Did you know that those beautiful pine trees do so much more than look majestic year-round?
Like many plants on this earth, they have amazing benefits for our health!
Besides cleaning up the air, pine has many uses.
Pine Can Help Disinfect.
Although I’m definitely not a fan of Pine-Sol, maybe they started with a good idea! Water-soluble pine needle extract has been found to have antibacterial properties, and the essential oil has been proven to have antimicrobial properties. Because it protects against bacteria, fungi, and parasites, pine has also been used in wound-healing. With three active boys, we have lots of cuts and scrapes! Sometimes I will put a drop of pine essential oil into a pinch of epsom salt and mix with a little warm water to create a wash to clean a wound. I have also done the same to create a simple sanitizer for my home: pine needle essential oil in some epsom salt, then combined with witch hazel and a little water to create a spray to disinfect surfaces. This is something that I do in my own home – you can decide if it is right for you.
Pine supports respiratory health.
Ever take a deep breath in a pine forest? It smells amazing. Not only does it uplift your senses, but that deep breath full of pine can also support your lungs. Research has found pine bark extract to reduce inflammation in the lungs, and could potentially be used as part of a treatment for COPD. Pine was even found to reduce fibrosis in the lungs and to improve asthma. Want to get the pine forest feel inside your home? Add pine essential oil* to a diffuser to bring the outside in. (See more ways to get in pine below.)
*If you wish, you can use my coupon code amberbodilyhealth for a discount at checkout.
Pine reduces inflammation.
Several studies point to the anti-inflammatory effects of pine, as well as great antioxidant properties. It has been used for centuries in many cultures as a natural anti-inflammatory. Pine has even been shown to reduce joint stiffness by alleviating joint inflammation. Inflammation is a common factor in almost all dis-eases in the body. There are many essential oils that are anti-inflammatory, but you can massage pine essential oil* with calendula carrier oil* into an inflamed area – such as the knees, lower back, joints, etc.
Pine supports immune function.
Reducing inflammation already helps immune function, but this study also found that pine can help module immune function and help your immune system adapt to your body’s needs. In addition, we all know that Vitamin C helps support the immune system – and a UC-Berkeley report found that pine bark extract* can help extend the life of Vitamin C in the body. Pine needles also have high amounts of Vitamin C. (As always, when adding new supplements to your regimen, I recommend working with a health practitioner that you trust.)
*If you wish, you can use the code NATURE15 for a discount at checkout.
Pine protects against cancer.
The rich antioxidant power of pine as well as its ability to protect against oxidative stress makes it a powerful ally in protecting against cancer. It has also been found to have neuroprotective effects, suggesting that it can support brain health – especially as we grow older (see below). My second son had brain tumors in utero (and wasn’t even supposed to make it past two weeks in life, if he made it to birth – but he is now thriving! See his story here). Pine has been an important part of his healing journey.
Pine can assist in a weight loss journey.
Pine has been found to reduce body fat and reduce appetite. I would highly recommend working with a health practitioner you trust if you plan on using pine as a tool for weight loss. Appetite suppression can be a very tricky thing to deal with in regards to the body, and the longer-lasting way to change your appetite is to change what you’re eating. The body can be satisfied with healthy plant-based foods – which are essential to your body’s nourishment and ultimately your weight loss. It is important to change what you’re eating, not so much how much you’re eating. When you change what you’re eating, the body will naturally adjust its appetite. Regardless, pine can be one factor that helps body fat come off. See this article for some more weight loss information.
Pine improves and protects brain function.
Pine has been a constant supplement for my second son Forrest as we healed his brain from the tumors he had while in my womb and in his early life. I learned about pine while being foot zoned, and in my foot zoning classes that I took shortly after his birth, and many studies now show the benefits of pine for brain health. Pine improves brain circulation and sharpens cognitive function, especially in the elderly. It has neuroprotective effects, making it a wonderful consideration for someone with Alzheimers, traumatic brain injury, or cerebral ischemia. Anecdotal studies suggest treatments including pine improve brain function for those with ADHD. This study found significant improvements on focus, memory, mood, and decision-making.
