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Essential oils are increasingly gaining mainstream popularity as possible alternatives to medications. These plant-derived ingredients are still being studied for their medicinal effects, and pine oil is no exception.
Made from pine trees, pine essential oil offers numerous purported health benefits and is notable for its strong woody scent.
While pine tree oil may offer some benefits, there’s also possible side effects to consider, just like with any other type of essential oil. Learn the pros and cons so that you can best decide whether pine tree essential oil is worth trying.
Pine essential oil is a derivative of pine tree needles, which are known for their strong aroma. In fact, one sniff of pine oil might remind you of a Christmas tree.
As with other essential oils, pine has been used in traditional medicine for centuries.
Pine scents and oil extracts are also abundant in everyday items. These include floor and furniture cleaners, as well as disinfectants and air fresheners.
However, oil extracts are not the same as essential oils because they don’t carry the same medicinal-strength properties.
Essential oils contain multiple chemical compounds that make them so powerful. As such, essential oils shouldn’t be ingested.
Due to its aroma, pine essential oil is notable for its uplifting yet clearing scent. Because of this, pine essential oil can work as a room scent in a diffuser as well as in cleaning solutions.
The internet is full of anecdotes and articles that claim pine essential oil can offer more health benefits than just a nice scent. However, most of these claims lack clinical evidence.
Air fresheners and aromatherapy
Pine oil extracts are often used in air fresheners for homes, offices, and vehicles. Essential oils, on the other hand, may be used in aromatherapy to create an uplifting and invigorating atmosphere — not just a nice scent.
Inhaling oils like pine may also have clearing effects in the case of illnesses like the common cold.
Some proponents claim that pine essential oil may be used topically (applied to the skin) as an antimicrobial, similar to tea tree oil. In theory, the oil could be used for minor skin infections and burns.
However, research indicates that pine oil doesn’t have much antimicrobial activity. Talk to a doctor before using pine oil for this purpose.
Pine essential oil is also touted as having anti-inflammatory effects.
In theory, such effects could do two things:
- Ease symptoms of inflammatory skin conditions, such as acne, eczema, and rosacea.
- Alleviate pain from related health conditions, such as arthritis and muscle pain.
However, more research is needed on this front.
Other essential oils have in fact been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. These include:
When used in aromatherapy, essential oils can have effects on those who inhale them.
However, some essential oils are toxic to pets or dangerous for pregnant women and children. It’s also possible to have skin reactions to these oils, including pine essential oil.
Possible side effects include:
- dry skin
- peeling skin
If you are allergic to pine trees, don’t use pine oil. While not considered common, some people are allergic to pine pollen. You might be allergic to pine essential oil if you develop allergy-like symptoms, such as sneezing or skin rashes.
Pine essential oil can be used in a number of different ways, including inhalation and topical variations. Talk to a doctor about the following methods.
Use a diffuser
Diffusing is one of the most popular ways to use essential oils.
You can make a quick, safe room scent by putting a few drops of pine essential oil into a diffuser filled with water. Once the device is turned on, the diffuser then releases cool steam.
You can purchase a diffuser online.
If you don’t have a diffuser on hand, you may still reap the aromatic benefits of pine essential oil through inhalation.
Simply pour a couple of drops on a tissue, and hold the tissue in front of your face while you inhale deeply through your nose.
You can also try holding the bottle of essential oil underneath your nose.
Apply it topically
Pine essential oil may be used topically, either through direct application or via a massage.
It’s important to dilute pine essential oil with a carrier oil before applying directly to your skin. Add a tablespoon of almond, jojoba, or coconut oil to a few drops of pine essential oil.
You can also use this combination for a patch test 24 hours beforehand to make sure you’re not sensitive to pine.
Add some to your bath
Essential oils can also be used in the bath. Add several drops of the essential oil to warm running water. Watch for slippery surfaces as you get in and out of the tub.
Essential oils like pine are appealing because of their “natural” allure. However, these plant derivatives are powerful enough to mimic the effects of conventional medicine.
This is why it’s always a good idea to talk to a doctor before using them, especially if you’re pregnant or have any preexisting health condition.
The best way to reduce the risk of side effects is to take safety precautions before using pine essential oil:
- Don’t use essential oils near your eyes.
- Make sure to combine your essential oils with a carrier oil.
- Never take essential oils by mouth.
Due to the popularity of essential oils, you can find pine oil in natural health stores, drugstores, and massage clinics. You can also choose from a variety of pine oil products online.
While you might know pine for its scent, a lot of medicinal claims are being made about its essential oil.
Diffusing pine essential oil probably won’t cause any harm, but you should talk to your doctor before using it for any medical purpose.
Stop using the oil right away if you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction.