Spices, herbs, tinctures and essential oils have been used for millennia to season our food, heal our bodies and boost our spirits. In our Throwback Thursday (#TBT) series, we at re:iimmune will take you back in history to learn how these gifts from Mother Nature have been used. We’ll focus on their use through the ages and beneficial purposes in regard to nutrition, natural health and household care. Today we’re talking about invigorating pine!
Fragrant pine trees have had a long history of use by many cultures, which viewed them as protection against evil spirits. Ancient peoples of Europe thought of the cones as the eyes of the tree, which could see into magical realms. Boughs of pine were brought into homes during the winter solstice and hung above doors in the belief that it would provide protection from spirits of the Underworld. It’s easy to understand how members of the evergreen family, which keep their brilliant green color through the coldest of winters and smell so invigorating, would come to symbolize vitality and longevity.
Pine oil, known for its refreshing, clean, woodsy smell is extracted from the needles of the Pinus sylvestris tree and from ancient to modern times humans have valued its many benefits.
In the Home
Historically, mattresses were stuffed with pine needles to ward off lice and fleas. It also has the ability to remove dangerous molds, bacteria and yeast. It’s one of the most beneficial essential oils to use as a natural home deodorizer as it eliminates bacteria and microbes which lead to contamination and odors. It can even help to destroy toxins in the air which cause colds and the flu. Because it is so great at neutralizing odors, many people put a few drops of pine oil into shoes to keep them smelling fresher.
It’s also fantastic for relieving respiratory ailments. Steam inhalation containing pine oil can help clear congestion and soothe the lungs. Even when not sick or suffering from allergies, many use the oil for it’s refreshing and energy boosting powers.
Sufferers of joint pain, muscle aches and arthritis can benefit from the use of pine oil in massage. It’s analgesic properties help reduce pain and it’s an anti-inflammatory agent as well. Always use pine oil with a carrier oil (jojoba, sweet almond, coconut, etc.) and never use undiluted directly on your skin. Be careful to keep pine oil away from your eyes and the inside of your nose so that mucus membranes are not irritated.