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Therapeutic Use of Aleppo Pine (Pinus halepensis Mill.)

Part of the Medicinal and Aromatic Plants of the World book series (MAPW,volume 2)

Abstract

Aleppo pine has a circum-Mediterranean distribution. In coastal areas it grows from sea level up to 600 m a.s.l. while in the south (Morocco) it can be found at altitudes up to 2,600 m in the Atlantic mountains. The optimum climatic conditions for this species are 350–700 mm annual rainfall and between −2 and 10 °C absolute minimum temperatures. This species is a thermophilic, drought-tolerant species; it is probably one of the pines most tolerant to high temperatures and drought. It grows mainly on calcareous shallow soils which are the weathering product of limestone and chalk.

Early human settlement around the Mediterranean partly coincides with the areal distribution of Aleppo pine. Hence the use, from antiquity to modern times, of therapeutic chemicals (e.g. turpentine oil) produced by this tree species to treat a variety of illnesses as described by Hippocrates, Dioscorides, Maimonides and others. These conditions include: nasal discharge; stroke; lethargy; depression; pleurisy; hemorrhages (interior); external wounds (as an haemostatic agent); respiratory tract diseases (catarrh and common cold); tooth problems (toothaches) and wounds; diabetes prevention and treatment and also as an aphrodisiac agent.

Keywords

  • Aphrodisiac agent
  • Depression
  • Diabetes prevention and treatment Dioscaorids
  • Hemorrhages
  • Haemostatic agent
  • Hippocrates
  • Lethargy
  • Maimonides
  • Nasal discharge
  • Pleurisy
  • Resin
  • Respiratory tract diseases
  • Terpentine oil
  • Terpenes
  • Toothaches
  • Stroke

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Schiller, G. (2014). Therapeutic Use of Aleppo Pine (Pinus halepensis Mill.). In: Yaniv, Z., Dudai, N. (eds) Medicinal and Aromatic Plants of the Middle-East. Medicinal and Aromatic Plants of the World, vol 2. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-9276-9_11

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