As a child you may have been pricked by fallen pine needles on the playground. Or perhaps the smell of pine brings you back to vacations in the mountains. The memories you have surrounding pine need to make way for updated information on health benefits you can obtain from different parts of a pine tree!
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From pine needle tea to pine oil made from the twigs and needles, there are some pretty amazing benefits to taking part in the pine needle health craze. Besides being a great air freshener and a solid house cleaner, let the joys of pine take care of your health, too!
1. Cleanse Your Skin
You may be thinking that you already cleanse your skin with some form of pine scented hand soap. But there is likely no actual pine on the ingredient list of your soap. To get the effects of pine for your skin you will need more than just a pine scented product! The sulfur in pine needles is what your skin, nails and even hair benefit from.
The Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine points out that certain tropical applications of a mixture of tea tree oil and Scotch pine can help an array of skin issues such as cold sores, acne, dandruff and burns.
2. Help Your Allergies
It may seem counterintuitive to treat outdoor or seasonal allergies with something found outdoors during allergy season, but don't write this remedy off just yet. Using essential oils like pine in a vaporizer while you are indoors during allergy season can really help with those pesky blocked sinuses caused by hay fever.
In fact, you can even use this and other essential oils in a steam to help unclog your nostrils and find relief from not only hayfever but the common cold as well. As a side note, if you already know that you are allergic to pine nuts or pine pollen, you will probably want to steer clear of this and most of these remedies!
3. Boost Your Mood
Do you find yourself feeling fatigued, losing focus easily, or feeling over-stressed? If so, pine essential oil may come in handy for you. Pine has a way of energizing you while calming your stress at the same time.
To get these benefits, a simple massage with pine oil can do the job. You will be left feeling rejuvenated with an elevated mood, less anxious, and with a reduced amount of tension. Just think about the pine scent that comes with the winter holiday season.
One reason the scent brings such joy besides the feelings of nostalgia is that the scent of actual pine can help lower anxiety, making you instantly happier. What a great reason to take a walk through a pine forest!
4. Natural Air We Breathe
While walking through the pine forest in the hope of boosting your mood, you may notice how fresh the air is, perhaps because you're outdoors in the wilderness, far from the toxins and smog of life in the city, but also because of the pine trees themselves. There's plenty of scientific evidence as to what different types of plants do to the atmosphere.
The gases emitted by the greenery around us have a definite effect on the air humans breathe. While the effect on the atmosphere may be ever-changing, there is no hiding the fact that just breathing in the air of a forest of pine gives us more oxygen than we can find naturally anywhere in our homes.
5. Fight Illness-Causing Free Radicals
Pine, sandalwood, lavender and chamomile are some of the essential oils which have high antiviral properties due to the excess production of compounds that fight infection. Your immune system can use these added fighters especially if you are ill.
Adding pine essential oil to your daily regime can help your immune system stay strong. If you are already sick or feel a cold coming on, drinking pine needle tea can give your immune system that extra boost it needs to fight the sickness.
The high levels of vitamin C found in pine needles are helpful in this immune boost, too. There is even medical research that shows pine needles have anti-tumor effects.
6. Replace Your Cough Syrup
If you are in need of a natural expectorant—whether due to the common cold, a hard-to-shake cough, or another mucus-related illness—look no further than pine needle tea.
The steam from the tea will already soothe and refresh you just by breathing it in. Once you drink the tea you will begin to feel the effects of it as it begins to thin out the mucus that is causing you such pain.
While this tea is a natural remedy for common ailments like the cold or ‘flu, keep in mind that it should not be consumed by women who are pregnant.
Always ask a doctor if you are unsure about what is right for you and your health.
7. Take Care Of Sore Muscles
Sore muscles are often caused by inflammation or minor injury. Injured muscles need proper blood flow to help the healing process begin. Thankfully, pine needle tea is useful in increasing the body's circulation, in turn helping oxygen reach all of your body parts and internal systems.
The health benefits to your blood alone can help the body heal any physical trauma.
On top of that, some cultures use pine topically to help with the symptoms of arthritis.
With pine being beneficial for blood circulation, muscles and also joints, it seems as though pine is a jack of all trades!
8. Ease Digestion
There are many home remedies to aid your digestion or help with any minor intestinal discomfort. Dr. Axe agrees that consuming a few pine oil drops when you have an upset stomach can help your body take care of any upset stomach causing waste or toxins.
This is because of the pine oil's ability to cleanse the liver, helping the body in the detoxification process. This sounds like a good remedy when your upset stomach is due to a slight hangover.
For those more interested in drinking tea to treat a stomachache, having some silver needle white tea right after a meal can help ease digestion as well.
9. Stay Youthful
Anti-oxidants not only fight free radicals that cause illnesses, but they also fight the free radicals that cause aging! Along with wrinkles and other physical signs of aging, the brain can also be affected by age-related diseases such as Alzheimer's.
Pine needles help fight these illnesses that attack the memory, too, thanks to the compounds found in pine.
These compounds from the different parts of the pine tree stop harmful plaques from forming in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's.
This is a great benefit to those patients as it isn't simply treating a symptom, but helping to stop the disease from causing more harm.