Did you know that White Pine is one of the best-selling Christmas trees in the United States? It is famous for its delicate appearance and needle retention.
Other than using it as a Christmas tree, it serves many different purposes.
Generally, White Pine has several health benefits like effectively treating cold or flu, skin issues, kidney diseases, arthritis, and many more. Similarly, it treats anxiety and mood disorders and has anti-aging properties. It also contains a rich amount of vitamin C.
Other than these, there are many culinary uses and benefits of the White Pine trees. Continue reading to get to know them all.
Table of Contents
- Overview of White Pine
- White Pine Benefits
- Culinary Uses of White Pines
- Where to Buy White Pine?
- Health Considerations to Keep in Mind
Overview of White Pine
White Pine (Pinus strobus) is a famous Christmas tree in Canada and the United States.
Due to their long, tall, straight trunk, White Pine trees have been used for timber-producing for over three centuries.
White Pines have high durability and can continue to grow for over 200 years. When fully grown, the tree can reach a height of 150 feet and a diameter of around 3 feet.
Now let’s look at the basic overview of this tree in the table below.
|Scientific Name||Pinus strobus
|Common Name||Eastern white pine, Northern white pine, Weymouth pine|
|Growth Rate||Slow growth for initial 2-3 years, later on grows rapidly between 10-15 years at an annual average rate of 1m (3ft)|
|Leave Profile||Bluish-green flexible leaves arranged in bundle of 5, finely serrated, 5-13 cm (2-5 inch) long|
|Bloom Features||Cylindrical, yellow, male flowers and light green, female flowers mature in clusters during spring|
|Mature Size||50-80 feet tall,
20-40 feet wide
|Life Span||200 years if undisturbed, maximum age up to 450 years|
|Toxicity||All parts of the plant are not toxic, but resin may irritate sensitive skins|
Wildlife, including black bears, red squirrels, and rabbits, eat these seeds as a food source.
Additionally, various animals use the tree for nesting and feeding on the bark.
The White Pine tree produces seeds every three to five years.
White Pine Benefits
Many products, including food, medicine, crafts like basketry and stitching, decorations, and caulking, are made from White Pine trees.
The Pine tree’s inner bark, sprigs, or sap can be helpful in several medical applications, while the resin is used to produce cement and garments.
Several of its medicinal benefits include effectively treating colds, helping lower blood pressure, preventing several heart diseases, and many more.
Let’s dive deeper into the benefits of White Pine.
1. Helps Treat Cold or Flu
The most frequent infectious disease among us is the common cold. Every year, the average adult has two to three colds, which are worse in the winter.
As per Mystic Pop Magazine, Pine resin, a propolis component, is helpful to counter viruses that cause colds, coughs, and bronchitis.
A Pine resin tea can help coughs, bronchitis, laryngitis, and chest congestion by clearing the phlegm.
Similarly, the inner bark, needles, and roots serve comparable health functions.
According to Foliage Botanics, White Pine’s inner bark and needles can help relieve congestion that leads to colds and the flu.
These inner barks and needles contain astringent and antibacterial qualities that are well known for inhibiting viral development.
White Pine’s full nutritional content can make us healthy from the inside out.
2. Contains Rich Vitamins and Vitamin C
White Pine contains five times as much vitamin C as a lemon. The blue-green White Pine needles are a good source of vitamin C.
Vitamin C in White Pine has a therapeutic effect on our body and protects the body from various toxins and pollutants.
As per USDA Forest Service, each gram of White Pine needles contained 0.72 to 1.87 milligrams of ascorbic acid.
Ascorbic acid is the purest form of vitamin C and works as an antioxidant, protecting the cells against free radicals and supporting the immune system.
You can make tea with Pine needles by steeping them in hot water to obtain your recommended daily intake of natural vitamin C.
Additionally, drinking White Pine tea can help treat a severe vitamin C deficiency by repairing bodily tissues and stabilizing immunity.
3. Alleviates Mood
White Pines contain terpenes and volatile chemicals known as Pinene and limonene.
The smell of these chemicals and terpenes is very refreshing. Also, several health benefits are associated with them.
According to the National Library of Medicine, terpenes combined with cannabinoids can be used as a drug to treat anxiety and mood disorders.
Similarly, a little stroll through a forest of Pine trees is rejuvenating and can quickly improve your mood.
A study also showed that the smell of fragrances might affect our emotions and how we perceive them.
The results also imply that natural scents like White Pine enhance general emotional functioning.
4. Possesses Antioxidant and Anti-aging Properties
White Pine contains several properties like antioxidants, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, antiviral, and anti-aging properties.
It is because Pine extract contains a high amount of polyphenols. Polyphenols regulate cellular activity and fight free radicals, which expose our bodies to oxidative stress.
In general, they defend the body against damage from diseases like cancer and heart disease. It also functions as a built-in photoprotector, slowing down the aging process.
Aside from that, Researchers at NLBI suggest that polyphenols have potential anti-aging effects and play an essential role in regulating metabolism.
Additionally, Pine bark extract can perfectly complement your nutritional kit.
