Korean pine (Pinus koraiensis) is a hardy evergreen tree with edible seeds, commonly called pine nuts or pine kernels, which are often used as an ingredient in pesto or cooking oils. Several parts of the Korean pine plant have been used medicinally, including the leaves, roots, bark, stems, and resin. The principal active ingredient is thought to be pinolenic acid. Pinolenic acid is not to be confused with columbinic acid found in columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris) seed oil.
In traditional Chinese medicine, Korean pine has been used for its cholesterol-lowering and appetite-suppressing effects. Additional studies are needed to confirm the safety and efficacy of its long-term use.
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These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Early research suggests that Korean pine nut oil decreases food intake and feelings of hunger. Additional long-term research in this area is needed.