Essential Oils from Pines: Chemistry and Applications

  • Gaurav Kumar Silori
  • Naveen Kushwaha
  • Vimal KumarEmail author


Essential oils from pine species have been utilized for numerous applications since centuries. This chapter discusses major aspects of pines’ essential oils, such as their composition, global availability, and medical as well as industrial applications. It has been observed that there are 40 major pine species with availability across the different continents/regions, which has been identified. Though there are a number of contributors in pine essential oils and their respective yields from different species, in the present chapter, 20 major contributors with their yields have been discussed. Further, in last few decades, several extraction techniques have been developed to intensify the extraction of essential oils from different pine species, which are discussed in brief. A few of the emerging techniques are based on ultra-sonication and microwave-assisted irradiations, which take very less time (almost less than 6–10 times) as compared to conventional extraction techniques. Also, major plant pathways dedicated to shikimate and terpenoids have been discussed which are readily found in pine species.


Essential oils Pine needles Extraction techniques Shikimate Terpenoids 


  1. Angioni A, Barra A, Coroneo V, Dessi S, Cabras P (2006) Chemical composition, seasonal variability, and antifungal activity of Lavandula stoechas L. ssp. stoechas essential oils from stem/leaves and Flowers. J Agric Food Chem 54:4364–4370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bahi A, Al Mansouri S, Al Memari E, Al Ameri M, Nurulain SM, Ojha S (2014) beta-Caryophyllene, a CB2 receptor agonist produces multiple behavioral changes relevant to anxiety and depression in mice. Physiol Behav 135:119–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bakkali F, Averbeck S, Averbeck D, Idaomar M (2008) Biological effects of essential oils – a review. Food Chem Toxicol 46:446–475CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. K. Başer, G. Buchbauer, Handbook of essential oils: science, technology, and applications, 2010, CRC Press (Taylor & Francis), Boca RationGoogle Scholar
  5. Behr A, Johnen L (2009) Myrcene as a natural base chemical in sustainable chemistry: a critical review. ChemSusChem 2:1072–1095CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bhalla Y, Gupta VK, Jaitak V (2013) Anticancer activity of essential oils: a review. J Sci Food Agric 93:3643–3653CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bigley WS, Plapp FW, Hanna RL, Harding JA (1981) Effect of toxaphene, camphene, and cedar oil on methyl parathion residues on cotton. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 27:90–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bingham E, Cohrssen B, Powell CH (2001) Patty’s Toxicology, 5th edn. Wiley, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bu’Lock JD (1965) The biosynthesis of natural products; an introduction to secondary metabolism. McGraw-Hill, London/New YorkGoogle Scholar
  10. Burt S (2004) Essential oils: their antibacterial properties and potential applications in foods—a review. Int J Food Microbiol 94:223–253CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. de Cássia da Silveira e Sá R, Andrade LN, de Sousa DP (2013) A review on anti-inflammatory activity of monoterpenes. Molecules 18:1227–1254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cavaleiro C, Pinto E, Goncalves MJ, Salgueiro L (2006) Antifungal activity of Juniperus essential oils against dermatophyte, Aspergillus and Candida strains. J Appl Microbiol 100:1333–1338CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Chen X, Li Yuan LW, Wang M, Lei Y (2014) Content analysis of Shikimic acid in the Masson pine needles and antiplatelet-aggregating activity. Int J Agric Sci Technol 2:110–114Google Scholar
  14. Croteau R, Kutchan TM, Lewis NG (2000) Natural products (secondary metabolites). In: Biochemistry and molecular biology of plants. American Society of Plant Physiologists, Rock Ville, pp 1250–1318Google Scholar
  15. Dambolena JS, Gallucci MN, Luna A, Gonzalez SB, Guerra PE, Zunino MP (2016) Composition, antifungal and antifumonisin activity of Pinus wallichiana, Pinus monticola and Pinus strobus essential oils from Patagonia Argentina. J Essent Oil-Bearing Plants 19:1769–1775CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. van de Braak SAAJ, Leijten GCJJ (1994) A.I. (’s-H.T.O. for Education, Research, Essential oils and oleoresins: a survey in the Netherlands and other major markets in the European Union, CBI, Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing CountriesGoogle Scholar
  17. Eggersdorfer M (2012) Terpenes. In: Ullmann’s encyclopedia of industrial chemistry, 7th edn. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
  18. Fahlbusch K-G, Hammerschmidt F-J, Panten J, Pickenhagen W, Schatkowski D, Bauer K, Garbe D, Surburg H (2003) Flavors and fragrances. Wiley Online Library,
