Pine can be any coniferous shrub or tree of the genus pinus. There are around 190 accepted species of this genus, and they can be found all around the globe. For the most part, when many think of pine, they think of whatever major pine species that may grow near them. Easy to recognize, the various species needles and seed bearing cones, are a major identification method. It’s also a very popular lumber in most of the USA, and farmed on a huge scale here in the south. Anyone who has driven through the rural areas of middle Georgia have probably experienced the huge pine farms, producing lumber and other materials.
For me, pine is a constant reminder spring is near, during the bitterness and gray of winter. The smell of pine can engulf your vehicle while driving our local roads, since pine mulch is often transported up and down our roads. Many times while on walkabouts in the forest we will find pine barrens from past logging, with nothing but perfectly spaced pines for acres in all directions.
Pine is a quick natural band-aid when in nature, and I’ve used it thousands of times in the past. My kids were taught how to identify pine trees and their sap early on, and how to use it when they cut their bare feet while hiking, or playing in our cool Appalachian creeks and rivers. Here, and in our general region, various types of pine can be found with ease. Additionally, knowing how to patch a wound with natures best band-aid can be very useful when exploring my area.
Pine’s various uses
Pine sap has many great properties. It is known as highly antibacterial and antifungal, and is the main ingredient in the well known floor cleaning product. Pine is a popular tea in many Asian countries, and can be found commercially online.
Traditionally, pine needle tea would be used for respiratory issues, colds, fevers, and blood pressure issues. The needles contain vitamin A and C, in fair amounts, and boiling in water seems like a good way to extract most of the needle’s medicinal components. Inhaling the steam from pine needle tea is also good for breaking up the upper respiratory system blockages from infection.
Pine resin has been used for centuries, and may be even thousands of years. Like mentioned earlier, it’s a great topical dressing for minor wounds, providing protection from the elements and antimicrobial and antibacterial aspects as well. Many people also use it to help pull out splinters and toxins from bug stings. And it has known anti-inflammatory benefits as well, helping with blood circulation and healing.
Risks: Please don’t confuse pine as not having any risks. Some pines should not be used as a tea for pregnant women, since they have abortive properties, such as the ponderosa pine species. Pine sap should not be used internally, since it can have harmful effects. Additionally, pine bark shouldn’t be used internally for long periods of time, since it can affect kidneys negatively.
Pine’s have an important characteristic, their needles are usually in a 2-5 needle bundle, and they produce pine cones. The bundles of needles are called fascicle, each of these are held by a sheath at it’s base. As with any plant, please educate yourself about your region’s species, and research it’s traditional uses before using for health.
Now, not all trees called pine are in the pinus genus, and that’s important, since those trees may not have the same medicinal aspects. Also, many commercially grown trees and shrubs may look like pine, but are not, so caution is needed when harvesting this species of plants.
Since, I have had a connection with pine for such a long time, and have always used it medicinally. I decided a few years ago to start making my own pine products. The first of these was my pine sap salve enriched with CBD from my hemp farm.
Pine Sap Salve
This salve can be used for many things, such as basic skin inflammation or muscle pain. It can also be used to help with minor scratches or bruises. Additionally, its antimicrobial aspects can help protect your wounds from infection. I have found that the cannabinoids from hemp combined with the benefits of pine sap work together great.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this educational post! Thanks for reading.