What is pine pollen?
If you live near pine trees, you’ve noticed in the spring time that the tips dump buckets of yellow pollen on everything surrounding them. While this powdery coating may seem like a nuisance, it is nature’s way of giving a free nutrient dense coating to the surrounding ground.
Last year I learned of the many possible benefits of pine pollen as a super-nutrient food just before it was time to collect the pollen. Pine pollen contains a variety of nutrients including amino acids, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and flavanoids. (1)
How is pine pollen used?
Pine pollen has been used in Chinese traditional medicine as a drug for thousands of years. It has been reported with a noticeable effect to manage symptoms of diabetes, anemia, hypertension, asthma, rhinitis, and protect prostate health. (2) Using three types of analysis to observe the nutritional components of pine pollen, also called the natural micronutrient storeroom resulted with a shocking eleven elements: magnesium (Mg), selenium (Se), silicon (Si), strontium (Sr), phosphorus (P), sulfur (S), chlorine (Cl), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), manganese (Mn), and iron (Fe). The highest content in the pollen tested was potassium (K). (3)
Because of the understood nutritional benefits of pine pollen, it was proposed that pine pollen might possess an antiaging effect. When studied, it was found to be true. (4)
Pine pollen as a superfood.
If you are looking for a naturally occurring multimineral and vitamin, pine pollen could be a viable option as a dietary nutritional supplement. If taken together with other superfoods such as spirulina and chlorella algae, bee pollen, or seaweed it could collectively fill in the gaps for your daily nutritional requirements.
The design of nature is mind blowing amazing. To see scientifically that this yellow dust coating the planet in springtime has so many nutritional benefits to mankind, and it’s virtually free, is a humbling gift from God’s design. For many of us this nutritional supplement is forming in our back yards, waiting to be collected.
These are white pine trees that are native to the northern temperate and boreal forests in North America. (5) I feel blessed that these trees line the perimeter of my yard in the middle of the city. They have helped keep me grounded and pretend that I am tucked away in the forest.
How to collect pine pollen.
You will need a large container to collect the pollen. Several sources suggest using a paper bag, but my suggestion is don’t use a paper bag. The pollen sticks to the paper and leaks out of the bottom, even when you tape it closed. The easiest way I found to collect the pollen was with things that I already had at home.
I used a very large thin metal soup pot and a poster board with the ends stapled together into the shape of a funnel. I don’t suggest using a plastic bin because the pine pollen powder could statically stick to the wall of the bin and make it difficult to collect. What you use to collect the pollen doesn’t have to be fancy!
To collect the pollen, position the end of the tree limb into the poster board funnel that is pointing into the soup pot and give the tree limb a good shaking. If the tree is ready to release the pollen it will fall off like pouring sand.
However, if there is a little trickle of pollen going into your funnel, it is either too soon to collect, or too late. But you’ll know it is too late because your surroundings will be nicely coated with yellow powder.
If you’re too early, for fun you can still collect some pollen. I managed to collect about four ounces this way. If you’re too late, at least try to collect what you can. When the pollen is perfectly ready for collection, it will practically jump into your pot it falls off of the tree so effortlessly.
I was covered in pollen from collecting it, and should have worn goggles because it irritated my eyes. It didn’t bother my sinuses, but I’ll still wear a face mask next time.
How to prepare wild collected pine pollen.
To prepare the pollen for use, you will need to sift it after the bulk collection to get out twigs and bugs. (Just a warning if you are afraid of spiders, they’ll be in there.) There are six large pine trees in my back yard and after about 2 hours of shaking and sifting, this yielded 8oz of freshly harvested wild pine pollen.
I am allergic to pollen.
If you have allergy issues with pollen, I know this could seem counter intuitive, but pollen is beneficial in many ways. It is possible that this superfood could help mediate your allergy symptoms.
When observing the natural process and purpose of pollen, it’s my belief that pollen can help to correct imbalance. It’s quite amazing to see a blanket of yellow powder cover the Earth each year. Especially impressive now that we know the nutritional benefits of pine pollen.
I used to be so allergic to pollen that I would develop a sore throat, congestion, fever, and hoarseness every spring. It was terrible and I dreaded spring because of this, even though it is so beautiful. Thankfully, seasonal changes do not affect me in the same way. I look forward to them!
It is a gradual process to improve your tolerance of pollen, and you can overexpose yourself; but just based on using myself as the guinea pig I’ve learned that pollen is not the bad guy. It has strong antifungal and antibacterial properties, vitamins, minerals, amino acids. It’s really good stuff! It took a whole summer of building up my tolerance to pollen, but I can finally put flowers like dandelion on my salads now.
How do you consume pine pollen?
The main reason that I use pine pollen is to fill in nutritional gaps that my diet may have because the bulk of my produce food comes from large scale farming. As beneficial as it is to eat only local and organic, the area that I live in while writing this post it is not feasible. On average our temperatures are well below freezing, the growing season is short, and this makes food costs high. This is why I always seize the opportunities that nature provides to collect wild foods that are brimming with nutritional benefits.
I add pine pollen to smoothies, salad dressings, and dips. It doesn’t have a noticeable flavor, so it blends in well with most anything. The most common recipe that I add it to is my homemade coconut chocolate milk. The collective ingredients in this recipe make it a complete meal. Having chocolate milk as a meal is pretty fun!
Collecting pine pollen in spring.
Hopefully you have pine trees near you that you’ll be able to collect pollen from this spring. I’d love to see your pictures or hear how you plan to use the pollen. You can tag me on Instagram @curingvision or leave a comment below. I enjoy hearing from you!