Scotch pine

Scotch pine

Scotch pine

Specification & Spread

Pine buds — gemmae pini
Scotch pine — pinus sylvestris l.
Pine family — pinaceae
Other names: common pine, borane.
It is an evergreen coniferous tree about 35-40 m tall, with a straight smooth trunk, covered with reddish-golden bark, flaking plates, and a rounded crown (in young plantings – pyramidal). The shoots have two types.The elongated shoots are covered with brown scaly leaves, in the axils of which the shorter shoots are developed. It carries several of the same scale-like leaves and 2 needle leaves (needles).
The male cones are developed at the base of young shoots. The female cones are ovoid-conic and woody.
The seeds are with a wing. The pollination occurs in May. The seeds ripen in the fall in the second year.
Spreading. It is widely spread in the forest and forest-steppe zones of the European part of the country, Siberia and Northern Kazakhstan. The need for the raw materials is fully satisfied.
Habitat. It grows on sandy andsabulous, less often podzolic soils, along river valleys. It forms pine forests (burs) or grows in mixed forests.


The chemical composition of pine
Pine buds contain essential oil (0.36%), the constituent parts of which are:

  • alpha pinen,
  • limonene,
  • borneol,
  • bornyl acetate,
  • as well as resins
  • tannins,
  • bitter substance -pinipikrin.

In the needles there is essential oil (up to 1%) containing:

  • alpha pinen,
  • limonene,
  • borneol,
  • bornyl acetate, etc.,
  • and up to 0.2% of ascorbic acid,
  • carotenoids,
  • B vitamins,
  • pantothenic acid,
  • anthocyanin compounds that accumulate more in winter and early spring,
  • about 5% of tannins.

Resin (turpentine ordinary) contains up to 35% of the essential oil, which includes:

  • alpha pinen,
  • delta3-karen,
  • diterpenic compounds.

Purified turpentine (terpentine oil) is obtained by distillation of the resin.
Tar is a product of dry distillation of pine wood, is a black-brown heavy liquid with a characteristic odour. It contains:

  • phenol,
  • toluene,
  • xylene,
  • resin.

Harvesting and storage of raw materials

Harvesting. The buds are harvested at the end of winter or in early spring (in February – March), before the start of intensive growth, when it has swelled, but has not yet blossomed. It is cut with knives or pruners from young felled trees with the permission of forestry (during the thinning of forests). From growing trees, the buds are cut from the side branches, paying special attention to the tops, where the covering buds of the buds should be tightly pressed, if it has already begun to diverge, then it should not be harvested.
Security measures. It is not allowed to break off branches and carry out harvesting without certification of the right and place of harvesting.
Drying. It is dried in rooms with good ventilation, spreading the buds on paper or fabric with a layer thickness of 3-4 cm. The drying in artificially heated dryers and in attics under an iron roof is not allowed, since the covering scales of the buds diverge, the resin melts and the essential oil evaporates. The end of drying is determined by the fracture of the kidneys. In good weather, the raw material dries in 10-15 days.
Storage. It is dried in dry, dark, well-ventilated, cool rooms, separate from other the raw materials.

The buds (shortened apical shoots) are 1-4 cm long, single or several in verticils surrounding the larger central bud (coronet), without or with the rest of the stem not longer than 3 mm. The buds are covered with dry, spirally arranged lanceolate, acuminate fringed scales which are glued together with a protruding resin.
Outside the colour is pinkish-brown and green. It is brown in the fracture.
The smell is fragrant and resinous.
The taste is bitter.

Properties and application

The pharmacotherapeutic group. Expectorant.
The pharmacological properties of pine
The decoction of pine buds acts as an expectorant by stimulating the secretory activity of the epithelium of the respiratory tract, reducing the viscosity of sputum, stimulating the function of the ciliary epithelium. The viscosity of sputum depends on the release into the lumen of the respiratory tract glycoproteins synthesized by the glandular epithelium.
In addition, in the decoction of pine buds there are substances

  • disinfectant sputum,
  • providing antiviral and
  • antimicrobial action.

The pine buds also possess:

  • diuretic and
  • choleretic properties.

Turpentine properties
Due to its good solubility in lipids, turpentine penetrates deep into the skin, irritates its receptors and causes reflex changes in the organs. In therapeutic doses, it causes flushing of the skin.
Even with light rubbing turpentine can be absorbed into the bloodstream, causing excitation of the central nervous system. In severe poisoning, the convulsions are developed, and then depression of the central nervous system and respiratory failure. Turpentine is excreted primarily by the buds, partially in an unchanged form, partially in the form of a terpene alcohol bound to glucuronic acid. At the same time, it has an antiseptic effect in the urinary tract. Urine at the reception gets a peculiar smell. Standing out through the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract, turpentine enhances the secretion of bronchi and contributes to the dilution and sputum production.
Application of pine buds
The pine buds are used as an expectorant and disinfectant for chronic bronchitis in the form of decoction, as part of the chest charges, externally – for inhalation. It also has weak diuretic and choleretic properties.
The decoction of pine buds are used as a disinfectant and expectorant for pulmonary diseases, accompanied by a viscous, difficult to cough up sputum: with bronchitis, bronchiectasis and lung abscesses. The decoction of pine buds is used for inhalations and gargles for sore throat, chronic tonsillitis and acute respiratory diseases. The pine needles are also harvested (Folia Pini), in the form of «toes» (covered ends of branches), at any time of year in the cutting areas. From the needles the essential oil can be get – Oleum Pini. It is a part of the complex preparations used as anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, expectorant preparations.
Essential oil is used for inhalation in diseases of the lungs and to freshen the air in hospital rooms. From pine needles and pine toes, an extract for strengthening baths and a concentrate containing ascorbic acid are obtained.
Using the method of tapping, resin (resin) is obtained, which is formed in resin ducts penetrating wood and bark in horizontal and vertical directions. Under natural conditions, the sap expires from the bark cracks, damaged areas of the trunk and turns into a granular mass in air. The sap that is purified from water and impurities – turpentine (Terebinthina communis)  is used in the technique for the manufacture of varnishes, in medicine – for adhesives.
By its chemical nature, the sap is resin solution (rosin) in the essential oil (turpentine). It is a liquid product consisting of 70-85% of resin and 15-30% of essential oil. Turpentine is obtained from the turpentine by the method of steam distillation. The purified turpentine (Oleum Terebinthinae rectificatum) contains up to 75% pinene and is used in ointments as an irritant and distracting agent for neuralgia, rheumatism and the common cold. The purified rosin is a part of the patches.
Camphor (racemic) and terpingidrat are get from  the gum turpentine by semisynthetic way. Camphor tones the respiratory and vasomotor centers, has a positive effect on the ventilation of the lungs, improves myocardial function and pulmonary blood flow. It is used in the form of injections under the skin in the complex therapy of acute and chronic heart failure, collapse, respiratory depression in pneumonia, in case of poisoning with hypnotic and narcotic preparations. Camphor is externally used as an irritant, antiseptic, alone and as a part of complex preparations. Turpingidrate is used as an expectorant.
As a result of dry distillation, pine wood shavings produce tar (Pix liquida Pini), consisting mainly of phenols. Tar has a disinfectant, insecticidal and local irritating effect and is part of the ointments and liniments used in skin diseases, eczema and scabies.

It is contradicted in the period of pregnancy, during exacerbation of kidney diseases, acute hepatitis, individual intolerance.