This article provides a general discussion on the safety of Pine Pollen, who it may be contraindicated for, possible allergies and cross-reactivity, and non-androgenic alternatives to Pine Pollen.
Our Stance on Safety and Making Informed Decisions
At RAW Forest Foods, we take immense pride in the quality and integrity of our products. This encompasses the ingredients we use, the formulations we craft, and the production of the finished products we offer to you.
When developing our products, we select ingredients based, in part, on their safety. However, we do not make any claims about how an individual will respond to our products.
Humans are unique beings, and it is impossible for anyone to predict the future or account for how each individual may react to a particular ingredient on any given day.
We strongly support the use of phyto-therapeutics and the vast potential of herbal medicine. We believe in the innate power of herbal medicine to dramatically affect and promote health and wellness. In fact, we believe that herbal medicine can have effects on par with those of pharmaceutical drugs.
After all, our foundational drive is to heal and support health through the use of herbal medicine.
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 strongly encourage every customer to conduct independent research. We recommend using authoritative and verifiable sources, such as Google Scholar and the National Library of Medicine (PubMed), to investigate what they are putting in their bodies. In other words, we advocate making informed decisions about what we choose, and choose not to, put into our bodies.
Additionally, we strongly encourage everyone to consult with their primary care provider before starting any new supplement regimen, whether from our company or elsewhere, and before making any lifestyle changes. This advice is especially relevant for those who are taking prescription drugs, have pre-existing medical conditions, are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, or are nursing. We do not intend for our products to be used by pregnant or nursing women, children under the age of 18, or individuals with known medical conditions (including allergies).
Pine Pollen, Seasonal Allergies, and Pine Pollen Allergies
Seasonal allergies to pollen are common, and some people have a true allergy to Pine Pollen. If this applies to you, or you suspect it might, do not use any products containing Pine Pollen.
It is impossible for us to be emphatic enough in stating the following: Do not use Pine Pollen if you are allergic (or suspect you have an allergy) to Pine Pollen.
With that said, some estimate that the actual population with a true Pine Pollen allergy is quite small (Stephen Buhner, The Natural Testosterone Plan). Additionally, the American College of Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology (ACAAI)states that pine tree allergy is relatively uncommon.
After more than a decade of working with Pine Pollen, we have encountered very few people who are truly allergic to it. However, we acknowledge that this is merely an observation on our part and may not be representative of the larger population. Like Stephen Buhner, we believe that most people are actually allergic to other seasonal pollens, and that Pine Pollen, because of its visually dramatic nature, bears an unfounded responsibility.
Exercising Caution: The Cross-Reactivity of Pine Pollen with Other Allergens
Why should we be cautious even though evidence suggests that true Pine Pollen allergies are relatively uncommon? The answer is simple: we want you to be safe. Allergic reactions can be life-threatening, and they do occur.
The American College of Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology, quoted above, continues by stating that:
Pine pollen allergies are similar to other pollen allergies, and many people with pine pollen allergies 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 unpack the statement above:
- Pine Pollen may trigger cross-reactivity with pine nuts.
- It has been reported that cross-reactivity exists between pine nuts and peanuts.
- Therefore, Pine Pollen may cause cross-reactivity with pine nuts and peanuts, and tree nuts can cause "severe allergic responses including anaphylaxis."
Again, tree nuts can cause severe allergic responses, including anaphylaxis.
This passage from the American College of Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology suggests that while allergies to Pine Pollen may be less common than other seasonal allergies, and that symptoms of Pine Pollen allergies typically resemble those of other seasonal allergies, people with allergies to pine nuts (and other tree nuts) and peanuts may experience a cross-reactive allergic response to Pine Pollen.
Pine Pollen's Naturally Occurring Phyto-Androgens
Historically, Pine Pollen was used as a longevity tonic and not specifically for the phyto-androgens (plant sterols of the male sex hormones) that it naturally contains.
Currently, the use of Pine Pollen is often viewed as being aimed toward men. However, within the historical use of Pine Pollen, no differentiation should be made in its use based on sex or gender.
Instead, if any differentiation is to be made, it should be based on age, with consideration given to those in their middle age and beyond, as well as to those suffering from and recovering from chronic illness.
To learn more about Pine Pollen and its use in Chinese herbal medicine, please consult our page on the Historical and Chinese Medicine Perspective of Pine Pollen.
The exception is in the 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
The use of Pine Pollen as a food or supplement is generally considered safe. However, Pine Pollen Tincture should only be used by individuals with a mature endocrine system (post-puberty/18 years of age or older) and those with known low levels of testosterone.
As Stephen Buhner writes in Pine Pollen: Ancient Medicine for a Modern World, Pine Pollen is a safe supplement for most people:
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
If you are interested in using Pine Pollen but are concerned about the presence of phyto-androgens, there are alternative options available.
RAW Flower Pollens, including Kunlun Mountain RAW Brassica Flower Pollen, Divine Farmer's RAW Camellia Flower Pollen, and Longmen Mountain Sacred Lotus Flower Pollen, can provide you with similar benefits without any concerns.
All of our raw pollens, including RAW Pine Pollen™, are living, raw foods. They are high-velocity, low-temperature processed to fracture the cell walls, which makes them almost 100% digestible. This is significantly 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, or for their long-term adaptogenic and tonic qualities, we advise cycling all herbs, including Pine Pollen and other phyto-androgenic and pro-androgenic herbs and supplements.
The concept of cycling refers to an on-off schedule of use. This provides the body with a break, allowing the herbs and their phytochemicals to wash out of the system.
The body is constantly seeking homeostasis, which is now known as allostasis, and will adapt to using herbs therapeutically. Cycling is designed to prevent the body from becoming accustomed to the herbs and, in a sense, becoming blind to their effects.
For those targeting the androgenic properties of certain herbs, such as Pine Pollen, which contains plant compounds similar to male sex hormones (including androstenedione, androsterone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and testosterone), cycling is recommended to prevent the body from adjusting its own endogenous testosterone production. You can learn more about the androgenic properties of Pine Pollen by visiting The Pro-Androgenic and Adaptogenic Effects of Pine Pollen.
Please note that all information provided by RAW Forest Foods, including throughout this website, is for educational purposes only. We are not providing any recommendations, medical diagnoses, treatments, cures, or advice.
We recommend that all customers consult with their healthcare practitioner before making any lifestyle changes. This includes using dietary or nutritional supplements, whether from RAW Forest Foods or elsewhere.
Our products are not intended for use by pregnant or nursing individuals, 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.
* 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.
For more information, please refer to our full Terms and Conditions.