“Superfood” is a term that’s thrown around loosely today. However, here’s one that many people have not heard about (yet!) that definitely qualifies…Pine Pollen.
Now, many so-called “superfoods” seem to shine in terms of a single main benefit – for example, a high vitamin C content or perhaps a rich antioxidant profile. Pine Pollen, however, contains a wide spectrum of health-boosting nutrients.
You can’t label it as just an antioxidant rich food, or just a protein packed ingredient, or just a good source of minerals because – spoiler alert – it’s all of these! And, despite being a currently lesser-known superfood, it’s actually been used as a medicinal herb for around 2000 years!
In this article, I’ll guide you through the in’s and out’s of Pine Pollen so you can better understand just how much potential this little powder has for improving your overall health…And why you’ll seriously want to consider consuming this unique “gift of nature” on a routine basis!
What Is Pine Pollen?
Pine pollen is, as the name implies, the pollen that comes from pine trees. Considered an herb and often referred to as an adaptogen, pine pollen is an edible, bright yellow powdery substance that has numerous health benefits. It’s incredibly soft and light as a powder, as you would expect pollen to be.
Taste wise, it’s subtly sweet with a certain warmth.
As mentioned already, pine pollen has been used as a medicinal substance for thousands of years and was especially popular in ancient Chinese herbal medicine. In recent decades, pine pollen has piqued the interest of many health aficionados thanks to its rich stores of micronutrients such as amino acids, vitamins, enzymes and flavonoids.
Let’s look a bit closer at the incredible properties of this beloved bioactive herb.
Six Top Health Benefits of Pine Pollen
Packed With Protein
Interestingly enough, pine pollen is packed with protein. Not only does it contain approximately 30% protein, it’s a complete protein at that!
This fine yellow powder can give you the full spectrum of amino acids so you can build and easily use quality proteins. It contains essential amino acids such as histidine and lysine, as well as non-essential amino acids such as cysteine and glycine.
A great plant-based protein source like this can assist with weight management, stronger bones, muscle mass, reduced cravings, better metabolism and the many other benefits including more absorbable protein in your diet.
Considering that pollen is the “fertilization” factor in plants, it makes sense that pine pollen promotes hormone health.
If you’re aware of just how central a role hormones play a part in your health, you’ll know that they’re CENTRAL to keeping all systems in our body working and feeling great.
The delicate chemical reactions that occur due to the presence or lack of hormones are core functions and foundations to optimal health. That makes it really great news that pine pollen may indeed be an excellent supporting supplement for hormone health.
One example men will particularly appreciate: A study, conducted by the Dept. of Pharmacognosy & Chemistry of Natural Products in the University of Athens, showed that Pine Pollen contained natural phytoandrogens such as testosterone.
And although the immediate connection between testosterone and male health is prevalent, pine pollen appears to support both male AND female hormone health.
In men and women, testosterone is needed for the formation and maintenance of muscle, energy, healthy fat distribution, red blood cell formation, and more. It’s also great for libido.
These are all health components that can benefit both men and women. And, levels of this important hormone can rise and fall for both genders. It’s worth considering that some are calling pine pollen a plant-based testosterone… and it’s certainly worth exploring if hormone balance is an issue for you.
Boosts the Immune System
Fact is, no single food is going to be the reason why your immune system stays in tip top shape…
Your body requires a wide spectrum of nutrients from a variety of sources. Exercise, sleep and mental wellbeing are essential for a strong immune system, as well. With that said, pine pollen is an excellent option to boost immune health as it supports all the things needed to keep your immune system in tip top shape.
It’s nutritionally dense and feeds your body the necessary nutrients, micronutrients, minerals and antioxidants to help keep your body resilient against pathogens.
The nutrients found in pine pollen also may help support exercise and sleep. For instance, its protein content nourishes an active lifestyle while its hormone balancing effects can help alleviate restlessness from fatigue.
It’s no wonder that it has been used for centuries!
