The Medicine of the Pine.
The Pine tree is one of the most widely known evergreen trees in the whole world, and it happens to be the iconic Christmas tree along with its quintessential seed pod the pine cone. This tree is ancient, a gymnosperm that reproduces in an old way with naked seeds, with the pine cone being the female seed. It’s pinon resin is used in aromatherapy and salves, pine nuts are used as food, pine needle tea is drunk, and its wood a revered building material - this is one important tree!
Pine is an aromatic stimulating pungent herb with antiseptic qualities. It can be used for treating toxic states of cold. That is, when a tissue is depressed and becomes unable to remove waste from itself and now needs an antiseptic to clean up the mess whilst stimulating cellular function. It wakes things up and gets them moving early on so it’s great for the onset of a cold to stop it in its tracks, and it’s especially targeted to the lungs to treat infections with a tea of the bark (strongest), leaves or the resin can be burned and the body smoked to relieve the body aches of a flu.
“The infection is often deep down in the bottom of the lungs, or sometimes in the sinuses. Pine’s adhesive, antiseptic resins attach themselves to the mucus and draw it out.“ #matthewwood
So it’s not just a pretty tree in the European’s winter celebrations, but it’s actually great medicine for the Winter time when we are prone to cold invasions and infections.
Pine sap salve is a well known cure all remedy for external use, from skin issues, wounds, to arthritis, & much more. “A Navajo man told me he used sap of the pinyon pine to pull a bullet out of his horse. It kept the wound clean, and good skin formed afterward.” (Erichsen-Brown, 1989). The pattern of cleansing, uplifting and drawing out is that of the Pine. Walking in pine forests is good for the mind and nervous system, it is calming and increases introspection, clearing the mind and inspiring energy. The Bach homeopathic flower essence is used for guilt and self blame.
The pine tree is a part of our history, a tree we have leaned into and balanced ourselves on. What’s great is that they grow in many countries, and it’s generally not hard to forage some for yourself!