December: Pine, Agave & Prickly Juniper

PINE (lat. Pinus halepensis Mill. – Aleppian pine)
The Aleppian pine is a specifically Mediterranean tree, which grows along our Adriatic coast and islands. Stone pine is a highly decorative Mediterranean tree. It grows alone or in smaller clusters. The Aleppian pine grows to a height of 20 m. The trunk is mainly twisted, rarely straight. The bark in saplings is smooth and of a light grey colour, while in older trees it is blackish to reddish brown and furrowed. The Stone pine tree grows to a height of 25 m. The treetop is umbrella-shaped. The bark is reddish brown, deeply furrowed and cracked.

AGAVE (lat. Agave americana L.)
A plant indigenous mainly to Latin America and Mexico. It was brought to the island of Lošinj and flourishes there. The plant has thick, succulent leaves and in the centre there is a stalk from which several flowers sprout. The agave blooms only once!

JUNIPER (LAT. Juniperus oxycedrus L.)
The juniper is a dense spreadout evergreen bush-like tree. The juniper on Lošinj island most often does not reach a height of more than 3 meters. It is recognized by its light-green very prickly needle-like leaves that are up to 2 cm long. There are 3 needles in a whorl. Juniper fruits are small fleshly berrries that are first light-green, and when 2 years go by they ripen and are reddish brown.
Young buds of branches are used in folk medicine of many countries for preparation of drinks and baths to treat cough, exhaustion, poor circulation, hard-to-heal wounds and skin diseases. In ancient times people made mattresses and pillows of pine needles to fight off lice and fleas, to heal rheumatic diseases, and for treatment of heavy breathing. Scots Pine essential oil has a refreshing effect, it is a strong antiseptic, expectorants and stimulant, and above all it boosts circulation. It thoroughly detoxicates the organism and along with circulation boost effect it is suitable for healing ankle pain, rheumatic pain or gout induced problems. It is efficient in fighting urinary tract infections and prostatitis with men. Since it is useful in fighting viruses, it can be used to treat hepatitis, it reduces gallbladder infection and possibly reduces gallstones. It is often used in winter for inhaling to fight infections or for preventing respiratory system infections, and also in saunas and for disinfection. Scots Pine essential oil encourages the function of adrenal gland which is vital for regulation of everyday stress. If you take only a short break on the island of Lošinj, take a walk by the sea, breathe in sea salt aerosol mixed with pine essence, you can totally relax and get ready for facing everyday stress. (dr. med Nina Bašić-Marković) Pine resin that comes out from below the bark is rich in therapeutic turpentine oil. In folk medicine preparations from pine resin are used for treatment of skin diseases. Young pine buds baths are recommended to people suffering from rheumatism and arthritis.
50 g of pine needles 1 kg of forest honey 5 dl of distilled water Add pine needles into boiling water and cook on medium heat for 10-15 minutes. Cool and drain after 24 hours. Melt honey in the juice and take one tablespoon of preparation several times a day between meals.

Scots Pine essential oil is obtained by water distillation from fresh young shoots, needles and twigs. It can be colourless or light yellow. The scent is fresh, sharp, clammy and pleasant and it is not a high volatile essential oil. It is used for inhalation, in aroma lamps, as bath essence, in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. Natural homemade cosmetics enriched with Scots Pine essential oil.

50 g of table salt 2 tablespoons of virgin olive oil 5 drops of Scots Pine essential oil Mix the ingredients and rub the peeling into wet skin from your feet towards your heart. Wash off with warm water. The sea salt and Scots Pine essential oil mixture is excellent for nourishing your skin, removing dead cells and impurities, freshening and regeneration. It is particularly beneficial for men with sensitive skin as well as those who tend to perspire greatly.

1 tablespoon of olive oil 10 drops of Scots Pine essential oil Rub in your feet every morning after shower. Since the reflex zones of the entire body are found on the feet, this mixture indirectly invigorates and tones your whole body. Use every day.

trickle 3 drops of Scots Pine essential oil on a paper towel, place it on your desk and every time you feel tired, inhale the scented vapours of essential oil.

Add 5 drops of lemon essential oil, 5 drops of Scots Pine essential oil and 5 drops of eucalyptus globulus essential oil into the well of your aroma lamp. This fine mixture will fill out your living space, remove unpleasant odours and have positive effects on your respiratory system.
(Anamarija Pažin-Morović, aromatherapist)
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