Mountain pine

Botanical name

Mountain pine, Scots pine - Pinus mugo Turra


Pine family (Pinaceae)

Useful information about the plant

Mountain pines form an impenetrable belt made from shrubby, thick branched trees at the edge of the forest of the Northern Limestone Alps, forming an effective avalanche protection. Their branches near the ground (Name: knee-high mountain pine) rise at the end in an arch. In the valleys and on moors they grow up to 10 metres high. The blunt needles are 2 to 5 inches long and grow in pairs on short shoots, which surround the twig-like bottle brushes. The cones are ovoid or conical, standing upright at first, then horizontally and slightly protruding at the back.

Medicinally used plant parts (drug)

The plant itself is not used, but the "pine oil" collected is. It is an essential oil that is produced by steam distillation from fresh, shredded twigs and their needles from 5 to 7 year old trees.

Ingredients of the drug

Mountain pine oil consists of monoterpene hydrocarbons, mainly of pinene, carene, myrcene, phellandrene and limonene.

Descriptions of the quality

The quality of pine oil (Pini pumilionis aetheroleum) is specified in the European Pharmacopoeia (Ph. Eur.).

Medical Application

Recognised medical use

Externally to treat rheumatic complaints (heat therapy) and for nerve pain. For inhalation with colds in the respiratory tracts.

Medicinal herbal preparations in finished drug products

Pine oil in alcoholic solutions (also a supplement to rubbing alcohol) for external use in ointments, creams and baths (for colds).


Prepared drugs: see package insert;
Externally: Put a few drops of pine oil in hot water and inhale. 5g of oil as bath preparation in a bath (35 - 38 °C) for 10 to 20 minutes and then bathe in it.


Pine oil is not recommended for bronchial asthma and whooping cough, and is never to be used in the eye. It must never be applied to the face of infants and toddlers up to 2 years old, otherwise there is the risk of spasms or respiratory arrest.

Side effects

Occasionally skin irritations and eczema


None known


Drug monographs

None published

Further reading

Kommentar zum Europäischen Arzneibuch (Mountain pine oil, no. 2377)

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