Pine

Scientific Name: Pinus sp.

Family: Pinaceae
 

Other names: Loblolly, Pitch Pine, Longleaf Pine, Pond Pine, Red Pine

Cautions: 

Herbarium Image: here

Description

The pine tree is the most common tree found in North Carolina and the offical state tree. There are at least eight species of pine that are native to the region. The pine tree is an ever green coniferous tree with dark green needles varying in length with 3 needles per fascicle. The tree can reach roughly 80-100 ft tall at maturity. The flowers are small, monoecious with male flowers being yellow, long clusters and female flowers being more oval and purple. 

terpentining.jpg
Traditional Medicinal Use

Local tribes harvested the turpentine was harvested for medicine, although terpentine was also harvested commerically to make various other products (e.g., resin) as well. The Waccamaw Siouan dipped their family dogs in pine tar to prevent/deter fleas and ticks. They would also burn pine straw to keep unwanted insects away. Tribes report using the sap as chewing gum to clean teeth and freshen breath. The bark was chewed and packed down close to the tooth for toothaches prior to pulling. . The Coharie mixed pine tar with sulfur to treat skin sores.

Health

The ethanolic leaf extract has been shown to inhibit bacteria that cause oral infections. (1)

Nutrition

The seeds of a pine tree are edible and the needles have been used to make a tea high in vitamin C. The needles were  mixed with mud and used in the making of smokehouses to give meat a pine flavor.

Citations

1. Tichy, J and Novak, J. Extraction, Assay, and Analysis of Antimicrobials from

Plants with Activity Against Dental Pathogens

{Streptococcus sp.). THE JOURNAL OF ALTERNATIVE AND COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE. 1998;  4: 39-45

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