Plus, studies found that pine pollen may boost the immune system and help rehabilitate a depleted one.
The clinical results reported demonstrate that pine pollen may help regulate the immune system, and that it shows antioxidant, anti-aging, and anti-inflammatory functions — all indicators of a healthy functioning immune system.
Supports Prostate Health
Pine pollen has shown promise for inhibiting enlarged prostates, both as an orally administered stand-alone ingredient and as an adjuvant (an ingredient that stimulates an immune response).
While an enlarged prostate generally happens as a man ages, early onset prostate hyperplasia is a health issue that men need to address ASAP as this can cause problems such as difficulty urinating and may be a precursor to cancer.
With the potential to promote prostate health, pine pollen is worth considering for all males looking to give their prostate a little extra health insurance.
Increases Energy and Vitality
You can get approximately 0.8 micrograms of testosterone for every 10 grams of pine pollen you consume. Consuming pine pollen may give the body supplementary testosterone, which can help enhance hormone health, as well as overall energy and vitality.
Healthy levels of testosterone are closely linked to primal physical measures such as endurance, stamina, and strength.
Powerful Antioxidant Capabilities
Pine pollen even contains the antioxidant powerhouse glutathione, mainly heralded in cruciferous vegetables. Often coined as ‘the master antioxidant’, glutathione is thought to help the body to detoxify, keep damaging free radicals at bay, slow down aging, and promote a stronger immune system.
Detoxification is of key interest here because out of the 5 vital organs, our liver is primarily responsible for filtering out toxins from our body. Essentially working as a garbage disposal on a daily basis, this job can easily add up and over tax our liver.
Research has shown that pine pollen may have protective effects for your liver, particularly in alcoholic liver injuries. Studies demonstrate that consuming pine pollen may help to speed up recovery from this type of damage, mainly by accelerating the generation of healthy liver cells.
Even if alcohol is not an issue for your liver, the damage from the thousands of everyday toxins in our life can take its toll. Any form of powerful detox is worth consideration in your supplement cupboard.
How To Take Pine Pollen For Your Health
The standard recommended starting dose of pine pollen powder is ½ to 1 teaspoon taken twice a day, or if in capsule form, 3 capsules taken twice a day.
Pine pollen is well studied to have a low chance for side effects and has no known levels of toxicity. If you’re new to pine pollen and have no known pollen allergies, you can easily incorporate this herb into your supplement rotation starting with ½ teaspoon or 3 capsules, or your desired dose and working your way up if need be.
And this is worth knowing – research suggests that even if you have allergies, as a supplement it likely won’t bother you. If you’re wary, you can always start with a minute amount and work your way up to more beneficial doses.
Women also need balanced levels of testosterone for optimal health. Consuming pine pollen may help increase or balance testosterone levels in women, which in turn could help to ease issues like PMS, mood swings and cravings.
Pine pollen also contains trace amounts of bioactive DHEA, a key anti-aging hormone that brings a host of benefits such as aiding in the prevention of osteoporosis, vaginal atrophy and anti-aging for the skin.
Chinese medicine believes males can enhance their “masculine energy” with the help of pine pollen. Scientifically, it may promote muscle growth and help maintain lean muscle mass. Adding pine pollen to a regular strength training routine may give your muscles a desirable, nutrient-dense boost.
For men in particular, more is more when it comes to pine pollen.
More concentrated forms of pine pollen such as a quality Pine Pollen tincture may give a much-needed increase in levels of testosterone for older men, especially.
The Types Of Pine Pollen
There are various ways you can take pine pollen, each offering subtle differences in how much your body responds to its benefits.
Pine pollen tincture uses alcohol to create a liquid extract. If you want to get the most of what pine pollen has to offer, many consider a tincture the way to go. Due to the concentration of phytoandrogens and a higher bioavailability in tincture form, women are recommended to use just a few drops of pine pollen tincture, as opposed to a full dropper dose.
Lactating mothers should forgo tinctures altogether and opt for a less concentrated form of pine pollen such as powder or capsules.
