The holiday season is upon us, and there’s nothing like the fresh scent of pine coming from that monstrous pine tree to get you in the holiday spirit. Pine trees carry many wonderful benefits in their pine needles, cones, bark, and resin. However, the most powerful part of the pine tree is its pollen: the powder that contains the fundamental nutrients necessary to grow a full pine tree. Pollen is produced as part of the reproductive cycle of flowering plants — and different types of pollen found in plants have many different benefits for the body. One of the most popular types of pollen found in health food and beauty products today is pine pollen.
All about pine pollen
Pine pollen has been a treasure of traditional Chinese medicine for decades, known as an incredible rejuvenator and adaptogen. Pine pollen contains 200 bioactive natural nutrients and vitamins that are easily recognized by the body, making them more absorbable and bioavailable. Pine pollen has antioxidant-rich properties that contribute to breaking down impurities in the body and skin and contains all eight essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. The major thing that sets pine pollen apart from other pollens is that it contains phytochemicals that mimic the human androgenic hormones, giving pine pollen the ability to raise testosterone levels effectively. This essentially makes pine pollen a naturally-derived source of testosterone.
Pine pollen can be consumed as a food, taken in supplemental form, or used topically for skin-care. The recommended dosage per day is no more than ½ teaspoon, taken by itself or in a liquid like a soothing tea or your morning smoothie. For skin-care, pine pollen comes in a fine powder easily available to add to your favorite moisturizer or face wash. Here’s an easy at-home recipe:
- ½ tsp pine pollen (we like Sun Potion)
- 1 tbsp aloe vera
- ½ cup witch hazel
- Few drops essential oil (like tea tree or lavender)
- Combine all ingredients in a small cup or bowl.
- After cleansing your face, wipe mixture all over face with a cotton pad.
- Rinse with cold water and follow with a moisturizer.
The buzz about bee pollen
Bee pollen, on the other hand, comprises a mixtures of nectar, honey, bee saliva, and the plant pollens collected by bees. On the outside, bee pollen’s appearance is in tiny granules that look completely different than pine pollen. On the inside, it’s made of 40 percent protein and considered to be one of nature’s most nourishing foods. Bee pollen has many health benefits, but it is more commonly known for its remarkable effects for the skin. Similar to pine pollen, bee pollen contains extremely high amounts of antioxidants that ward off free radicals that come from impurities. It’s a natural antibiotic that suppresses acne with its anti-inflammatory properties and clears breakouts. Bee pollen contains carotenoids, flavonoids, and phytosterols, which promote cell regeneration and improve skin’s appearance and complexion.
Bee pollen can be consumed as a food or used topically for skin-care. The recommended dosage per day for consumption is no more than four teaspoons. Sprinkle the granules as a topping over yogurt, cereal, or oatmeal. Pro tip: bee pollen is more effective when eaten with a piece of fruit. The fruit fibers reinforce the activity of the fresh pollen.
For skin-care, bee pollen granules can be ground up or used whole and mixed with different moisturizing products. Here’s an easy at-home recipe:
- 1 tsp of ground bee pollen
- 2 tbsp of raw honey
- Combine ingredients in a large cup or a bowl.
- After cleansing, apply mixture on the face and neck and let sit for no more than 20 minutes (trying not to lick it all off!)
- Rinse with warm water and follow with a moisturizer.