White pine. Instead of writing a ton about white pine, I’m going to send you to another herbalist’s blog that sums up all the different parts of the tree and its uses: http://herbstalk.org/2014/03/wild-plant-of-the-month-white-pine-a-majestic-ally/. What I’m going to write about is what I’ve used white pine for in the last year.
Last March, after a very windy day, a white pine branch appeared on my doorstep. So, I took it as a sign and started working with it. I made a vinegar, an oil, and lots of infusions (I had a cold, so I drank 1 quart a day of the infused needles and branches I had chopped up with a pruner.) I drank the tea, ate some honey-infused garlic, and my cold was gone in a few days.
With the vinegar, I ended up combining this with equal parts raw honey (herbalists call this an oxymel), and drinking it 3 tsp. in warm water with meals to help improve my digestion. A pretty tasty mix that I looked forward to drinking daily while it lasted.
With the oil, I make a body lotion that smells piney — uplifting for the dark, cold winter days.
Last summer, I learned that my son, after getting stung by a couple of bees, went off to find some pine pitch. Normally, I associate pine pitch with splinters (you put it on and the splinter comes out more easily), but he was thinking stinger, too. It helped him, and I’m guessing that the pine’s antimicrobial properties also helped heal it.
One last thing about pine in general: my dog drinks the Christmas tree water every year. Herbalists sometimes watch animals (often deer) to see how they take care of themselves. Pine, generally, is high in Vitamin C, so I do think she instinctively goes for some healthy water.
So, two days ago a white pine branch appeared after some strong winds. I can’t convince my son (who has a cold) to drink pine tea (although he is fine with sumac, elderberry and ginger), but I am going to make some more tea and vinegar for myself and open-minded clients and friends…. with gratitude for the gift that the wind has brought and that pine has given.