For the majority of our history, we’ve relied on the inherent wisdom of plants for both medicine and nourishment. Even as modern pharmaceuticals become widespread, nature continues to provide a plethora of safe, effective remedies to those who know where to look.
One of my favorite things I learned this year in my herbal apprenticeship with Cedar Mountain Herb School was how to harvest and use pine (Pinus spp.) resin — aka pine pitch — from the abundant conifers we have growing all around us in North Idaho.
Pine pitch is stimulating, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory and is well suited to all sorts of topical applications. It speeds the healing of inflammatory skin irritations, rashes, burns and wounds. It also has astringent properties that make it useful for drawing out splinters.