Home Blogs Herbs Chir: Health Benefits, Uses, Dosage and Side Effects

Chir: Health Benefits, Uses, Dosage and Side Effects

By NS Desk | Herbs | Posted on :   21-Dec-2020

Chir is a pine tree that is commonly grown in Himachal Pradesh, Kashmir, and Bhutan. As forests provide humans with many benefits, and out of most of the world's forests, the coniferous forests have played an important role in human culture. And chir pine is one of the most important conifers in the Himalayan region, which influences the lives of various ethnic communities in the region. The other name for chir pine is pinusroxburghii, and it is related to the Pinus canariensis (Canary Island Pine), Pinus brutia (Turkish pine), and Pinus pinaster (maritime pine). They all share similar features and are non-variable species. 
 
Description
Chir pine is a tall coniferous tree about 55m and 100 cm dbh. The tree's bark consists of a mix of red and brown color; it is thick and deeply fissured at the base, although comparatively thinner and flaky in the upper crown. The tree is distinguished by its three thin needle-like leaves per bundle. They are slender, and the seed cones in chir pine are shortly pedunculate. The tree is grown in the mountainous areas between 600-2300 m elevation over Bhutan, North India, Kashmir, Nepal, Pakistan, Sikkim, and Tibet's southern part (Naithani, 1984; Tiwari, 1994). The Uttaranchal hills in northern India are one of the best habitats for chir pine forests.
 
History 
The Chir pine tree has been a part of the folklore and mythology of indigenous cultures in Uttaranchal. In Garhwal, there is a festival known as Pandaw. Here, the local people celebrate the occasion and include dance and songs. They also worship various deities and Gods. The festival goes on for several days, and at the end of the ceremony, a tree of chir pine is uprooted and brought to the village. The tree is then adorned with various local fruits. Once the celebration is over, the fruits are distributed among the audience, and these fruits are considered holy. The twigs of chir pine are also used for religious purposes during the marriage ceremony for Hindus. Besides, a chir pine tree is used for the treatment of certain ailments. Traditional herbal healers usually prescribe asthma patients to stay in the chir pine forest to get better. 
 
Uses
Chir pine has many benefits. Besides being used for ornamental purposes, the tree's timber part is used for building houses, furniture, musical instruments, and many other things. The tree also includes health benefits. It helps in managing diabetes by increasing the production of insulin secretion because of its anti-diabetic property. According to Ayurveda, chir is also helpful for treating respiratory problems such as bronchitis and asthma. It helps to remove sputum from the respiratory passage because of its Vata and Kapha balancing properties. The resin present in the chir tree is also quite helpful as it helps treat joint pains and inflammation because of its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. The topical application of chir pine also helps form new skin cells and heal wounds faster. 
 
Internal Benefits of Chir
 
Asthma
Asthma occurs when the air passage swells up makes it difficult for the person to breathe. Thus, the individual suffering from asthma faces repeated attacks of breathlessness, and there is a wheezing sound coming from the chest.
 
Pine helps in treating such a problem because it contains chemicals that fight against the pain and swelling, and it also seems to be effective in killing bacteria and fungus. Trees are important when it comes to removing nitrogen dioxide from the air. It is usually up to city planners to find ways to incorporate trees into their designs better. Urban forests give us much more than just a shady place to rest.
 
·Bronchitis
On the other hand, bronchitis occurs when there is inflammation in the windpipe and the lungs of the human body, which results in the accumulation of sputum. In the Ayurvedic world, bronchitis is also known as kasaroga, and it is said that it's caused due to an imbalance of Vata and Kaphadoshas. When the Vatadosha loses its balance in the body, it blocks the kaphadosha in the respiratory tract or the windpipe, which results in the collection of sputum. This causes congestion in the respiratory tract and obstructs the air pathway. The chir pine tree is of great help when it comes to getting rid of the sputum which gets accumulated. This is mainly because of its Vata, kapha, and Ushna properties.  
 
• Piles
Our lifestyle has changed drastically ever since the pandemic Covid-19 came into our lives. Most people have become home-bound and have no other choice but to work within their house's four walls. Due to this sedentary lifestyle, piles have become a common problem. It usually occurs due to chronic constipation that leads to the impairment of all the three doshas, mainly Vatadosha. A disturbed Vata causes the digestive fire to slow down to a point where it leads to persistent constipation. Then it further results in pain and inflammation around the anal region if ignored or left untreated, resulting in the formation of pile mass. Chir helps in managing piles by providing relief from constipation due to its Vata balancing property. This helps the individual to easily pass the stool from the body and prevent symptoms of piles.
 
• Indigestion
In Ayurvedic terms. Indigestion is also known as Agnimandya. It usually happens due to an imbalance of Pitta Dosha. When the food is left unconsumed by the digestive fire (mand agni), it leads to the formation of toxins that remain in the body due to improper digestion (Ama), causing indigestion. To make it simple, we can say that indigestion happens when there is a preliminary stage of digesting the food consumed. The chir pine helps in managing such a problem by encouraging the proper digestion of Ama. This is mainly because of its deepana (appetizer) and pachana (digestion) properties. 
 
