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Manufacturing Pine Pollen Tincture from Pure Pine Pollen Powder

There is some confusion surrounding the proper tincturing method to produce a clinical grade Pine Pollen tincture, which I hope to dispel in this post.

I receive many, many e-mails about how to use the wild-harvested Pine Pollen that people collect in the Spring, and I receive some questions regarding tincturing the whole pine catkin (the part of the tree that produces pollen) versus tincturing the pure pollen. There is a huge difference, but first I'll talk about what to do with the Pine Pollen you have collected, and then I'll let you know about why it is important to only tincture the pure Pine Pollen powder.

Wild-Harvesting your own Pine Pollen

So you've gone out and done the tedious work of collecting Pine Pollen and now you want to know what to do with it. First things first, it is ideal if you have the patience to sift the catkins from the pollen using a mesh strainer. To do this, load the strainer with catkins and shake/tap to drop the pollen though the strainer into whatever you are collecting it in (a bowl works great). What you are left with is pure Pine Pollen powder, with no plant parts. The reason why you want to separate the plant materials from the pollen is that only the pollen contains the medicinal compounds in Pine Pollen, the rest is useless plant material that only occupies space (and a lot of space at that).

Pine Pollen is largely indigestible by the human gut. Less than 5% of the Pine Pollen that you collect and eat will actually be digested and make it into your body, the rest will pass through your digestive track unscathed. This is because there is a protective cellulose shell surrounding each grain, each cell, of pollen. To increase the digestibility, a complicated process must be undertaken to fracture/crack the individual cell walls, allowing complete digestion. This is how we process our RAW Pine Pollen. The digestibility of properly processed Pine Pollen is over 99%. So what are you to do with all that Pine Pollen you have meticulously collected? Tincture it.

Using Pure Pine Pollen for Tincturing

Only pure Pine Pollen should be used for tincturing. This is because only the pure pollen contains the bio-active compounds, the catkins (the part of the pine tree which houses the pollen) have no medicinal value. They are full of fiber, which you can eat to clean out your colon, but other than fiber (which you cannot tincture) they lack any medicinal qualities. If catkins are tinctured along with the pollen, you end up with a tincture that is largely an extract of the useless plant materials with a tiny bit of Pine Pollen extract. In order to produce a clinical grade, potent tincture, only the pure Pine Pollen may be used. This is important to understand and remember if you are looking to purchase or produce a tincture of Pine Pollen, because only the pollen is active.

Think about it this way. You have a lemon tree growing in your backyard with two beautiful lemons growing on it. You would really like to make a big batch of lemon aid so you go and collect those two lemons, along with all the leaves and branches they grow on. How is the lemon aid going to taste? Not very good. That is because the only part of the lemon tree you use for lemon aid are the lemons. Similarly, the only part of the pine tree you use to produce a Pine Pollen tincture is the pollen. You do not use the needles, nor the branches, and you do not use the catkins because they contain no Pine Pollen.

At RAW Forest Foods, of course, we produce tinctures only made from the pure Pine Pollen. This is because the Pine Pollen is the medicinal component, and we want to guarantee that you receive the highest quality and the most potent Pine Pollen tincture available. It is impossible to produce a potent tincture using a combination of the catkins and the pollen. Remember that lemon aid?

For the home pollen wild-harvester, take the time to process all the pollen out of the catkins, and then tincture the pollen. There is no way to process the raw Pine Pollen powder at home to brake the cell wall and make it digestible, so tincturing is your best bet.

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