Pinus sylvestris L.

Last updated: 14 June 2017

Scientific Name

Pinus sylvestris L.


Pinus binatofolio Gilib, Pinus ericetorum Thore, Pinus fominii Kondr, Pinus frieseana Wich. [1]

Vernacular Name

English Scotch pine, scots pine, pine, fir leaf oil. [2]

Geographical Distributions

Pinus sylvestris is native to Europe and spreads all the way into Asia. [2]

Botanical Description

There are over 140 subspecies of the Pinus genus. This particular species known as Scotch Pine or Scots Pine grows upwards of 40 m high. [2]


Soil Suitability and Climate Requirement

No documentation.


This oil is steam distilled from the needles which separates it from Pine oil that is extracted from the bark, cones or sawdust. The moderately thin oil as distilled from the needles is of higher quality and more appropriate for use in aromatherapy. It has a pale yellow to clear colour with a strong pine scent reminiscent of turpentine. [2]

Postharvest handling

The essential oil of P. sylvestris is used in the food and beverage industry. It is also used as an inexpensive fragrance material in household products such as detergents, soaps and disinfectants. In therapeutic aromatherapy it is primarily used in combination with other oils. [2]

Estimated cost of production

No documentation.

Chemical Constituent

Pinus sylvestris L. essential oil contain monoterpenes α-pinene (40%), β-pinene (13%), limonene (30%). [3][4][5]

Plant Part Used

Bark [3]

Traditional Use

P. sylvestris traditional uses include treatment for lice, cuts, sores on the skin, muscle aches, poor circulation, gout, arthritis and respiratory problems. A study examining the effect of Pine needle oil on lice found that it was less effective than other essential oils tested. [6]

Antifungal- Poor indoor air quality is commonly known as ‘sick building syndrome’. This can be caused by different types of fungi including Aspergillus flavus, A. fumigatus, A. niger, A. parasiticus, or A. oryzea. The symptoms that can occur are flu-like symptoms, watery eyes, and breathing issues. This study examined the antimicrobial activity of pine oil. The results showed antifungal activity against fungi, spore bacteria, yeast-like fungi, yeast, and bacteria, which may be of use in sick building syndrome. [7]

Preclinical Data


No documentation.

Clinical Data

Clinical findings

No documentation.

Interaction & Depletion

No documentation.


The oil was not found to cause skin sensitivity. [8] Those allergic to the Pinus genus should avoid this essential oil. Not to be used by pregnant or nursing women. No photo toxicity has been reported. [2]

Case Report

No documentation.


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing

No documentation.


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Pinus sylvestris L [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2017 June 14]. Available from:
  2. Lis Balchan M. Aromatherapy science: A guide for healthcare professionals. London: Pharmaceutical Press; 2006.
  3. Apšegaitė V. Polymorphism of Lithuanian Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) with regard to monoterpene composition in needles. Ekologija. 2008;54(1):17-21.
  4. Venskutonis PR, Vyskupaityte K, Plausinaitis R. Composition of essential oils of Pinus sylvestris L. from different locations of Lithuania. J Essen Oil Res. 2000;12(5):559-565.
  5. Ustun O, Sezik E, Kurkcuoglu M, Baser KHC. Study of the essential oil composition of Pinus sylvestris from Turkey. Chem Nat Comp. 2006;42(1):26-31.
  6. Veal L. The potential effectiveness of essential oils as a treatment for headlice, Pediculus humanus capitis. Complement Ther Nurs Midwifery. 1996;2(4):97-101.
  7. Motiejūnaite O, Peciulyte D. Fungicidal properties of Pinus sylvestris L. for improvement of air quality. Medicina (Kaunas). 2004;40(8):787-794.
  8. Willms RU, Funk P, Walther C. Local tolerability of two preparations with eucalyptus oil and pine-needle oil. MMW Fortschr Med. 2005;147(3):109-112.