Parts used: spruce branches, resin (resin).
Pharmacy name: Oleum Pini – Oleum Pinipumilionis – Oleum Terebinthinae – Terebinthinae and others.
Botanical description. Of course, everyone knows these coniferous trees: fir – like a Christmas tree, common pine – like a tree that lives in sandy areas, mountain pine – like a tree that can live at high altitudes, and larch – like the only coniferous tree that sheds her needles in autumn. Among conifers, there are many other trees, for example, spruce, which also provide essential oil or resin for medicinal purposes.
active substances. The essential oils of our coniferous trees have a very different composition, but they all have a resinous smell and taste.
Healing action and application. Perhaps the most famous product from the raw materials of coniferous trees is a French medicinal vodka infused with spruce needles. It is considered a refreshing massage that stimulates blood circulation and soothes itching and is used as readily by athletes as by bedridden patients. Essential oil, also coniferous resin, is used for rubbing, which is especially good for colds in babies (they treat the chest and back), or for inhalation (a few drops of these oils). Against rheumatism, gout, muscle pain and bruises, ointments are readily used that contain oil from pine or spruce needles, which has an analgesic effect. It is also worth mentioning that juices and cough candies are made from young needles of the named coniferous trees.
Application in folk medicine. Turpentine (resin) and turpentine obtained from it is a raw material that has firmly won its place in folk medicine. All sorts of ointments are prepared from it for both humans and domestic animals, especially against scars and cracks in the skin, and people living and working in rural areas soften calluses and treat boils with these ointments. Needless to say, inhalations, cough medicines are also held in high esteem, and French medical vodka is constantly in the home pharmacy.
Side effects. Commercially available products do not cause side effects. It is not recommended to take oil or resins unprocessed, as it can irritate the stomach, intestines and kidneys.