Published March 23, 2019
Being a herbal practitioner in training, I find myself playing in the woods a lot. It's almost inevitable that with each cataloging trip I will come home with some insect bite, scratch or splinter. This is why every time I take an expedition I make sure I have my pine pitch salve on hand. In this article you will learn about what pitch salve is, how to use it and even how to make it!
What is Pine Pitch Salve - What is it used for?
Pine pitch salve is a topical ointment made with pine pitch (resin), soft oils and wax. Herbal practitioners have been utilizing pine sap for medicinal and survival purposes for hundreds of years. Pine sap is a drawing agent, best known for its ability to resurface splinters and draw out pus from a wound. When used as an active ingredient in topical salve, the pine resin provides a pleasant aroma and powerful medicinal properties.
Pine sap is essentially a bandaid for a pine tree. It makes sense that the sap can act as one for humans. The sap creates a sterile barrier that is antibacterial and antifungal, so the pine pitch salve is perfect to put on wounds to keep them clean until you can properly dress them. Pine sap is also good to use in a warming salve meant to improve circulation
Sustainable harvesting practices-
As we previously mentioned pine sap is a natural bandaid for trees - meaning if you see a tree bleeding sap that means the tree is healing from an injury and needs its sap more than you do! Nature provides for all… most, if not all, trees will overproduce sap and excess sap will drip down the tree. The best example I can give you is when Jakob and I was on a plant identification walk in the Arizona National Pine Forest during our Fall of 2018 cross country road trip. We found a tree absolutely covered in sap because a bear had made huge scratches down the trunk. In this photo you can see the entire tree is covered in fresh sap. I am harvesting from the bottom of the tree, where there was no injuries and it was about to spill over in the forest floor. This sap was not needed to keep this tree alive and healthy. I left an offering at the base of the tree, thanked it and let it know I was harvesting the sap for medicinal reasons. I go into any harvesting / foraging expedition as a very spiritual practice. This helps me connect with the plants and medicine I have the honor of cultivating.
Sap from any pine tree can be used to make pine pitch salve, just make sure you are purchasing ethically sourced sap!DIY Recipe for Pine Pitch Salve - Brought to you by Holistic Hut
What you’ll need:
-Clean and sterilized workplace
-¼ Cup Pine Sap (ethically sourced)
-¾ Cup non gmo soft oil (sweet almond oil, sunflower oil, ect)
-¼ Cup candelilla wax
-Large sterilized liquid measuring cup
-Sterilized silicon spatula (we have a designated silicon spatula)
-4 oz amber glass container
-Freeze desired amount of pine pitch in freezer to make brittle. Crush pine pitch into small uniform chunks to allow it to dissolve in oil faster
-Heat your soft oil in double boiler
-Mix in crushed pine resin until completely dissolved (there may be chunks of bark and dirt that won't dissolve)
-Mix in candelilla wax until completely dissolved
-While the wax is dissolving secure the cheese cloth to the top of the measuring cup with the rubber band
-Strain the liquid solution through the cheesecloth into the measuring cup (repeat this step if necessary)
-While the solution is still liquid, pour the strained solution into your sterilized glass amber container
-Let the salve cool in the container
(While the product cools create a label + Clean your space)
-Create your label. This label should include 3 things: 1. Product description : Pine Pitch Salve
2. Ingredients (in order from most present to least present), we will include our ingredient list as an example: Non gmo sunflower oil, pine sap (Pinus ponderosa), candelilla wax, non gmo cbd isolate
* we add pure cbd isolate to our salve for an extra medicinal boost. Often times people will infuse their soft oil with broadleaf plantain as an adjuvant herb *
-Once product is cooled, add label and store properly
How to store: Using the glass amber bottle and storing in a dark and cool place this pine pitch salve can last up to two years - the sap acts as a natural preservative
Application Instructions: Apply to cut, abrasion, sting, splinter or sore area as needed.
Where can I get ethically sourced Pine Pitch Salve? Have you heard enough about the amazing properties of this herbal medicine and now want your own? Well the good news is you don’t have to go far. We sell pine pitch salve infused with cbd and ethically sourced pine sap at Holistic Hut! Click the link below to get yours today - while supplies last.
Shifting to a holistic lifestyle doesn't have to be an overnight change. Each day we are given a chance to learn about what our lifestyle is impacting, and to make a change to better our life and our planet. Interact with the blog,what did you think of this week's article and what would you like to see next week? More beauty posts, health / herb posts, gardening posts? Comment, share and thanks for reading!
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