THE POWER OF PINE:

  • Antiseptic
  • Astringent
  • Anti-microbial
  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-Cancer
  • Anti-inflammatory

The coniferous denizens of the Northern Forest possess powerful healing properties. I am enthralled by these evergreen sentinels of my alpine world and the more I learn about them, the deeper in love I fall. Evergreen needles, resin, bark, and cones are featured in many of my oil blends and salves. Not only do the infused creations smell like heaven, they contain the power of this mighty tree!  


Every spring we drive an hour down a winding dirt road from the high country to a little known wilderness trail which follows a modestly sized, freestone creek filled with all sorts of bugs and trout.

When snow is still in the high country and the evergreen needles have not yet come out on the trees in my yard, we can be certain this favorite spot will provide us with plenty of fresh needles for my first spring infusions!

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Of course we are not disappointed by a thing - least of all the fresh morels in our basket! Jeff found the first ones, he sure has an eagles eye! 

Today me and Jeff and our dog Pippin are walking in the bright spring sunshine. Fresh growth is just starting to burst from the damp ground and the branches of millions of trees. As far as we can see, miles of evergreen trees are dotted in vibrant green tips. It's a sure sign of spring and it makes us smile! It is the perfect day.  We wander from spruce tree to pine tree to fir tree, harvesting the bright green baby needles.

We are also collecting nuggets of hard, golden resin which exudes from wounds in the evergreen trees. The resin flows out of wounds either white or gold yellow, then hardens in the air. Often the hard chunks fall off, and land at the base of the trees. This is what you see in the image below. We collected about 2 cups of resin from this stash! The resin is antimicrobial, analgesic, antifungal, antiseptic and disinfectant. It is also known to be warming when applied to the skin, stimulating both blood flow and the local immune response.  

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The healing powers of this resin are known to be similar to those found in Frankincense, but this is not widely known. The "pine" (pine, spruce, fir) resins are known to possess anti-cancer properties. I will melt this resin in my oil cleansing blends, beard oils, and Pine Pitch Salves. 

We snack on the fresh needles which are very soft and tender, they are also very tart and very astringent! This is from the high amounts of vitamin C. And while tree leaves are not generally a source of vitamin C, fresh conifer needles are an exception. 

When we get home I'll crush and chop up my basketful of spring then slowly infuse it all into organic oils like avocado, jojoba, and olive oil. I always infuse my plant material fresh, this imparts the the most benefits.

After some time the goodness of the enduring evergreen trees is infused into the oil, along with the beautiful, clean scent of the alpine forest, and a bit of the wild world. 

And I want to share it with you.

SEE what I make with my WILDCRAfTED EVERGREEN infused oils

 


READ MORE:

Essential Oils of Pine species have been shown to have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. 2017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28385055

Essential Oils found in pine shown to have anti-aging properties. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19112901

RICH SOURCE OF VITAMIN C IN AN UNEXPECTED PLACE: FRESH EVERGREEN NEEDLES. Vitamin C stimulates the production of white blood cells and has antioxidant qualities. It is a crucial component of collagen, which is necessary to create new cells, muscles, tissues, and blood vessels. It is known to boost collagen production, brighten skin tone, assist in the healing process, and has been found to improve break-out prone skin.  http://www.revistafarmacia.ro/201306/art-12-radulescu%201158-1166.pdf

Plant extracts of three pinus species showed significant antioxidant activity against H2O2 (free) radicals. Potential biological efficacy of Pinus plant species against oxidative, inflammatory and microbial disorders. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4730770/

Conifer Green Needle Complex in Patients with Precancerous Gastric Lesions: An Observational Pilot Study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5149685/

Antimicrobial Activity of Some Essential Oils—Present Status and Future Perspectives. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5622393/

{Pine needle) EOs possess antifungal activities.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5456241/

Pine species oleoresin is a complex mixture of volatile and nonvolatile terpenes. Constituents of rosin (including pine) have shown antibacterial and antitumoral activities. 

Stress is believed to be harmful to not only mental but also physical health. However, proving a link between stress and disease is difficult. Here, we report that mice kept in a fragrant environment enriched with α-pinene show reduced melanoma growth. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22361888

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