During the winter I harvested some pine pitch from the white pine tree (Pinus strobus) outside my bedroom window, and made salve of it. Some of this salve I sent to a friend of mine, in Scotland, David Gould. The salve is excellent for drawing splinters out of flesh, and as David is a woodworker, I thought he might have need of it some day. Not long ago David wrote me to let me know that he had a deep splinter in his leg that had been there about a year, and was constantly inflammed and sore. He started to use the salve nightly, and the inflammation was almost gone and that he would keep using it to see if the splinter might come out. Today my pine tree is glittery along its trunk with flowing sap, from the places on its trunk where we have cut limbs to keep them from damaging the roof or so we could walk under it. I decided to go harvest some more sap and make more salve as I am out and I don’t want David to run out.
I added some olive oil to the chunks of sap melting over the double boiler and used a toothpick to mix them all together good.
I then strained it through a cheesecloth I had pre wetted with olive oil.
In another pot I had melted down some beeswax. I incorporated the beeswax and the sap/olive oil together and put into containers.
The antiseptic properties of this salve is magical for pulling out the red of a recent cat scratch also and it is becoming the first thing I reach for to prevent infections and to clear infection from many types of wounds.
Through reading Gail Faith Edwards book Opening Our Wild Hearts to the Healing Herbs, I have learned Pine flower essence is helpful for folks who tend to be hard on themselves, taking on guilt and having self blame. I have found rubbing the pine salve on my pulse points has the same effect of releasing guilt, by surrounding me with its soothing scent with my every heart beat.
Special affinity for pine shows a concern for future generations welfare. By learning, using and sharing pine’s gifts, I am able to teach and help myself, my family and my friends. Learning to use the gifts of our natural world keeps my carbon footprint down . I use pine salve instead of an antibiotic cream from the drugstore, thus cutting out all the carbon usage generated by the act of buying such things. It makes me feel enpowered to make natural remedies and comforted in knowing I am helping make this world better.
Pine is one of my herbal allies that I like to enjoy in many ways. The evergreen pine needles are high in vitamins A and C and make a delightful tea. When I have a sore throat or congestion chewing on the expectorant and antiseptic sap helps me clear congestion and my throat feel soothed.
For many others insights on pine I suggest Kristine Brown’s lovely Herbal Roots Zine, December’s issue . Where I first learned about making the pine salve!
Big herbal and honey hugs to all who visit Comfrey Cottages