link to Home Page

icon Pine

Sedona Journal
by Laurel Dewey

Pine may just be a popular Christmas tree to you, but to Indians, pioneers, mountain men and hikers, the tree has been a source of nutrition, medicine and at times a lifesaver. All pines share basically the same medicinal qualities. However the main medicinal varieties are scotch pine and white pine. The parts of the tree that are highly medicinal are the needles, inner bark and sap. Pine needle tea is high in vitamins A and C. In fact the fresh green needles have five times the amount of vitamin C found in one lemon. Throughout the centuries, people have literally survived on pine-needle tea as well as cured themselves of scurvy by drinking a tea of both the needles and inner bark of the pine tree.

Far and away, pine is considered an excellent remedy for any ailment having to do with the throat, sinuses, and lungs. A heaping tablespoon of the fresh green needles can be broken into small pieces and tossed into an 8-oz cup of boiling water, steeped for 15 minutes, strained and then used as an antiseptic gargle for sore throats. A heaping handful of those same needles can be placed into a pasta sized pan of boiling water, allowed to steep covered for 10 minutes, and then used as an effective steam inhalation for clogged sinuses. Perhaps the most effective way to use pine bark is in a cough syrup. Not only does it work quickly to break up and expel trapped phlegm, it helps kill infection and reduces inflammation in the upper respiratory tract throgh its natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.

A pine-needle bath is excellent for soothing skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema and open sores. To make the bath, gather several large handfuls of fresh pine needles and boil them in a large pot of water for 10 minutes. Pour the entire mixture directly into a warm bath. you dont need to strain the needles, since they are to big to slip down the drain. soak for 30-45 minutes. It also serves to reduce some rheumatic pain and other forms of joint discomfort. A pine needle bath is considered stimulating to the body, thus it's not good to soak at night before bed.

I'm going to try some of these recipes. Here is one for cough syrup by Euell Gibbons.

Put 1/2 cup of coarsely ground white pine bark in a mason jar and cover it with 2/3 cup of boiling water. when cool add 1/2 cup of whiskey, seal the jar and let it sit over night. shake the jar vigorously a few times to make sure the contents mix. The next day, strain the bark and add one cup of honey to the liquid. Shake the jar thoroughly to make sure the honey dissolves. The dose is one tablespoon for adults and one teaspoon for children "as needed".

Offered by Susan.

I have a video of live microscopic blood tests of people tested for complaints as diverse as chronic fatigue syndrome and chemical poisoning showing the differences before and after taking Pycnogenol (from maritime pine). It is still being argued that grape seed extract is better than pycnogenol, but the tests are impressive.

Offered by Jan.