Today we’re highlighting the pitchand how it can be used medicinally. Here’s the how~to for making a medicinal oil of Pine.
Pine pitch is a sticky and slow moving substance that oozes out of the pine tree when its bark is wounded. The tree produces this sap to ward off any infections or insects when it’s inner bark is exposed to the open air. Interestingly, it does the same thing for our own bodies, being an antiseptic to protect us from infection. It is a perfect example of the wisdom and connectivity of the natural world and of the fundamental concept, the doctrine of signatures.
This doctrine teaches that when we look at the presentation and the function of a certain plant, fungus, animal or other member of an ecosystem, we can see what kind of medicine they bring to that area. I believe, that this concept can be applied to our own bodies as well, since we are also a member of that ecosystem! Now that we are aware of the doctrine of signatures, we can look at the antiseptic function of pine pitch and the health of the pine tree, and conclude that this medicine will have a similar affect on our own bodies. There are quite a few different usable parts of the pine tree; including the inner bark, the needles, the pitch/sap, the pollen, and the nuts. Today I am focusing on the pitch, and the most obvious thing to note about pine pitch is that it is extremely sticky and gets stuck onto whatever you place it in and will also stick to fingers, clothes, hair and tools. So it makes sense that medicinally, pitch can be used to pull out that aggravating deep-rooted splinter that’s been bugging you after a day of foraging in the forest.
Medicine from the Wild…
To make this medicine, I went around and collected a large amount of pine sap, and put it in a jar as I went.
After I gathered a good amount, I returned home and filled up a 1 liter Mason jar halfway with my sap , and then covered it all with organic olive oil until the jar was full to the brim. I then placed the jar on a windowsill that gets long exposure to the sun everyday for about 2 weeks. Another option would be to place it near a wood-burning stove or other source of consistent heat.
Make sure you shake it everyday to get everything nice and infused!
After 2 weeks, strain out the pitch with cheesecloth and collect the forest-infused oil! You can then go on to make a salve or blend it with other oil mixtures!
In the Poppy Swap marketplace, you can find a number of pine products hand~crafted for you by our swappers. Today we are going to feature White Pine Salve from Gaia’s Garden Herbals and Love My Breasts massage oil from Indigo Botanicals! Click on the links to read more about these products and the herbalist behind the pine!