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4 ways to use pine

Would you like to spend the day with pine?

  1. Start the day with pine steam inhalation to open up and clear the lungs. Pine needles contain essential oils that can help release mucus and stimulate the cilium in mucus membrane of bronchus. Try to inhale pine steam when you suffer from cough, laryngitis, bronchitis, the flu, a runny nose or asthma.
  2. Drink a cup of pine needle tea to to get your daily dose of antioxidants and vitamin c. Pine needles are considered anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and as a pain reliever. One interesting fact about these are that they contain shikimic acid, one of the key ingredients in the antiviral drug Tamiflu.
  3. Take a break and burn some pine incense to banish bad energies and enjoy a forest scent. You can easily make your own pine incense stick by tie pine needles together with a natural twine. Let the stick dry for about two weeks before use.
  4. End the day with pine bath or foot bath. It relaxes your mind and body but also decreases swelling and it is antiseptic.

Pine in Finnish mythology and folklore

Pine is considered as the tree of sun. It reaches high towards the sun with the help of its steady roots.

Tar that is made from pine wood has had an important role in traditional folk medicine in Finland. Tar has been used to make lotions and baths to heal skin disorders, wounds and infections. One of the main characters in Finland’s national epic Kalevala, a healer called Väinämöinen, used pine wood to heat up a health sauna. The story tells that tar is Väinämöinen’s sweat. 

Pine represents fertility, wisdom and longevity but also death. Families used to choose an old pine and when someone died they cutted a branch from that tree. Finally when no branches were left, people started to engrave the birth and death dates of their family members in that same branchless tree.

Ps. Remember that some pine species are poisonous so before foraging pine -> check which species grow in your area. In Finland the most common pine is Pinus sylvestris that is edible.

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