Pine Pollen Benefits
Pine Pollen Powder Benefits
Pine pollen is a fine powder which is produced by the male spores on pine trees. Released during the spring months, this golden dust is ultra-rich in nutrients and contains a wealth of mood balancing and energy-enhancing compounds. Despite being used in the East for thousands of years, pine tree pollen is only recently becoming a popular superfood in the West, partly thanks to its androgenic, adaptogenic and highly nourishing properties.
The History of Pine Pollen
One of the first recorded uses of pine pollen is in The Pandects of Materia Medica, a Chinese herbalism handbook by Shen Nong. Written in 250 AD, this extensive book refers to pine pollen as the most superior of all herbs. In the same time period, during the Han Dynasty, pine pollen was considered to be a rare and valuable substance which was used to mark the start of spring.
Pine cones have long been symbols of sexuality, fertility and strength in Celtic, Hindu and Sumerian cultures. In Ancient Egypt, pine cones were used to depict enlightenment and the pineal gland. This is particularly interesting, as not only do pine cones look similar in shape to this gland, but recent studies show that the DHEA present in the pollen helps to increase melatonin production within the pineal gland itself.
Pine Pollen Nutrition Overview
Pine pollen is supercharged with over 250 different vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals which help to repair and rejuvenate the body. It is rich in vitamins A, B complex, C, D2, D3, E, gibberellins, brassinosteroids, zinc, copper, ormus, selenium, polysaccharides, magnesium, antioxidants, fibre, living enzymes, sterols, flavonoids and lignin. It also contains over 20 different types of amino acids including glycine, arginine, valine and glutamic acid, plus all eight of the essential amino acids. It’s a particularly beneficial natural supplement for vegans as D3 is only present in animal products, plus the pollen is approximately 30% protein.
Despite being classified as a superfood, pine pollen is actually a seed which contains a wide spectrum of nutrients that enable a pine tree to grow. Pine pollen’s benefits for humans are similar to that which it provides the pine trees, which are fertility, rapid growth, healing, rejuvenation, vitality and nutritional support.
Pine Pollen Properties
Aphrodisiac: Helps to naturally increase libido and improve sexual function
Adaptogen: Enables the body to better deal with natural and physical stressors
Kidney Tonic: Rejuvenates the endocrine system which is linked to the Kidneys in TCM
Liver Tonic: Helps to regulate bile secretion and tonify the liver
Androgenic: A natural bioavailable source of testosterone and androsterone
Heart Tonic: Lowers cholesterol and raises superoxide dismutase levels
Shen Tonic: Believed to increase spiritual energy and quieten the mind
Beautifying: MSM helps to improve the condition of the skin, hair and nails
Antioxidant: Contains a high amount of free radical scavenging antioxidants
Protein Source: Pine pollen is around 30% protein
Anti-Inflammatory: Pine pollen powder helps to reduce inflammation in the body
Hormone Balancing Goodness
As a nutritional supplement, pine pollen is most famous for its androgenic qualities, as it is able to naturally increase testosterone levels. In fact, it’s the only natural source to contain bio-available forms of androsterone, testosterone and DHEA. Testosterone levels in men naturally decline with age: a 50-year old typically has less than half the amount of testosterone that a healthy 20-year old male has. These compounds provide a range of health benefits, as they are what help to maintain a healthy metabolism, balance moods, regulate the prostate gland and enhance libido.
Contrary to popular belief, pine pollen does not just cater for males. Women can also become deficient in testosterone which can cause fatigue, loss of sex drive, sleeping issues and unbalanced moods. Pine pollen will help to naturally increase testosterone levels and balance out any deficiencies. It also contains the amino acid L-arginine which helps to regulate reproductive health, increase fertility for both men and women, and release growth hormones. Because of this, pine pollen is an excellent supplement not just for men, but for women who are experiencing hormonal related issues or who are going through the menopause.
Pine pollen also has adaptogenic qualities. Adaptogens are ‘wise’ compounds which have the ability to increase the body's natural ability to deal with a range of environmental and physical stresses. They can lower cortisol, help to recharge the adrenal glands, and increase the body’s resistance to colds, flu and viruses.
Pine Pollen for Bodybuilders and Athletes
Pine pollen is a popular supplement for athletes, bodybuilders, yogis and other fitness enthusiasts. It truly is a gift from nature, as the pine pollen powder provides a range of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other nourishing compounds to support the body when working out. The presence of testosterone helps to balance metabolism, strengthen the body and maintain a healthy muscle mass. Unlike synthetic steroids, pine pollen contains natural sterols which have steroid-like properties, so it can be safely taken to enhance athletic performance.
Pine Pollen as a Beauty Food
Throughout China, pine pollen powder is hailed as a beauty supplement which is taken to beautify the skin, strengthen the nails and support healthy hair growth. It is used to treat a range of skin conditions including acne, impetigo, diaper rash, eczema, pimples, plus it can help to reduce skin redness and inflammation. Several of pine pollen’s compounds encourage the production of collagen and elastin which can improve the skin’s elasticity, even out skin tone and help to prevent wrinkles and other signs of ageing.