External Benefits of Chir
 
• Sprain
a sprain usually occurs when the ligaments or tissues of a particular body part get torn because of an external force. This leads to immense pain and inflammation. This is mainly due to an imbalance of Vatadosha. To help with such a problem, it is advised to use a decoction of Chir leaves and should be applied to the affected area to reduce the symptoms of the sprain, including pain and swelling, and redness. Chir leaves are effective mainly because of their Vata balancing property. 
 
• Cracks
Cracked skin is usually the symptom of dehydrated skin, which occurs in response to scratches or infections. When the skin dries up, it becomes flaky and rough, and tears start appearing on it. This is capable of causing deeper cracks called fissures.
 
According to Ayurveda, when the Vatadosha in the body is disturbed, it causes excessive dryness inside the body, which leads to cracks on the skin. The chir pine can help healing cracks and reduce dryness in the body and provide relief to the individual mainly because of its Snigdha (oily) and Vata balancing properties. 
 
• Rheumatic Pain
Rheumatism refers to the various painful medical conditions which affect joints, bones, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Rheumatic diseases are also called musculoskeletal diseases, and this is usually characterized by pain and constricts mobility and function in one or more musculoskeletal system areas. In some cases, there might be signs of inflammation, redness, warmth in the affected area, and sometimes, it can affect the internal organs.
 
The pain which is felt during rheumatoid arthritis is because of an imbalance of Vatadosha. To treat this condition, chir or turpentine oil can be applied on the affected area and massaged gently. By doing this, will relieve the individual of pain and swelling. This happens mainly because of the chir pine's Vata balancing property. 
 
Other uses of Chir
Besides its health benefits, chir is also commonly used for local building purposes. The resin of the tree is one of the most important parts of the tree. The chir pine is a popular timber in the Northern part of India, especially in the hill stations. It is used for many different purposes like house building, such as doors, windows, rafters, and many other objects. It is also used in the manufacture of pulp and paper. It is also highly suitable for building boats, tea chests, matchsticks, oars, etc. 
 
Chir pine also produces good quality oleoresin. When the stem is distilled, it generates two industrially important products, turpentine oil (about 70%) and rosin (about 17%). Rosin is extensively used in many industries like soap, paper, paints and varnishes, Pinoleum, sealing waxes, oilcloth, inks, and disinfectants. Turpentine is mainly used to prepare paints and varnishes, polishes, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals. It is also used for dissolving fats, resin, and for domestic purposes. The oleoresin also has medicinal value. It is a stimulant and is considered efficacious in gleet, gonorrhea, and disorders of the genitourinary organs. Externally resin is used in dressing for fowl ulcers, buboes, and abscesses to promote suppuration. It is also a common ingredient of plasters, ointments, and pastilles for fumigation.
 
 FAQs
 
What are the commercial uses of Chir?
The common and commercial uses of chir pine would be to construct windows, doors, wooden poles, ventilators, and others. Its wood has proved to be quite useful in building houses. It is also used in making cabinets, and it is popular in the leather industry. 
 
Does chir pin help in reducing swelling?

Scientific View

Ayurvedic View

 

Yes, chir pine does help in treating inflammation. It is capable of reducing the pain and inflammation in the affected area. This is because of its anti-inflammatory and analgesic property.

 

 

 

Although according to Ayurveda, inflammation occurs because of the imbalance of Vatadosha. Chir helps in reducing inflammation due to its vata balancing and shothhar (anti-inflammatory) properties.

 

 

 
Does Chir help individuals suffering from diabetes?

Scientific view

Ayurvedic view

 

Chir consists of a blood glucose-lowering activity, and this helps with diabetes. The pine can prevent any damage caused to the pancreatic cells and increase insulin secretion production. This goes a long way in managing blood sugar levels.

 

 

 

According to Ayurveda, individuals suffer through diabetes due to the imbalance of vata and kaphadosha in the body, which leads to an imbalance of insulin level in the body. And to treat this, chir pine helps. It manages diabetes by improving insulin levels because of its vata and kapha balancing properties.

 

 

 

 
How does chir help in managing pimples?

Scientific view

Ayurvedic view

 

The resin found in chir pine is quite important, and this is what helps in preventing pimples. This is because the resin has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. It inhibits bacterial action on the skin when applied to the affected area. Few specific components in chir pine also help in reducing skin inflammation caused by the pimples. This is mainly because of the resin's anti-inflammatory properties.

 

 

 

In Ayurvedic terms, it is advised to apply chir pine resin on the pimples to cure them. This is because of its shothhar property, also known as the anti-inflammatory property. Pimples occur because of an imbalance of pitta and kaphadosha, which leads to swelling, irritation, and redness. Chir greatly helps in reducing such symptoms and prevent their recurrence.

 

 

 

NS Desk

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Disclaimer - The aim of the article is just to convey information to you. Use any medicine, therapy, herb or fruit please do it under the guidance of a qualified Ayurveda doctor.