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Plants encyclopedia.

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Pine

Pine

Produced from plant: pine essential oil

Type of plant - tree

Usable part - needles and cones

Overview

A large conifer; mainly found in northern Europe, northern and eastern Russia, as well as in Scandinavia. There are about eighty species of this mighty tree, but most of the oil is produced from common pine and hard pine. The bark is usually reddish, the needles are loden green, the inflorescences are yellow-orange.

History and Myths

The tree was well known in the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece and Arabia, who prized its remarkable healing properties. The plant was used not only during performances of religious rites, but also as a medication for treatment of lung infections such as bronchitis, tuberculosis and pneumonia. Drugs made of pine were mainly applied in the form of inhalation. To this day, it is still believed that a person is attracted to a place where pine trees grow, since the air there is healing for the lungs of both the sick and healthy people. Red Indians believed that the pine could save a person from scurvy. Pine oil is a common component of soaps and salts for the bath; it is highly valued for its deodorizing and disinfectant properties.

There is such a legend of the pine in Greek mythology: Boreas, the god of the cold north winds, fell in love with a beautiful Pitys, nymph of the dawn. Once, when he was chasing after his love, she asked Pan to hide her. The god of fields covered her with green branches. Furious north wind was looking for the poor Pitys in the woods for a long time after that. Her body froze, and her tears turned into a transparent thus, and so the nymph turned into a pine tree.

Besides, pine cone was a symbol of fertility among the ancient Greeks. It is even palced on the top of the staff of the god Dionysus.

In ancient times in the East there was a tradition to plant pine trees around the imperial palaces in order to wish long and happy years of reign.

Also, this tree symbolized immortality in many cultures

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