Essential Oil Focus: Scotch Pine

Scotch Pine, (Pinus sylvestris), also known as pine needle, has been widely used in aromatherapy for some time because it is not only the most useful of the pine oils, it is also the safest.

Scotch Pine History

Native to northern Europe and Russia, it is now also cultivated in the United States and Scandinavia. The therapeutic essential oil is usually steam distilled from the tree’s needles and twigs and is other pale yellow or colorless. It is believed that the Native Americans used pine oil to keep flees and lice form their clothed and bedding.

One of the many varieties of pine, the Scotch will grow up to 130 feet in height. It’s red-brown bark is distinctive because of its cracked patterns. It is not as common as many of the other pines which is why Scotch pine needle oil is usually more expensive than other pine oils such as white pine or Austrian pine.

Because of its sharp aromatic odor, it blend well with other ‘woody’ oils like cedarwood, juniper and eucalyptus as well as the flowery scent of lavender but will tend to overpower more subtle fragrances such as rose or chamomile.

Scotch Pine Properties

Its consistency is medium to slightly oily and its perfume holds a top note. Its active constituents are limonene, pinine, cineole, myrcene, borneol, phellandrene and camphene.

Scotch Pine has many health giving properties including antiviral, antibacterial, bile stimulating, expectorant, diuretic, lowering blood pressure, insecticidal and restorative.

In aromatherapy, this essential oil has been successfully used to relieve the symptoms of many complaints including:

  • Infectious diseases – bronchitis, soar throat, sinus infections, cold and flu.
  • Joint and muscle problems – as rheumatism, gout, arthritis, strained muscles and poor circulation.
  • Skin care -the oil of the majestic pine is also good for helping to eliminate toxins form the body, which makes it a good treatment for acne.
  • Emotional effects – pine oil can alleviate feelings of general fatigue and can also help to stimulate energy after convalesce.


Although Scotch Pine oil is considered one of the safest pine oils because it is not toxic and non-irritant, it should never the less, be used in moderation. Do not use more than 1 or 2 drops at a time in a massage oil, inhaler or diffuser. It may cause irritation for anyone with potential skin problems. It should not be used by anyone suffering from asthma. Scotch Pine Oil should never be taken internally.