Properties and uses of mountain pine
The mountain pine or simply mountain pine and in some regions also called Pino nero or Pino montano (Pinus mugo Turra, 1764) is a needle-like evergreen bush with a prostrate habit of the Pinaceae family. The plant is used to extract an oil from the twigs (essential oil of mugolio) and has been included in the list of spontaneous medicinal plants subject to the provisions of the law January 6, 1931 n. 99.
The plant grows spontaneously and is not very cultivated for horticultural and ornamental purposes; in this sheet we will see properties and uses of Mugo Pine. The active ingredients are contained in the essential oil which consists mainly of terpenic and foreign compounds, for 4-10%, above bornile acetate; in the leaves are contained esters, resins, reduced amounts of glucosides and other substances not classified until now.
It is used for:
– disorders of the respiratory tract, bronchial asthma, bronchitis, gallstones, catarrh in the bronchi and lungs, cystitis, cholecystitis, arthritic pains, hepatitis, fever, gout, inflammation of the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat, flu, skin irritations, leucorrhoea , pielitis, colds, rheumatism, cough, to increase diuresis.
The parts used are the leaves, fresh or dried, and the buds.
To take advantage of the properties of this plant you have to collect the buds on the terminal twigs (has the bark still green and not yet lignified) at the beginning of spring, collect the leaves all year round. Quickly dry buds and leaves in the sun or in the shade, then store in tightly closed bags or glass jars in a cool, dry place.
The medicinal properties of mountain pine are very important especially for the treatment of disorders and diseases of the respiratory tract. The extracts obtained from the buds and leaves are excellent balsamic, anti-inflammatory and expectorant; they are, in fact, used with considerable success in case of bronchial catarrh, cold, flu and bronchitis. The mugo pine performs an effective fluidifying action of bronchial secretions, disinfects the entire respiratory system and acts as a sedative and calming of cough and excess bronchial asthma.
Recent studies also indicate a beneficial effect even in cases of infections and inflammation of the urinary tract (prostatitis, cystitis, pyelitis, leucorrhoea) and hepatobiliary (cholecystitis, hepatitis, calculosis). Finally, for external use, mugo pine exerts an antiseptic action of the skin, mucous membranes of the mouth and throat, and helps to relieve rheumatic, arthritic and gout attacks.
In addition, the extracts obtained from the leaves, buds and resin of mountain pine are not only used as flavoring agents for drugs, but are widely used for the preparation of candies, balsamic pastilles and liqueurs.
From the variety Pinus mugo var. pumilio you get the precious pure essential oil, used in many pharmacopoeias in Europe and in particular in Swiss, Italian and Hungarian folk medicine.