  19. Farjon A (2005) Pines: drawings and descriptions of the genus Pinus. Brill Publishers, LeidenGoogle Scholar
  20. Filly A, Fernandez X, Minuti M, Visinoni F, Cravotto G, Chemat F (2014) Solvent-free microwave extraction of essential oil from aromatic herbs: From laboratory to pilot and industrial scale. Food Chem 150:193–198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Fulzele SV, Satturwar PM, Kasliwal RH, Dorle AK (2004) Preparation and evaluation of microcapsules using polymerized rosin as a novel wall forming material. J Microencapsul 21:83–89CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gernandt DS, Geada López G, Ortiz García S, Liston A (2005) Phylogeny and classification of Pinus. Taxon 54:29–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hajdari A, Mustafa B, Nebija D, Selimi H, Veselaj Z, Breznica P, Quave CL, Novak J (2016) Essential oil composition of Pinus peuce Griseb. needles and twigs from two national parks of Kosovo. Sci World J 2016Google Scholar
  24. Hajhashemi V, Ghannadi A, Sharif B (2003) Anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of the leaf extracts and essential oil of Lavandula angustifolia mill. J Ethnopharmacol 89:67–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Handa SS, Khanuja SPS, Longo G, Rakesh DD (2008) Extraction technologies for medicinal and aromatic plants. ICS UNIDO, Trieste, ItalyGoogle Scholar
  26. Hassan A, Amjid I (2009) Gas chromatography-mass spectrometric studies of essential oil of Pinus roxburghaii stems and their antibacterial and antifungal activities. J Med Plants Res 3:670–673Google Scholar
  27. Hawley GG (1977) Condensed chemical dictionary, 9th edn. Van Nostrand Reinhold Inc., New York Google Scholar
  28. Hong E-J, Na K-J, Choi I-G, Choi K-C, Jeung E-B (2004) Antibacterial and antifungal effects of essential oils from coniferous trees. Biol Pharm Bull 27:863–866CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29., (n.d.). Accessed on 06-08-2018
  30. Accessed on 06-08-2018Google Scholar
  31. Accessed on 06-08-2018Google Scholar
  32. Accessed on 06-08-2018Google Scholar
  33. Ioannou E, Koutsaviti A, Tzakou O, Roussis V (2014) The genus Pinus: a comparative study on the needle essential oil composition of 46 pine species. Phytochem Rev 13:741–768CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Jensen WB (2007) The origin of the Soxhlet extractor. J Chem Educ 84:1913CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kandi S, Godishala V, Rao P, Ramana KV (2015) Biomedical significance of terpenes: an insight. Biomed Biotechnol 3:8–10Google Scholar
  36. Kaushik D, Kumar A, Kaushik P, Rana AC (2012) Analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity of pinus roxburghii sarg. Adv Pharmacol Sci 2012Google Scholar
  37. Keeley JE (2012) Ecology and evolution of pine life histories. Ann For Sci 69:445–453CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kelkar VM, Geils BW, Becker DR, Overby ST, Neary DG (2006) How to recover more value from small pine trees: essential oils and resins. Biomass Bioenergy 30:316–320CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kimbaris AC, Siatis NG, Daferera DJ, Tarantilis PA, Pappas CS, Polissiou MG (2006) Comparison of distillation and ultrasound-assisted extraction methods for the isolation of sensitive aroma compounds from garlic (Allium sativum). Ultrason Sonochem 13:54–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Klauke A-L, Racz I, Pradier B, Markert A, Zimmer AM, Gertsch J, Zimmer A (2014) The cannabinoid CB(2) receptor-selective phytocannabinoid beta-caryophyllene exerts analgesic effects in mouse models of inflammatory and neuropathic pain. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol 24:608–620CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Krauze-Baranowska M, Mardarowicz M, Wiwart M, Pobłocka L, Dynowska M (2002) Antifungal activity of the essential oils from some species of the genus Pinus. Zeitschrift Für Naturforsch C 57:478–482CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Lee CM, Lim S, Kim GY, Kim DW, Joon HR, Lee KY (2005) Rosin nanoparticles as a drug delivery carrier for the controlled release of hydrocortisone. Biotechnol Lett 27:1487–1490CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Lewis RJ Sr (2007) Hawley’s condensed chemical dictionary, 15th edn. Wiley Online Library,
  44. Lucchesi ME, Chemat F, Smadja J (2004) Solvent-free microwave extraction of essential oil from aromatic herbs: Comparison with conventional hydro-distillation. J Chromatogr A 1043:323–327CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Macchioni F, Cioni PL, Flamini G, Morelli I, Perrucci S, Franceschi A, Macchioni G, Ceccarini L (2002) Acaricidal activity of pine essential oils and their main components against Tyrophagus putrescentiae, a stored food mite. J Agric Food Chem 50:4586–4588CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. MacTavish WC (1934) A textbook of organic chemistry. Third edition revised (Chamberlain, Joseph Scudder). J Chem Educ 11:633CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Mann J, Davidson RS, Hobbs JB, Banthorpe DV, Harborne JB (1994) Natural product-their chemistry and biological significance. Longman, HarlowGoogle Scholar
