Pine pollen is exactly what you likely think it is: the pollen from pine trees. Yup, this stuff is available to many people within a few hundred feet or closer to their houses.
It’s not very common in the U.S., but is increasing in popularity. It is more commonly known in Traditional Chinese Medicine, so if you have not heard of it, sit tight.
Why would you want to consume pollen from wild trees? Well, there are many reasons to consume this magical pollen, all of them pointing towards the fountain of youth. Let’s talk about just a few of them.
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First of all, pine pollen has over 200 bioactive, natural nutrients, minerals and vitamins in one single serving, Best of all, these constituents are easily recognized by the body as natural and wholesome, making them completely absorbable by the human body.
There are not too many other nutritional supplements that can do this. Most supplements have enteric coatings that are foreign to the body and absorb rather poorly. (1) Pine pollen is actually a food, so it’s absorbed as one!
Pine Pollen For Anti-Aging
Though pine pollen’s full abilities are still being uncovered by modern research, Traditional Chinese Medicine has its fair share of experience with the miracle pollen.
(Read: 10 Ways to Slow Aging Naturally)
The benefits of this substance are seemingly endless, as it appears to positively affect all bodily systems, the immune system included. Specifically, the antioxidant-related properties of pine pollen that contribute to graceful aging include:
- Increasing SOD levels (superoxide dismutase, perhaps the most powerful and crucial antioxidant the body makes) in the blood.
- Increasing glutathione transferees, which help break down and remove xenobiotics (environmental pollutants) and metabolites of oxidative stress (pollutants made by the body) from the body.
- Pine pollen benefits overall skin health and smoothness. Androgens are the promoters of youth.
- Collagen and elastin (which make up the underlying matrix of the skin) are stabilized and kept from degrading, thereby reducing the cause of wrinkles.
- Pine pollen reduces lipofuscin deposits (a brown pigment responsible for age spots, also known as liver spots) in the heart, brain and liver.
Sexual Vigor and Natural Steroids
Pine pollen’s claim to fame is the compelling androgenic effect it has on the body. It contains bioavailable forms of androstenedione, testosterone, DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), androsterone and a wide variety of other steroidal-type substances (which, unlike synthetic steroids, are perfectly natural)!
(Read: 7 Paleo Foods That Increase Your Sex Drive)
These anabolic compounds not only help build muscle mass, they also:
- Keep the skin smooth and tight
- Maintain a healthy libido
- Improve tissue regeneration
- Optimize breast health in women and testicular and prostate health in men
- Aid in the excretion of excess estrogens and speed up the metabolism to help burn off excess fat
Pine Pollen For Hormone Balance
The phyto-androgens in pine pollen help to counter the effects of estrogen-mimicking substances that we are exposed to more and more in the world. Many modern chemicals found in plastic bottles and food containers, body care products, household cleaners, pesticides and herbicides, pharmaceutical medications, plastics and more can mimic estrogens in our bodies and cause disruptions.
People also get a hefty dose of estrogen from dairy products with added hormones and many phyto-estrogen-containing plants such as soy, hops, yams, nuts and seeds, and other fruits and vegetables. It is easy to see how estrogen can overtake a person’s system these days.
Pine pollen’s estrogen-balancing effect can be amazing for people dealing with hormone- and estrogen-dominance related weight issues, skin eruptions or inflammation, mood disorders, sexual or fertility issues, and for women and men going through hormonal changes as they age.
Women can definitely get the benefits of pine pollen without waking up the next morning with a beard. Excess body hair growth in women (and hair loss in men) is caused by elevated DHT levels (which can be controlled with Saw Palmetto, Licorice and Nettle Root) rather than free testosterone.
If men are exhibiting the outward effects of high estrogen (excess breast tissue, “beer” belly, lowered sperm counts and/or erectile dysfunction), pine pollen has the power to balance these levels.
Pine Pollen: The Ultimate Energy Source
One of the most profound health benefits of pine pollen is the tonifying effects on the body and the huge increase of energy it causes, because it is a complete source of proper nutrition.
