A Pinyon Pine Tree – Image Courtesy: Gabrielle Cyr
The Pine tree grows abundantly throughout the world, predominately in the Northern Hemisphere. We are so accustomed to seeing pine trees in our surroundings that they seem like our old friends; we feel a sense of familiarity when we see them. There is a general, innate love for their majestic beauty. Perhaps it is their eye-popping green hues that energize us, or their refreshing aromatic scents that liven our senses when we are in their midst. Or, it could be their pine cones that add to their intrigue and beauty, and give us a wonderful, tactile experience.
A Wealth of Potential Health Benefits
There is a world of excitement in the pine tree in all the ways it can improve our health beginning with its delicate needles, that give it its unique character, and make a pine needle tea that is beneficial for deep, internal healing and is rich with Vitamin C and Bioflavanoids. We can elevate our love for the pine to an even higher level, with the realization that they provide a wealth of potential health benefits for us when we consume their nuts and oils, and the teas from their needles and bark.
Pine Tree Needle Decoction
Pine Tree Needle Decoction is a traditional remedy that may be used in the treatment of about 80% of human diseases. The remedy is effective for working with the smooth muscles that line the blood vessels and other muscular related diseases such as sclerosis (condition in which soft tissues inside the body become unusually hard).
How to Make Pine Needle Tea
In this regard, Eastern traditional medicine has succeeded in using the light green young needles, brewed for 10 minutes, to improve eye, kidney and heart health for many. Westerners also have positive history and experience with pine tea.
“It has been known for hundreds of years that a tea or broth made from hot water (do not boil) with ½ cup of needles is the cure of scurvy, and some varieties of pine needles produce a tea with more Vitamin C than is contained in 6 lemons! Let the tea steep for about two hours at least…Jacques Cartier, one of the discoverer’s of Canada, together with about half of his ship’s crew, were saved from scurvy death (caused by lack of Vitamin C) when native people made a broth of pine needles when they came ashore…half the crew being dead already…and everyone drinking the tea survived.”
For Healthy and Beautiful Skin
The pine tree bark is also rich in Vitamin C and Bioflavanoids and blossoms into even more health benefits, some of which are essential for healthy and beautiful skin.
“Pine Bark Extract has become an important herbal remedy due to its antioxidant power. It is responsible for binding with collagen fibers and helping to restore elasticity in the skin. It also protects the body from free-radical damage which prevents excess and premature wrinkles.”
The properties and nutrients in pine tree bark also make it an effective anti-inflammatory, an aide for eyesight and an inhibitor of cellular mutation.
Pine Tree Oil
Another aspect of “pine tree healing” comes in the form of oil. Pine oil is extracted, specifically from the Siberian pine tree, and has been at the center of research, in the heart of the debate on whether ulcers are caused mainly by H. Pylori bacteria or the overload of free radicals in the intestines. Researchers, who believe the latter, find that pine tree oil is an effective remedy for ulcers. After successful clinical studies, this pine oil has been approved as a gastritis and ulcer medicine in Russia, China and Eastern Europe.
Along with the many healing aspects of the pine tree comes the deliciously healing treats we call Pine Nuts. Pine nuts are so delicate, creamy, nutty and sweet. They are housed in the intriguing pine cones of the soft pine trees; such as the Pinyon Pine. (There are two varieties of Pine tress, soft and hard.) The mature cones are harvested and heated to release the pine nuts from between the shells.
Besides being delicious and great for Pesto, pine nuts are loaded with protein, vitamins E, D, A and C, friendly monounsaturated fat, minerals, micro-nutrients, lecithin, iodine, fiber, amino acids, antioxidants, and to great benefit, they are easily digestible.
So, it appears that the pine tree has so much more to offer than just scenery, aroma and a grand Christmas tree. The pine tree and its many offerings are a year-round, healthy addition to our diet and supplementation that have the potential to uplift our health and well being as well as our spirits.
Andrea Phillips writes on an array of topics like Health and Nutrition, Organic Agriculture, and Relationships, to name a few. She has also written for a publishing company in Washington, DC, and an organic agricultural newsletter in Israel.