Pine pollen contains high levels of methylsulfonylmethane, commonly referred to as MSM. This beautifying compound is stored in every cell of the body and it helps to strengthen nails, promote a glowing complexion, lubricate joints and alleviate allergies. MSM is present on the surface of fruits and vegetables, however, aggressive farming practices and a depletion of nutrients in the soil have decreased the levels of this sulfur-rich compound on produce. Because of this, it is important to include natural substances that contain high levels of MSM, such as pine pollen, alfalfa sprouts and aloe vera, into your diet.
Some skin care companies are picking up on pine pollen’s beautifying properties, and they are using pine pollen powder in a range of skin creams, lotions and tinctures. If you purchase pine pollen, you can add a small amount of the raw powder to natural beauty creams, mix it in with a face scrubs or even make a homemade face mask to improve the condition of the skin the natural way.
Pine Pollen: A Golden Miracle Food
These benefits are not only limited to the powder’s beautifying and hormone balancing properties, in fact, pine pollen research suggests that the nutritional compounds in this golden powder can also help to treat erectile disfunction, prevent burnout, increase the body’s resistance to pain and support longevity. The superoxide dismutase (SOD) present in the pollen helps to fight free radical damage, while nucleic acids have been shown to repair DNA fragments. The DHEA in the pine pollen is also able to increase the body’s ability to produce melatonin, which helps to promote sound and healthy sleep.
From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, pollen is classified as a ‘jing’ tonic. Jing refers to an intangible essence which is stored in the kidneys and slowly ‘leaks’ as we age. Pine pollen, along with algae and seaweed as well as some medicinal mushrooms such as reishi mushroom and chaga mushroom, helps to nourish the body’s jing stores to maintain health, youthfulness and overall vitality.
How to Choose the Best Pine Pollen
Much like chlorella, pine pollen has a cell wall which needs to be processed in order to make its nutritional compounds easily digestible by the body. Always look for a pine pollen powder supplement which has undergone a low-temperature process that doesn’t harm its phytochemical compounds. Once the cell wall is cracked, pine pollen powder will be around 1-2 micrograms in size and up to 99% of its nutrients will be able to be absorbed by the body. Always avoid any pine pollen powders which have been processed with the use of chemicals, or that have been mixed with fillers and additives, as this will greatly affect the overall quality of the supplement.
Pine pollen is vegan-friendly, but you may also want to buy pine pollen which has been wild crafted and ethically sourced in order to purchase an eco-conscious product which is high quality to boot. The pollen is best ingested in powder format, although pine pollen tinctures, capsules, tablets, and sprays are available too.
Pine Pollen Side Effects
Pine pollen is non-toxic and safe to use, however, it may not be suitable for people with pine allergies, severe plant allies or bee sting allergies. It is only suitable for use by males over the age of 20, as hormone levels are still balancing out under that age. You should also contact your doctor before taking pine pollen supplements if you are pregnant or taking medication for hormonal issues.
It’s also recommended that you carefully set your dosage. Pine pollen can provide a natural buzz that is similar to a strong cup of coffee. First-time users should start with 1/2 a teaspoon or less, and then work up to a higher dose of up to 1 teaspoon if required. Because of its energizing effects, it is not advised to take pine pollen just before going to bed.
How to Use Pine Pollen
Although it can be stirred into warm water to create a delicious tonic tea, pine pollen’s uses go way beyond that. The fine powder blends easily with all drinks, so it can be added to fruit juices, smoothies and shakes. If you’re taking pine pollen to enhance your athletic abilities, then mix some of the powder into a pre-workout smoothie or use it in protein and snack bars. You can get creative in the kitchen and add pine pollen powder to soups, dips, sauces, bread and even chocolate. Although it’s most commonly ingested orally, pine pollen can also be applied topically when mixed into moisturiser.
Many users report feeling an instant boost in mental clarity and energy levels, which is why pine pollen powder is frequently taken as a nutritional morning pick-me-up. For a supercharged health tonic, try combing pine pollen with other tonic herbs or medicinal mushrooms such as chaga, reishi, ginseng, nettle root, and schizandra berry.
From its hormone balancing goodness to its rare nutrient-dense profile, it's clear that pine pollen is a master rejuvenator that will make an excellent addition to any diet.
Name: Pine Pollen
Other names: Pinus, Pinus Genera, Pinus Sylvestris
Dosage: 1/2 a tsp to 1 tsp
Precautions: Not to be taken by men under the age of 20
Pine Pollen Books
Stephen Harrod Buhner: Pine Pollen: Ancient Medicine for a Modern World
Stephen Harrod Buhner: The Natural Testosterone Plan: For Sexual Health and Energy
Winston David: Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina and Stress Relief
Shennong: Shennong Bencao Jing (The Pandects of Materia Medica)