For men, a full dropper can be taken under the tongue to allow the phytoandrogens to enter the bloodstream directly. Generally, men above 30 may benefit the most from such a concentrated form of pine pollen.
Lastly, if you’re avoiding alcohol or sensitive to it, yet wish to still take pine pollen in tincture form, simply squirt a few drops into hot water or tea to evaporate the alcohol.
Pine pollen in powder and/or capsule form is the most direct way you can experience what pine pollen has to offer because it’s in its raw state. Many consider pine pollen in powder form the best for MODULATING hormones, so it’s a great option for men and women looking to balance out hormonal health or for those starting to see how well pine pollen works for them.
Besides using capsules, you can mix pine pollen into tea or blend it into a smoothie. You can even sprinkle it on your peanut butter on your toast or rice crackers!
Try this adaptogen post-workout smoothie, featuring pine pollen as a key superfood to nourish your body with proteins and antioxidants post workout:
Pine Pollen Power Smoothie
In a blender…
- Pour 16 oz of almond milk
- Add ½ to 1 teaspoon of Pine Pollen powder
- Add 1 cup of fresh or frozen banana
- 1 heaping tablespoon almond butter
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 scoop of protein powder (you can use plant-based protein powder; I recommend unsweetened or vanilla flavor)
- Blend thoroughly & enjoy!
Cycling Pine Pollen
Cycling Pine Pollen – i.e., using it intermittently – is highly recommended for people who want to maximize its benefits.
Try cycling pine pollen on a weekly basis, consuming it for 4-5 days and then giving your body 2 days off from it. Another option is to take it for a month and take a break from it for a week.
As a natural supplement, you can go with your bodily intuition as well and feel through what helps your body feel its best.
How To Find And Choose Quality Pine Pollen
Pine pollen is beloved for being a natural health food that’s both nutrient dense and nutrient varied.
It has over 200 bioactive vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants and other super nutrients in every single serving. It is a wild-harvested superfood and, at its best, has no added chemicals or preservatives.
As with all supplements, of course, you want a pine pollen that’s free of foreign contaminants such as heavy metals and pesticides, free from fillers and GMO ingredients, all while retaining its full spectrum of nutrients after going through production.
Lastly, when looking for a quality Pine Pollen product, look for wild harvested pine pollen with a cracked cell wall. Like chlorella, pine pollen actually has a hard outer shell that makes it hard for your body to absorb. That’s why a form that lists “cracked wall” is essential…
This makes the wealth of nutrients found in pine pollen more bioavailable so you get the most of what it has to give!
Again, the top attribute that makes pine pollen such a potent ingredient to add to any wellness routine is how well rounded its nutrient profile is.
The vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytoandrogens and proteins found in pine pollen all work synergistically to give you a host of benefits that overlap throughout your body’s systems.
As fans of pine pollen will agree, it can be an excellent addition to manage and maintain a healthy body. In the face of aging, hormone depletion, disease, and the daily wear and tear of life, the good news is…
You can easily find top-quality Pine Pollen tinctures and cracked wall powder and discover the many benefits of this powerful superfood for yourself!
Unlike some companies, they don’t use microwaves or other harmful methods to sterilize their pine pollen. These methods can negatively impact the pollen and effectively neutralize its benefits.
Similarly, they don’t use powdered extracts that can strip down the beneficial components of pine pollen, making them near useless.
Their tinctures are tested and proven to be free from PDE-5 Inhibitors or Analogues that are so commonly used to disguise lower-quality herbs.
Nor do they use binding agents (glues, fillers, etc) to create pills that look nice, but are full of questionable added ingredients.
Lost Empire Herbs Pine Pollen is carefully handled with systems designed to give you the most potent and least processed product on the market.
I highly recommend them and use their pine pollen myself!
>>Check out Lost Empire Herbs’ pine pollen powders, capsules and tinctures here if you’re interested, and enjoy the benefits of this emerging superfood!