Saturday, September 13, 2014

Surprising Health Benefits of Pine Tree

Pine trees have long, needle-shaped leaves, and are in huge demand for lumber, landscaping, erosion control, privacy screens, and several other medicinal uses.

Pine trees are evergreen and produce dense shade, have a wonderful citrus-like smell, and look very attractive in the winter landscape, as the long pine needles blow in the wind and reflect the sunlight. Pine trees have a long life, and generally reach ages of 100-1000 years old or more and nearly all of the parts of pine tree have some types of survival use, including their sticky sap, edible bark, and wood, which is an outstanding fire-starter. Pine trees distinguishes itself from other trees by having uncovered seeds borne in pairs on the bracts of (female) cones and narrow leaves (needles) set in bundles of 2 - 5 and with an enduring or deciduous sheath at their bases and such bundles of needles are known as fascicles. Now let’s see the surprising health benefits of this fast growing Pine trees.

Pine Trees

Pines are coniferous trees and there are around 100 or so species of pines globally, while the US has around 35 species of pines growing usually in colder climates. Pine trees can grow in any soil and out of the 7 continents, they are found to be grown in 6 continents. The Great Basin Bristlecone Pine is one of the oldest surviving trees on earth, i.e. over 5000 years old. Most pine trees favor full sun exposure and need less or no extra water during their full grown stages. Pine trees make gorgeous ornamental plantings for homeowners, and are broadly used for windbreaks or privacy screens. Moreover, the cones, pine boughs, and trees - all are diverse and used as Christmas decorations. Besides offering a regal existence in yards, forests and mountainsides, their timber, tar, resin and seeds are used in commercial ventures too.

Natural uses for Pine Trees:

Pine oil

Pine oil, also called fir leaf oil or oleum folii pini sylvestris, is extracted through steam distillation of cones, twigs and needles of pine trees. Based on its source, pine oil could either have a fresh, earthy, and forest-like scent or a powerful, dry, balsamic, turpentine-like scent. Pine oil is valued for its antimicrobial, antiseptic, antifungal, anti-neuralgic, and anti-rheumatic properties. Its powerful capacities are linked to its high levels of phenols, which are acidic substances that ward off germs and fight off disease. It even has a healing effect on the endocrine system, and helps the body in cleansing impurities from the skin. Dermatologists recommend pine oil for healing of different skin ailments like sores, scabies, itching and psoriasis.

Other benefits of using Pine oil:
  • Raise your activity levels
  • Stimulate healthy metabolism
  • Relax the body when added in bath
  • Relieve muscle stiffness
  • Neutralize free radicals with its rich antioxidant capacity
  • Help remove excess water, uric acid, salt, and fat through urination
  • Cure urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Massage oil before and after exercise
Pine needles

In place of traditional leaves, Pine trees have needles that are thin and pointed and usually grow in clusters and are dark green in color; however some trees feature green needles with a light blue shade. Pine needles have several uses, no matter whether they are cut from the tree, freshly fallen, or dried. Pine needles can be used in gardening and landscaping, and can be prepared into decorative yet handy crafts, and also have nutritional value when ingested.

Prepare an ingestible tea by putting recently cut and newly fallen pine needles into hot water. Boil for 2 minutes before removing the container from the fire, allow the needles stew for a few minutes, and either strain the needles from the water, or drink the water with the needles in the container. Adding sugar to the beverage will give good taste. This beverage will warm you up if you are cold, and also pine needles are high in vitamin C and are thought to be helpful in treating respiratory and sinus symptoms like cough, nasal congestion, and sore throat.

Pine cones

Instead of fruits, Pine trees produce cones that contain seeds. The pine seeds can cure colds, cough, bronchitis and other chest ailments. The pine seeds are particularly good to consume when they’re toasted over an open fire. Collect young male cones in the spring, and bake or boil the young cones as a survival food. The scaly cones are used across the globe as decorations in wreaths, floral arrangements and centerpieces.

Pine bark

One of the methods you can make out the age of a Pine tree is to check at its bark. A young Pine feature a soft, greenish-brown bark, whereas older trees have solid, dark brown bark covered with cracks and crevices. The bark of young pine twigs is edible. You can make flour from the Pine tree's inner bark. Peel off bark of thin twigs, and chew on the inner pitch to get rid of bad breath.


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