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A General Discussion on the Safety of Pine Pollen, Who Pine Pollen May Be Contraindicated for, Possible Allergies and Cross-Reactivity to Pine Pollen, and Non-androgenic Alternatives to Pine Pollen

Our Stance on Safety and on Making Informed Decisions

We take immense pride at RAW Forest Foods in the quality and integrity of our products—from the ingredients they are made from to the formulations we craft and to the production of the finished products we offer to you.

When developing our products, we select ingredients—in part based—on their safety. Nonetheless, we make no claims as to how an individual will respond to our products.

Humans are unique creatures and it is impossible for anyone to foresee the future.

We are strong supporters in the use of Phyto-Therapeutics and in vast potential of herbal medicine. We believe in herbal medicine and the innate power it contains to dramatically affect and promote health and wellness—with effects on par with that of pharmaceutical drugs. Healing and supporting health through the use of herbal medicine is, after all, the foundational drive of our company.

As we truly appreciate the potential of herbal medicine, we approach these plants with the respect, reverence, and caution they deserve—just as one would approach any medicine.

As humans are unique creatures and as we understand the Phyto-Therapeutic potential of herbal medicine, we emphatically employ every customer to independently research (using authoritative and verifiable sources such as Google Scholar and the National Library of Medicine (PubMed)) what they are choosing to put in their bodies. That is, we advocate for making informed decisions.

Additionally, we encourage everyone to consult with their primary care practitioner before beginning any new supplement regimen (from our company or elsewhere) and before beginning any lifestyle changes. This encouragement is particularly apt for those using prescription drugs, with preexisting medical conditions, who are pregnant—thinking about becoming pregnant—or who are nursing. Nor do we intend for our products to be used by those who are pregnant or nursing, children under the age of 18, and/or by individuals with known medical conditions—including allergies.

Pine Pollen, Seasonal Allergies, and Pine Pollen Allergies

Seasonal allergies to pollen are common, and some have a true allergy to Pine Pollen. If this is you—or suspect as much—do not use products containing Pine Pollen.

It is impossible for us to be vehement enough in stating the following: Do not use Pine Pollen if you are allergic (or suspect an allergy) to Pine Pollen.

With that being said, it is estimated by some that the actual population with a true Pine Pollen allergy is quite small (Stephen Buhner, The Natural Testosterone Plan), and the American College of Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology (ACAAI) states that "pine tree allergy is relatively uncommon."

With over a decade of work with Pine Pollen, we have come across very, very few people truly allergic to Pine Pollen; however, this is merely an observation on our part and it is impossible to say that it is representative of the actual population. Like Shephen Buhner, it is our belief that most are allergic to other seasonal pollens and that Pine Pollen, because it can be so visually dramatic, bears an unfounded responsibility.

Exercising Caution and the Cross-Reactivity of Pine Pollen With Other Allergens

Why be so cautious if the evidence suggests that true Pine Pollen allergies are relatively uncommon? Simple, we want you to be safe. Allergic reactions can be life threatening and allergic reactions do happen.

The above quoted American College of Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology goes on to state that:

Pine pollen allergies are similar to other pollen allergies, and many people with pine pollen allergy are also allergic to grass pollen. Pine nut allergies are similar to other tree nut allergies, and can cause mild, moderate, and severe allergic responses including anaphylaxis. Cross-reactivity has been reported between pine nuts and peanuts and between pine nuts and pine pollen.

It is important to deconstruct what is said above: Pine Pollen can be cross-reactive with pine nuts, pine nuts can be cross reactive with peanuts, and tree nuts can cause "severe allergic responses including anaphylaxis." Taken with the above, this statement suggests that while allergies to Pine Pollen mimic that of other seasonal allergies, Pine Pollen may cause a cross-reactive allergic response in those with allergies to pine nuts and peanuts.

The Phyto-Androgens Present In Pine Pollen

Historically, Pine Pollen was used as a longevity (what may be called anti-aging) tonic and not specifically for the Phyto-Androgens (plant sterols of the male sex hormones) that it naturally contains.

Today, the use of Pine Pollen is biased toward men, but no sex or gender differentiation should be made in its use. As we seen in the past, if any differentiation is to be made, it could made based on age, preserving use for those in middle age and beyond and for those suffering and recovering from chronic illness. Consult our Historical and Chinese Medicine Perspective page to learn more about the use of Pine Pollen—and its application—within the scope Chinese herbal medicine.

The exception is in use of Pine Pollen Tincture. Pine Pollen Tincture should be reserved for those seeking to repair known low levels of testosterone.

Pine Pollen Tincture and Testosterone

Use of Pine Pollen as a food or a supplement is considered safe for most; however, use of Pine Pollen Tincture should be reserved for those with a mature endocrine system (post puberty/18 years + of age) and for those with known low levels of testosterone.

Stephen Buhner, quoted above, writes in "Pine Pollen: Ancient Medicine for a Modern World" that:

Pine pollen tincture is for men in middle age or older or for those with the various kinds of disease conditions that pine pollen helps rectify. Pine pollen powder, on the other hand, can be used as a nutrient food or supplement by anyone with no restrictions other than for those with pine pollen allergy. It truly is good for all, female, male, child, adolescent, bodybuilder, or the aged. Except in unusual circumstances due to medical conditions, pine pollen tincture does not need to be used by adolescent men.

RAW Flower Pollens

For those drawn to use Pine Pollen but who are trepidatious with the Phyto-Androgens present within in, RAW Flower Pollens (including Brassica Flower Pollen, Green Tea Flower Pollen, and Sacred Lotus Flower Pollen) offer ideal alternatives to Pine Pollen.

These are are all living, raw foods—just as our RAW Pine Pollen™ is—and are all high velocity, low temperature processed to fracture the cell walls, making them almost 100% digestible (magnitudes more digestible than standard bee pollen).

These RAW Flower Pollens offer RAW nutrition, essential nutrients, and are adaptogenic and tonic.

Cycling Pine Pollen and Other Pro-Androgenic Herbs and Supplements

When using herbs to heal from a specific illness anf while using herbs for their long term adaptogenic and tonic qualities, we advise cycling all herbs, including Pine Pollen and other Pro and Phyto-Androgenic herbs and supplements.

Cycling refers to an on-off schedule of use, providing the body a break to allow the herbs and their Phyto-Chemicals to wash out of the system.

The body is constantly seeking homeostasis (now known as allostasis) and will adapt to using herbs therapeutically. Cycling is intended to prevent the body from becoming accustomed—in a sense, blind—to the herbs.

For those targeting the androgenic nature of some herbs, in particular Pine Pollen which uniquely contains plant analogous of the male sex hormones (androstenedione, androsterone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and testosterone) cycling is believed to prevent the body from adjusting its own endogenous testosterone production (learn more about the androgenic nature of Pine Pollen here).


Information provided by RAW Forest Foods, including throughout this website, is for educational purposes only and is not intended as—nor should not be misconstrued as—any type of recommendation, medical diagnostic, treatment, cure, or advice.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Products offered by RAW Forest Foods are not for use by those that are pregnant or nursing, children under the age of 18, individuals with a known medical condition, or those allergic or averse to any of the ingredients contained within them. Customers are advised to consult with their qualified healthcare practitioner before undergoing any lifestyle changes, including the use of dietary or nutritional supplements.

For additional information, consult our full Terms and Conditions.