5. Helps Lower Blood Pressure and Prevent Heart Disease
White Pine bark contains Pycnogenol with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory characteristics and aids in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system.
Pycnogenol present in White Pine can prevent cardiovascular diseases and blood clots and improves vein function.
Likewise, Pycnogenol reduces oxidative stress and limits fat accumulation in the human body.
Furthermore, Pinene, a chemical that gives White Pines their aroma, efficiently decreases blood pressure.
A blog posted in The Schuylkill Center mentions that Japanese scientists had conducted an experiment where they sprayed a small amount of pinene in a hospital’s neonatal ward.
The babies in the ward chilled out as their blood pressure dropped.
6. Treats Kidney Diseases
Kidney disease is now spreading at a frightening rate.
The kidneys can become so severely damaged by chronic renal disease that they eventually stop functioning.
According to research published in PubMed Central, the White Pine tree’s bark, needles, and twig have been traditionally used to treat kidney and bladder issues.
The kidneys can become so severely damaged by chronic renal disease that they eventually stop functioning.
The tea has a mild diuretic effect that could help flush kidney crystals from the body before they harden into kidney stones.
7. Treats Skin Complaints
There are plenty of uses for White Pine externally.
White Pine tree bark can treat skin conditions like wounds, burns, boils, sores, and more.
Similarly, it is also used in the form of liniment plasters.
Moreover, the poultice developed from the inner bark of this tree can treat cuts, sores, and wounds.
Clinical studies have also shown that Pine barks can visibly reduce hyperpigmentation and promotes an even complexion.
Creams, essential oils, powders, and other forms are among its products.
Pine essential oil must be diluted with another carrier oil before directly applying it to the skin.
Another study shows that Pine bark extract (Pycnogenol) can retain moisture on people with dry skin.
8. Relieves Joint Pain
White Pine bark is rich in pigments called bioflavonoids, prominently used for treating osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent type of arthritis, affecting millions worldwide by damaging joints in the hands, knees, hip, and spine.
Versusarthritis states that 56% of the pain reduction was observed in the participants who used Pine barks compared to those who did not.
Even the use of Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) dropped in the participants who took Pine barks by 58%.
Culinary Uses of White Pines
Despite not producing berries, tubers, or large leaves, White Pine is still a significant culinary plant because of its needles.
The needles are the most edible and commonly used to make a vitamin-rich beverage.
The edible parts of the tree are here in the table below.
|Seeds||Can be used as a flavouring in cooking|
|Needles||Used for brewing vitamin-rich beverages|
|Tender New Shoots||Used to make candies by boiling the shoots in syrup|
|Pulpwood released by resins||Used to obtain vanilla flavouring|
|Unexpanded male cones||Used as a flavouring by boiling|
|Inner Bark||Used in soups and cereals as a thickener|
|Pollen||Nutrient-Dense super food|
|Pine Nuts||Nutritious snack- can be eaten raw or roasted|
How to Brew a Hot Cup of Pine Tea?
Until now, we know that White Pine tea has several benefits, including treating colds and coughs and solving kidney issues.
In this section, let us see how we can brew a hot cup of Pine Tea in the comfort of our house.
- Fresh Pine needles- 2 tablespoons
- Boiled water- 1 Cup
- Sweeter or honey to taste (Optional)
- Collect fresh Pine needles from the tree
- Remove the clusters of needles from its branch and rinse thoroughly
- Chop the Pine needles into small pieces
- Place the chopped needles in a cup or teapot and cover them with freshly boiled water.
- Let the tea steep for about 10 minutes.
- Strain the tea, add honey or other sweeteners as you like, and enjoy.
Where to Buy White Pine?
You can find White Pine Seedlings easily in plant stores. Check out the following if it interests you.
|Garden Goods||Delivers within 1 to 5 business days|
|Tree Center||3 to 5 days|
|Etsy||3 to 7 business days|
|Cold Stream Farm||2-3 business days|
Health Considerations to Keep in Mind
When dealing with White Pine, there are typically not many health concerns to consider.
Sensitive people may develop dermatitis from exposure to wood shavings and Pine resins from different species.
Repeated exposures may aggravate long-term chronic lung damage.
According to PubMed, Pine-wood workers’ occupational exposure to Pine resins may worsen their chronic lung disease.
Additionally, if you have asthma or bronchitis, avoid using it internally. Stomach aches could result from the astringent flavor.
Caution: Avoid drinking or eating Pine needles if you are pregnant.
Pine needles can be harmful to unborn babies. In the worst case, it may lead to miscarriage and low birth weight in humans and domestic animals.
Pine pollens can also increase allergic symptoms in those who have asthma.
Keep in mind that a natural product is not always necessarily safe. Be mindful of the dose you consume.
After reading all these benefits, it is evident that White Pine is undoubtedly a valuable tree.
If you have adequate space in your house, plant it as soon as possible.
They are evergreens, have an ornamental specimen, and will add considerable value to your garden.
Want to know more about other varieties of Pines? Check out Why are the Branches of my Norfolk Pine Dry and Crispy? and Why is my Norfolk Pine Limp and Drooping?