- Family Pinaceae
- Pinus species
- Scotch Pine, Dwarf-Pine, White Pine, Pine Oils, Pix Liquida, Pumilio Pine, Scotch Fir, Stockhom Tar, Swiss Mountain Pine
- Spanish: Ocote, Trementina de Piñon, Aguarrás
- Nahuatl: Ocotl, Oxitl, Ocotzotl, Ocoxóchitl
- Do not use if prone to allergic reactions.
- Do not take internally if suffering from bronchial asthma or whooping cough.
- Take essential oil only under professional guidance.
Native to the mountainous regions of the world, the pine is still widely distributed throughout the Northern Hemisphere. It is a coniferous tree, growing to 150 feet with reddish-brown bark, fine linear needle-like leaves, yellowish buds in winter, and oval to conical-shaped cones. The leaves are gathered in summer, while the stems are harvested only when the tree is felled.
Ancient Mexicans used pine resin to make ointments. According to the Aztec Herbal, compiled in 1552, a recipe using pine needles and flowers in a liquor was placed in the armpits of the sick in order to remove the “evil smell”. The same book also mentions a recipe for an enema to alleviate dysentery.
Several species of the pine that grow in North America have long been used by Native Americans for their lumber, bark, needles, cones, and seeds. However, it is the white or soft pine (P. strobus) that appeared to be especially beneficial. The Chippewa treated cuts and wounds by making a decoction of the trunk bark, then combining it with the inner bark of the wild cherry and wild plum. Other tribes used compresses of pine to treat burns and other injuries. Teas were made from the needles.
Pine is still a favourite added to disinfectants and other household cleaners.
The distilled resin produces turpentine.
- volatile oil (mainly pinene, limonene)
- Resin, bark, needles, branches, stems, seeds, essential oil
In Mexico, the resin, called trementina or aquarrás, is used to make a liniment for arthritis and rheumatism. It is also taken internally in small doses for dry mouth, dry and sore throat, and bronchitis.
Pine needles are brewed to make an expectorant tea. They also have an antiseptic effect within the respiratory tract, making it useful for colds and bronchitis.
The seeds yield an essential oil with diuretic and respiratory-stimulating qualities. It is used for asthma, respiratory infections, bronchiti,s and tuberculosis. It is also used for digestive disorders and bladder infections.
A decoction of the seeds may be applied to suppress excessive vaginal discharge.