afflicted. In Russia 'shaman forests' - Scots pine groves found across Siberia - were reverenced by the Mongolian Buryat people for the gods and spirits of the wood.
Pine needles are astringent, diuretic, irritant and rubefacient. Fresh pine needle shoot tea is a bladder and kidney remedy, and used for urinary tract infections. Decocted, bruised fresh pine shoots in the bath ease aches and pains, breathing disorders and skin complaints.
The essential oil distilled from the pine needles is antiseptic, antiviral, bactericidal, decongestant, deodorant, diuretic and expectorant. It is used for coughs and colds (especially inhalations) and other respiratory conditions, also a rubefacient for muscle stiffness. Pine oil's fragrance is in toiletries, detergents and disinfectants. Today, highly antioxidant pine oil is used for 'Sick Building Syndrome' - its fungicidal activity is used against airborne micro-organisms. P. sylvestris oil of turpentine is used externally in ointments and liniment plasters, as a stimulant for rheumatic swellings, sprains and bruises and to kill parasites.
Pine Bach Flower Remedy is taken for guilt (real or assumed) and self-reproach leading to dissatisfaction with the self, and is used contra-despondency and negativity.
There are no known safety issues or interactions associated with pine, with the exception of rare allergic reactions. However, do not use pine oil internally except under professional supervision. Its safety in young children, pregnant and nursing women and those with severe liver or kidney disease is not known, and it is contraindicated for certain respiratory conditions, some specific skin diseases and abnormally tense muscles.