|Long Leaf Pine cone|
|Long Leaf Pine in Falls Lake Recreation Area|
Long Leaf Pine, as a member of the Pine family (Pinaceae), has a number of medicinal properties. The needles are anti-septic, diuretic, warming, expectorant, and rich in vitamin C. To make an infusion, use a generous amount - a loose half handful - chopped up and steeped in hot water for 10minutes. The tea should taste sour and resinous. What a perfect way to get a daily dose of natural vitamin C, more easily assimilated than a highly processed vit. C powder formed into a pill or capsule, and less expensive as well. If trying to kick a cold or a persistent mucus in lungs, you can drink several cups a day but simply be mindful of any lower back pain, stopping or lessening use if present, as it may be too stimulating to kidneys.
The resin is a strong anti-microbial and makes for excellent wilderness first aid. It can be warmed up in a spoon over a flame, until liquidy, and applied directly to small cuts and wounds, as well as burns. It creates an anti-microbial seal and makes for a good temporary fix until the wound can be properly cleaned and bandaged if necessary. As I mentioned in my post on Yarrow, the resin can also be warmed and applied to a stubborn splinter. The resin somehow changes the volume/pressure of the splinter and skin, and the splinter will naturally work its way out over the course of 12-24hrs. I have not had the opportunity to try this myself, but it seems to make sense, as I've heard of other ol' timers' different drawing salves that are supposed to do the same thing. The resin can also be applied to old boots as handy waterproofing. Resin should not be consumed internally due to its strength.
Medicinal properties are across the board for members of the pine family in the southeast, including such trees as Hemlock, White Pine, and Spruce.