Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Pine Salve


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 use a knife to scrape and dig out the sap and in the process I get some bark and needles also. HPIM7346

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




Anke said...

I had no idea you could use pine sap to draw out splinters or make tea out of pine needles. Will any pine tree work? We have several in our yard and I might just have to try that. Thank you for sharing this Leslie.

nettlejuice said...

Oh, I love this!
We don't have pine in our earthspace and I haven't used it's medicine before, but I just may go harvest some sap from a friend's land.

Thanks for the post.

Comfrey Cottages said...

you are welcome ladies. yes anke, from what i understand you may use all the pines interchangeable. ;) big hugs to both of you and go for it nettlejuice!

JoyceAnn said...

Hi Leslie ~ My garndparents always used what was called " Pinee Oil " on their farm for everything when I was young. My Mom and Dad used it on me when I cut my toe once as a child , it healed well. It was the first oil I made when I started my herbal walk. I've never made it with the pine pitch though , I made it with the needles. It works great on burns also. Last year I made a salve from the oil and like my grandparents and you , I use it for many things. I've used it on bug bites , burns , cuts , scrapes and splinters.
I've had a few tick bites this year , one of the first bites is still bothering me , the second bite I put pine salve on the bite and it healed beautifully. I like you find it to be a wonderful herbal ally.

~ Herbal Blessings ~

Comfrey Cottages said...

nice share joyceann! i will have to try to make the oil with the needles now! big hugs:)

janet said...

Wow, this is great info., thanks so much:) I was going to ask if any pine would work, and you've already answered that, thanks. It feels so good using things from nature, doesn't it!

Comfrey Cottages said...

yes janet it feels wonderful to get to know and enjoy and use this beautiful earths natural plants:) thanks for stopping by! big hugs to you:)

Sarah Head said...

Lovely article, Leslie. I haven't worked with pine yet but your experiences are inspiring!

Comfrey Cottages said...

thank you sarah:) yes do give it a go! i really like the energetics of pine and hope you do too!

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you are aware of aluminum being very toxic or not; just thought I should let you know since I see the pine pitch and oil being melted in the aluminum pan. I know, I know that aluminum foil is used by most people but I will never use it; aluminum is thought to be a cause of Alzheimer's.
Another bit: the processing of aluminum produces fluoride which has to be disposed of "somewhere" so it is put into "everything" these days. Alcoa, Tn is the location of one of the aluminum making plants and from my understanding, there is a overly great number of citizens there being adversely affected from the plant.

Comfrey Cottages said...

Oh I don't use it anymore! thanks for commenting. you are right of course. At the time I did this I just wasn't thinking, I guess. I am more conscience these days:)

Anonymous said...

The fact that you are using an aluminum pan really bothers me. Aluminum is very hazardous to our bodies. Aluminum foil is so very widely used and no one seems to be aware of the danger.