Pine is beneficial for cardiovascular health.
For those with cardiovascular conditions (and really anyone!), pine can assist with circulation in the body. A 2016 study found that improved circulation from pine extract helped the body’s ability to fight free radicals for those with cardiovascular disease. It can also play a large role in preventing cardiometabolic disease by lowering triglycerides, strengthening the blood vessels, and lowering high blood pressure. Believe it or not, circulation is also an important part of the body’s immune system. Immune cells in the blood need to be delivered to the areas that need them – and if the circulation is not working well, their mode of transportation is slowed. Learn more about the immune system in my online course UNDEFEATED: Your Passport To A Powerful Immune System.
Pine improves your skin, eyes, ears, & teeth.
Who knew that taking pine internally and using it externally can help improve your skin! Pine essential oil has been found to be antimicrobial and can be effectively used to treat skin pathogens. But pine does more than just clean up your skin! A 2015 study found that pine bark extract has protective effects from the sun and can even reduce skin damage from the sun, as well as improve the function of the skin as a protective barrier on a cellular level. I have sometimes used a drop of pine essential oil with jojoba carrier oil (which contains naturally-occurring SPF) on my skin to help protect it from the sun. (See this article for more about the sun, how to protect yourself, and natural after-sun skin care tips.) Pine also protects your eyes from degeneration, assists with plugged ears, and can even minimize gum bleeding and plaque.
How To Get In Some Pine
Of course, I will always recommend going out into a pine forest! If you live in an area without many pines, or getting out can be difficult for you, there are other ways to bring pine into your life for all the amazing benefits. If you are pregnant, make sure to work with a practitioner who can advise you on the best course of action.
Pine needle tea
If you want to forage for the pine needles, there are many resources for this that can be easily found in a search. Make sure you are certain of the identification of your tree, as there are some coniferous trees that need caution if ingesting or if using medicinally. If you are pregnant, make sure to work with a practitioner who can advise you. Once you have correctly identified your tree, you can pull some pines off the branches, chop them into smaller pieces if they are long, add them to a mug and pour steaming water over them. Let them steep, and then enjoy a tea high in Vitamin C and many other benefits!
I love the Primavera brand because they are so clean and high-quality, and the extraction process retains the integrity of the benefits of the plants. Any of these pine (and even the fir) essential oils are fabulous to use. If you wish, you can use my coupon code amberbodilyhealth for a discount at checkout.
- Pine Needle (Organic)
- Mountain Pine (Organic)
- Swiss Pine (Organic)
- Douglas Fir (Organic)
- Siberian Fir (Wild-Harvested) – one of my favorites!
You can use these oils topically on the skin as well as breathing them in using a diffuser. The smell is an amazing way to ground yourself, and I often use the Siberian Fir to do so. To learn more about how to use essential oils, see this article.
Pine bark extract
Pine bark extract has shown itself to be powerful in many ways in research studies, due to many of the reasons listed above! Internal use of pine can amplify its benefits. I love the Secrets of the Tribe brand and have used their products on myself, my family, and my clients. I highly recommend them because of their quality and how clean they are. I always recommend opting for the alcohol-free versions of tinctures in order to lessen the burden of alcohol on the body as it is trying to absorb the benefits. If you wish, you can use my coupon code NATURE15 for a discount at checkout.
These capsules are also great for getting in some pine. I appreciate that this brand is very careful with how they manufacture their products – without any ingredients derived from major allergens and with a high quality pine bark.
I hope the benefits of this fresh-smelling tree have inspired you! Cheers to standing tall like a pine, rooted in health!
Ignite the healer within,
P.S. If you want to add more tools to your toolbox for strengthening your immune system, check out my online course UNDEFEATED: Your Passport To A Powerful Immune System.