Pine pollen is not a stimulating drug, and contains no stimulants, though it is more energizing than caffeine. Pine pollen aids in recovery time from exercise and in building lean muscle. You will need less sleep and wake up feeling more refreshed. [tweet_quote] Pine pollen is not a stimulating drug, and contains no stimulants, though it is more energizing than caffeine. [/tweet_quote]
Keeping the adrenals in good shape by reducing stimulates and improving energy in a holistic way is a great way to avoid the damaging effects of AGEs and elevated cortisol.
The Many Benefits Of Pine Pollen
Additionally, as a food and supplement, it acts as a:
- Lung tonic (boosts the immune system and beautifies the skin)
- Kidney tonic (very rejuvenative to the brain, hair, bones and endocrine system)
- Liver tonic (stimulates liver regeneration and regulates bile secretion)
- Heart tonic (increases cardiovascular endurance, raises blood levels of Superoxide Dismutase and lowers cholesterol)
- Spleen tonic (nourishes the muscles and increases metabolism which are both governed by the Spleen organ system in Asian medicine)
- Contains 30% Protein
- Dramatically improves your vitality and stamina
- Increases energy unlike any other food or supplement can.
- Promotes longevity with specific anti-aging compounds
- Improves muscle tone
- Raises low testosterone in men
- Increases male fertility by raising sperm count
- Combats and reverses the effects of Andropause (male menopause)
- Eliminates sexual dysfunction due to low androgen levels
- Balances the estrogen-to-testosterone ratio in women and men
- Prevents prostate disease
- Promotes liver cell activity, aiding in liver detoxification and rehabilitation
- Accelerates the activity of liver cells and regulates bile secretion
- Enhances the metabolic function of the skin and nourishes the hair at its roots
- Regulates metabolism
- Aids in weight management and promotes weight loss
- Improves overall health, greatly promoting immune function
- Leads to an easier and quicker time getting back into shape
- Gentle daily cellular detoxification
- Burns off brain fog and increases attention span and brain function
- Improves skin elasticity (anti-aging)
- Clears acne
- Nourishes the brain
- Dissolves and removes age spots on skin and in the body
- Protects the cardiovascular system by improving the heart, blood, and the blood vessels. (Rutin, one of the components of pine pollen, increases the strength of the capillary vessels and helps protect the cardiovascular system).
- Is 99% digestible, much more digestible than bee pollen.
(2 , 3)
What Is The Best Way To Take Pine Pollen?
Taking a pine pollen tincture (mixed with alcohol) is said to be the most effective way to get the aforementioned anabolic constituents into the bloodstream without any degradation possibly caused by digestion.
To what degree digestion may damage some of the hormones is hard to say, but holding the tincture in your mouth allows the active compounds to be absorbed sublingually. DHEA certainly does make it through normal digestion without damage, but testosterone and some of the other steroidal type substances seem to be more effective in tincture form.
Pine pollen powder makes a great food that can be eaten in higher quantities than you can normally take in the tincture form. This way you get more of the proteins, vitamins and minerals, but there is still a fairly potent androgenic effect.
What About Side Effects?
There are no known side effects from taking pine pollen, but adolescents (under 20) should avoid using pine pollen powder due to their budding hormone levels. Some people are allergic to pollen (a sign the liver needs cleaning and adrenals need rebuilding), so for those in question, take a tiny bit first and see how you react.
Harvesting Your Own
The best part about pine pollen is that it’s a wild food. Not only does it have a fighting spirit, it’s also free! You can harvest your own pine pollen. I actually harvested my first batch of it this year.
It made several tinctures worth; if I added up the value, it comes out to thousands of dollars! All that, a gift from Mother Nature!
Find out what time of year in your area the pine trees pollinate (when yellow powder coats everything). This is usually mid-April for northern countries, the time of early spring when the young greens are starting to come out.
To harvest it, I find it best to pick the whole comb stock and store in large glass jars. This is great for tincturing. You can also place a paper bag over the ends of the pine tree branches and gently knock the cones to get the pine pollen powder to fall off into the bag.
If you are new to this herb, its best to start small, about ⅛ teaspoon shall do. Then you can gradually build up as your body adapts to its potency.
The recommended dosage is 1-2 teaspoons, twice daily (once in the morning and once at night), or consume as directed by a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner.