31 Jan
Scots Pine Essential Oil – the 'Pioneer' Plant'

As I was blending essential oils in my studio feeling like an alchemist I narrowed down the essential oil I wanted to highlight this month. I am transported to a forest when I inhale Scots Pine Pinus sylvestris. For those of you that know me I am obsessed with anything Scotland (including Jaime in Outlander when I visited Scotland below) and I am convinced I lived there in a past life. So when my new co-worker who is Scottish with red beautiful curly hair suggested I watch the PBS show 'Wildheart' I knew it was something I had to do. The first episode that attracted me was on the Scots Pine tree. Scots Pine is known as a pioneer tree, able to thrive in hostile environments and make their surroundings more hospitable to allow other plants to flourish. What an amazing tree!

This beautiful pine grows in the Caledonian forest in Scotland, its only native pine forest. It has an open canopy of Scots pine over juniper and a thick ground flora of heather, bilberry and cowberry with small cow-wheat and wavy hair-grass.

The forest once covered Scotland, a vast primeval wilderness of Scots pine, birch, rowan, aspen and juniper, and now the Caledonian Forest is considered one of the most important habitats for biodiversity conservation in Scotland. The Caledonian Forest takes its name from the Romans who called Scotland ‘Caledonia’ meaning wooded heights and covered much of the Highlands and what we know as the Cairngorms National Park today. The Scots pine we see now are directly descended from these first pines, that arrived in Scotland following the Late Glacial period around 7,000 BCE and formed the westernmost outpost of the Boreal Forest in Europe. 

What impressed me was learning how OLD the trees live (can be over 450 years) because of their resiliency and strength as they are tall and proud!

Some keywords for Scots Pine essential oil: Refreshing, antiseptic, energizing, opens up the lungs, breathing space. Good for muscular aches and pains, arthritis, rheumatism, joint pain, sinusitis, sore throat, cleansing, good for mental fatigue and depression.

A walk through a pine forest is said to invigorate and refresh the soul. Pine resin has a distinct fresh fragrance that, when breathed in can give you a delightful feeling of vitality. I have created a Forest Bathing blend that I use in my meditation during these cold days as I eagerly anticipate walking in the forest when the snow melts solving my life's problems inhaling the wonderful scent of pine trees.

Scots pine was a symbol of durability, as in the Gaelic proverb: 

Cruaidh mar am fraoch, buan mar an giuthas

Hard as the heather, lasting as the pine.

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