  48. Masotti V, Juteau F, Bessière JM, Viano J (2003) Seasonal and phenological variations of the essential oil from the narrow endemic species Artemisia molinieri and its biological activities. J Agric Food Chem 51:7115–7121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Medeiros Leite A, De Oliveira Lima E, Leite De Souza E, De M, Diniz MF, Trajano VN, Almeida De Medeiros I (2007) Inhibitory effect of β-pinene, α-pinene and eugenol on the growth of potential infectious endocarditis causing Gram-positive bacteria. Rev Bras Ciências Farm Brazilian J Pharm Sci 43:121–126Google Scholar
  50. A. Mishra, R. Vlosky, A Case Study of Electricity Generation from Pine Needles in Rural Uttarakhand, India, Louisiana State University Agriculture Center, Baton Rouge (LA) (2015)
  51. Moreira MR, Ponce AG, Del Valle CE, Roura SI (2005) Inhibitory parameters of essential oils to reduce a foodborne pathogen. LWT – Food Sci Technol 38:565–570CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. O’Neil MJ (2006) The Merck Index – an encyclopedia of chemicals, drugs, and biologicals. ​Royal Society of Chemistry (UK)Google Scholar
  53. Ocete MA, Risco S, Zarzuelo A, Jimenez J (1989) Pharmacological activity of the essential oil of Bupleurum gibraltaricum: anti-inflammatory activity and effects on isolated rat uteri. J Ethnopharmacol 25:305–313CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Olajuyigbe O, Ashafa A (2014) Chemical Composition and Antibacterial Activity of Essential Oil of Cosmos bipinnatus Cav. Leaves from South Africa. Iran J Pharm Res 13:1417–1423PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  55. Orav A, Kailas T, Koel M (1998) Simultaneous distillation, extraction and supercritical fluid extraction for isolating volatiles and other materials from conifer needles. J Essent Oil Res 10:387–393CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Paduch R, Kandefer-Szerszeń M, Trytek M, Fiedurek J (2007) Terpenes: substances useful in human healthcare. Arch Immunol Ther Exp 55:315–327CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Pengelly A (2004) The constituents of medicinal plants: an introduction to the chemistry and therapeutics of herbal medicines, 2nd edn. Allen & Unwin Academic, Crows Nest, New South WalesGoogle Scholar
  58. Perry NSL, Bollen C, Perry EK, Ballard C (2003) Salvia for dementia therapy: review of pharmacological activity and pilot tolerability clinical trial. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 75:651–659CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Richardson DM, Rundel PW (1998), Ecology and biogeography of Pinus: an introduction. In: Richardson, D.M. (Ed.), Ecology and Biogeography of Pinus. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  60. Richardson DM, Ryan MG (1998) The complete pine. In: Ecology and biogeography of Pinus. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  61. Rivas da Silva AC, Lopes PM, Barros de Azevedo MM, Costa DC, Alviano CS, Alviano DS (2012) Biological activities of α-pinene and β-pinene enantiomers. Molecules 17:6305–6316CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Rudback J, Bergstrom MA, Borje A, Nilsson U, Karlberg A-T (2012) alpha-Terpinene, an antioxidant in tea tree oil, autoxidizes rapidly to skin allergens on air exposure. Chem Res Toxicol 25:713–721CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Sadhasivam S, Palanivel S, Ghosh S (2016) Synergistic antimicrobial activity of Boswellia serrata Roxb. ex Colebr. (Burseraceae) essential oil with various azoles against pathogens associated with skin, scalp and nail infections. Lett Appl Microbiol 63:495–501CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Sahraoui N, Vian MA, Bornard I, Boutekedjiret C, Chemat F (2008) Improved microwave steam distillation apparatus for isolation of essential oils. Comparison with conventional steam distillation. J Chromatogr A 1210:229–233CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Salvador MJ, de Carvalho JE, Wisniewski-Jr A, Kassuya CAL, Santos ÉP, Riva D, Stefanello MÉA (2011) Chemical composition and cytotoxic activity of the essential oil from the leaves of Casearia lasiophylla. Rev Bras Farmacogn 21:864–868CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Schaneberg BT, Khan IA (2002) Comparison of extraction methods for marker compounds in the essential oil of lemon grass by GC. J Agric Food Chem 50:1345–1349CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Sell CS (2006) Terpenoids. In: Kirk-Othmer encyclopedia of chemical technology. Wiley Online Library.
