Containing over 250 vitamins, minerals and health-enhancing compounds, pine pollen is certainly causing a stir in the superfood scene. The fine dust is produced by flowering clusters called catkins, whose function is to pollinate the cones to produce pine nuts. The pollen is incredibly potent, partly because of the 150 million years of evolutionary changes that pine trees have had to make in order to adapt to changing environments.
While it has been prescribed in Traditional Chinese Medicine for over 3,000 years, scientific studies are only recently revealing how pine pollen could be one of the most complete forms of nutrition on earth.
Pine Pollen Nutrition Information
From the bark and the needles to the seeds and sap, almost every part of the pine tree contains healing compounds, yet it’s the pollen which is the most nutritionally-rich part of them all. The golden powder contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, fat-soluble vitamins A, E, D, D2, D3, polysaccharides, nucleic acids, MSM, antioxidants, and live enzymes. It also has all of the essential amino acids, as well as 12 other amino acids and ALA Omega 3 fats.
Pine pollen is a particularly beneficial supplement for vegans and vegetarians, as not only is it a rare plant-based source of vitamin D3, it’s also approximately 30% protein. Although it’s classed as a superfood, in nature, pine pollen is a seed that pollinates the cones and provides them with the nutrients that they need to mature.
Health Benefits Of Pine Pollen
Androgenic: A natural bioavailable source of plant sterols
Heart Tonic: Lowers cholesterol and increases SOD levels
Shen Tonic: Helps to increase spiritual energy and calm the mind
Beautifying: Contains MSM and encourages elastic and collagen production
Aphrodisiac: Helps to naturally increase libido and improve sexual function
Adaptogen: Enables the body to better deal with natural and physical stressors
Kidney Tonic: Helps to rejuvenate the endocrine system
Melatonin: May help to increase melatonin production in the pineal gland
Liver Tonic: Tonifies the liver and regulates bile secretion
Antioxidants: Contains a high amount of free radical scavenging antioxidants
Protein: Approximately 30% protein
Anti-Inflammatory: Helps to reduce inflammation in the body
Five Health Benefits of Pine Pollen
Pine pollen’s most nutritional claim to fame is that it is a phyto-androgen, and the only natural substance to contain bioactive forms of plant sterols, testosterone, and DHEA. Hormonal imbalances are becoming increasingly common in the West, which some scientists believe is partly due to an increase of estrogen-like substances from additives and soft plastics. On top of this, testosterone levels naturally decrease in men starting from their late teenage years: A 50-year old man will typically have less than half the amount of testosterone that a 20-year old has. Pine pollen’s androgenic properties can help to balance hormone levels and moods, support prostate health, and improve sexual function.
Pine Pollen For Women
Pine pollen is not just a supplement for men, as women can also suffer from testosterone deficiencies which can cause fatigue, lack of sex drive, and mood swings. The L-arginine present in pine pollen helps to improve fertility and release growth hormones. For these reasons, pine pollen can be taken by women of all ages, and it’s particularly beneficial for women with hormonal imbalances or for those who are going through the menopause.
A Beautifying Superfood
Pine pollen’s nutritional profile makes it an extremely beautifying superfood that can greatly improve the condition of the skin, hair, and nails. It naturally encourages the body to produce more collagen and elastin which can help to reduce wrinkles, tighten the skin, and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Much like alfalfa sprouts and aloe vera, pine pollen also contains a sulfur-rich compound called methylsulfonylmethane or MSM. MSM lubricates the joints, helps to strengthen hair and nails, and improves skin radiance.
Several of the big beauty brands are picking up on pine pollen’s beautifying qualities, so much so that it is starting to be used as an ingredient in organic and natural skin care creams. Not only will pine pollen help to even out skin tone, but it can also treat skin conditions including eczema, psoriasis, and acne.
Pine Pollen as an Adaptogen
Pine pollen has developed the ability to adapt to environmental changes over millions of years. Its adaptogenic properties make it a ‘wise’ superfood that can work with the body to help it to better deal with many different types of stress. It can also stimulate the production of dopamine and increase other neurotransmitters to help us to better concentrate and learn.
What Does Cracked Cell Wall Mean?
Pine pollen has a thick cell wall which prevents the body from absorbing the majority of its nutrients. That's why all high-quality pine pollen supplements undergo a gentle process to crack the cell well and make the nutrients over 99% digestible by the body. Avoid buying pine pollen that has been through chemical processing or that has been mixed with additives and fillers, as this can damage its phytochemical compounds and potency. In order to be more eco-conscious, it’s also a wise idea to purchase wild-crafted pine pollen that has been ethically sourced. The pollen is most commonly sold as a powder although pine pollen supplements are also available in tablet, capsule, and spray forms.
Does Pine Pollen Have Side Effects?
Pine pollen is a particularly potent supplement, so extra care should be taken when trying the superfood for the very first time. Start with a small dosage of less than 1/2 a teaspoon and then slowly increase the dosage up to 1 teaspoon if needed. Pine pollen can act as a powerful pick-me-up, so avoid taking it just before going to bed. It should not be taken by males under the age of 20 unless prescribed by a doctor.
How to Use Pine Pollen Powder
Pine pollen powder with a cracked cell wall comes pre-prepared and ready to use. Simply add a teaspoon to warm (not boiling) water, and allow it to dissolve to create a nourishing tonic tea that can be enjoyed on its own. Add in a herbal tea bag, or experiment with using other medicinal mushrooms, herbs, spices and tonics to create nutritional pine pollen elixirs with a twist.
Pine pollen’s uses extend much further than just pine pollen tea, you can blend it into a fresh green juice, or mix some into your pre-workout smoothie for some extra fuel in the morning. There are pine pollen recipes where it is added to soups, sauces, dips, and even desserts. You can even sprinkle in some of the raw powder into your moisturizer to create a beauty cream that reduces redness, and tightens the skin.
It may be hard to believe that these tiny grains can contain so much goodness. When taken as a daily supplement, pine pollen can drastically improve overall levels of energy, health, and wellbeing.
Name: Pine Pollen
Other names: Pinus, Pinus Genera, Pinus Sylvestris
Dosage: 1/2 a tsp to 1 tsp up to three times a day
Precautions: Not to be taken by men under the age of 20
Pine Pollen Books
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)