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August Herb of the Month - Lodgepole Pine


Lodgepole Pine, Pinus contorta:

This may be one of the more common evergreens in our community. It can be found in boreal and subalpine forests, dry montane forest or the ocean shore. It is a common choice for the modern-day Christmas tree and is used often in building lumber and construction.

Synonyms:

Lodgepole pine, Shore pine, Twisted pine


Description:

This pine can grow to heights of 70-80' with a spread up to 20’ wide. The lifespan of a lodgepole pine can be between 150-200 years however there has been some known to live over 400yrs. It is a conifer and the needles are usually dark green and grow in pairs. The seed cones can vary in shape from a short and cylindrical shape to a round egg like shape.


Parts Used:

Pitch, Needles, Pollen


Actions/Uses:

The pitch of the pine has been mixed with animal fats and applied as a poultice to rheumatic pain, muscle pain and joint pain. The pitch mixed with mint is excellent as a salve and applied for tension headaches. The pitch is also chewed for sore throats. The needles can be harvested all year round, however Spring is best for a nourishing tea that his high in Vitamin C and has some antimicrobial properties as well. The pollen has gained a lot of popularity for its work as a tincture or as a powder to combat fatigue, stress and boost testosterone. The pollen is high in protein and very nutrient dense.


Folklore:

Folklore on Pine goes back to Greek myths. Cybele, the mistress of wild nature, a healer and the goddess of fertility and protectress in time of war, discovered that her lover has been unfaithful. She made him go mad and injure himself under a pine tree where he bled to death. Almost immediately regretting her actions Cybele mourned greatly for her lost lover. Zeus saw this and promised Cybele that the Pine tree would be sacred and evergreen for eternity.


Flower Essence:

Pine flower as a flower essence helps one to accept and respect themselves as they do others. It helps when we there are feelings of guilt stemming from events that were beyond our control.



Cautions/Contraindications:

Individuals with asthma or allergy may have increased symptoms with Pine. Not all pine species are created equal, always ensure you are identifying the correct species.

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