  68. Sharifi-Rad J, Sharifi-Rad M, Hoseini-Alfatemi SM, Iriti M, Sharifi-Rad M, Sharifi-Rad M (2015) Composition, cytotoxic and antimicrobial activities of Satureja intermedia C.A.Mey essential oil. Int J Mol Sci 16:17812–17825CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Shepard TH (1986) Catalog of teratogenic agents, 5th edn. The Johns Hopkins University Press, ​MarylandGoogle Scholar
  70. Silori GK, Pant G, Singh JK, Kumar P (2013) Hay and Tendril classifiable deforestation of pine and its impacts – a survey of Himalayan Region in India. IOSR J Environ Sci Toxicol Food Technol 6:06–14Google Scholar
  71. Silva J, Abebe W, Sousa SM, Duarte VG, Machado MIL, Matos FJA (2003) Analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of essential oils of Eucalyptus. J Ethnopharmacol 89:277–283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Simonsen JL (1931) The terpenes. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  73. Singh B, Sharma RA (2015) Plant terpenes: defense responses, phylogenetic analysis, regulation and clinical applications. 3 Biotech 5:129–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Soukoulis S, Hirsch R (2004) The effects of a tea tree oil-containing gel on plaque and chronic gingivitis. Aust Dent J 49:78–83CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Sui R (2008) Separation of Shikimic acid from pine needles. Chem Eng Technol 31:469–473CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Sun J (2007) D-limonene: safety and clinical applications. Altern Med Rev 12:259–264PubMedGoogle Scholar
  77. Thakker MR, Parikh JK, Desai MA (2016) Microwave assisted extraction of essential oil from the leaves of Palmarosa: multi-response optimization and predictive modelling. Ind Crop Prod 86:311–319CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Theis N, Lerdau M (2003) The evolution of function in plant secondary metabolites. Int J Plant Sci 164:S93–S102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Thormar H (ed) (2011) Lipids and essential oils as antimicrobial agents, 1st edn. Wiley, ChichesterGoogle Scholar
  80. Tobin T, Swerczek TW, Blake JW (1976) Pine oil toxicity in the horse: drug detection, residues and pathological changes. Res Commun Chem Pathol Pharmacol 15:291–301PubMedGoogle Scholar
  81. Tumen I, Hafizoglu H, Kilic A, Dönmez IE, Sivrikaya H, Reunanen M (2010) Yields and constituents of essential oil from cones of Pinaceae spp. Natively grown in Turkey. Molecules 15:5797–5806CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Valente J, Zuzarte M, Goncalves MJ, Lopes MC, Cavaleiro C, Salgueiro L, Cruz MT (2013) Antifungal, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of Oenanthe crocata L. essential oil. Food Chem Toxicol 62:349–354CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Verschueren K (2001) Handbook of environmental data on organic chemicals, 4th edn. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  84. Vian MA, Fernandez X, Visinoni F, Chemat F (2008) Microwave hydrodiffusion and gravity, a new technique for extraction of essential oils. J Chromatogr A 1190:14–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Xie JY, Lan JF, Yu L, Wu CM (2012) Study on extraction of Shikimic acid from pine needles of Pinus Elliottii Engelm by means of microwave pretreatment. Adv Mater Res 455–456:752–759CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Xie Q, Liu Z, Li Z (2015) Chemical composition and antioxidant activity of essential oil of six Pinus taxa native to China. Molecules 20:9380–9392CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Zafar I, Fatima A, Khan SJ, Rehman Z, Mehmud S (2010) GC-MS studies of needles essential oil of Pinus roxburghaii and their antimicrobial activity from Pakistan. Electron J Environ Agric Food Chem 9:468–473Google Scholar
  88. Zhang S, Jiang J, Luan Q (2016) Genetic and correlation analysis of oleoresin chemical components in slash pine. Genet Mol Res 15Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gaurav Kumar Silori
    • 1
  • Naveen Kushwaha
    • 1
  • Vimal Kumar
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology RoorkeeRoorkeeIndia

Personalised recommendations