This one goes WAYYYYY back for me. When I first had my little Herb Nursery (egad, more than 10 years ago....)White Pine infused oil was a standard preparation we made in my classes. I worked it into a White Pine/Calendula salve that I labelled as "warm, moisturizing and comforting".
One of my students made a whole bottle of White Pine needle oil and accidently spilled it all over her kitchen counter while decanting it. I asked her THEN what did she do?? and she said....."I took my CLOTHES OFF![:)]" She said in rubbing it all OVER herself, that it was just deliciously WARM. Voila, a label is born.
But at this moment in time I have NO idea where I GOT the idea to make this oil in the first place.....I must THINK on this![8)][|)] Now Euell Gibbons has a whole CHAPTER called "Did you ever eat a Pine Tree?" (Euell was LIKE that, he'd eat ANYthing[8D]) But even HE said of his experiment of peeling the bark from the stumps of huge White Pines that had already been cut for lumber, removing the inner bark and boiling it: "it reduced to a glutinous mass from which the more bothersome wood fibers were easily removed. I'm sure it was wholesome and nutritious, but in the area of palatability it left much to be desired". He goes on to talk about disasterous experiments of drying the inner bark and grinding it to mix with white flour and getting turpentine-flavored biscuits. [xx(]
Figuring it's pretty fierce FOOD, he goes on to work on Cough Syrup experiments. He recalled a time when a doctor would still write you a prescription for Syrupus Pini Albae Compositus, a lovely mix of white pine bark, wild cherry bark, spikenard, poplar buds, bloodroot, sassafras-root bark and amaranth. Doubting that we're easily going to be able to get all THAT together, he concocted a simple White Pine/Whiskey/Honey cough syrup: "Put half a cup of coarsely ground white pine inner bark in a jar and cover with two-thirds cup of boiling water. When cool, add half a cup of whiskey, seal the jar and let it soak overnight, shaking the jar occasionally. Next day, strain it, and to the liquid add 1 cup of honey. If kept in a capped or corked bottle, this cough syrup will keep indefinitely without spoiling, and it certainly seems an effective cough remedy. A dose is one tablespoon for adults and one teaspoon for children"
But that is still the bark, and I'm a bit more inclined to work with the needles. Did you know that white pine needles have FIVE TIMES as much vitamin C as lemons??? It's high in Vitamin A as well. Pine needle tea (Mr Gibbons suggests an ounce of finely chopped fresh needles to a pint of boiling water) with lemon and honey would be nice, and healthy!
I'm vaguely remembering reading that White Pine oil was sincerely moisturizing, but I still can't remember where I read it. But the utterly amazing thing is HOW long it stays PRESERVED. I have an original bottle with a label dated 4/95 and the olive oil is STILL not rancid. THAT is pretty amazing. Ah yes, (she says rubbing some of the oil into her hands)....VERY softening, far more so than just plain olive oil.....LOVERLY stuff[^].
Anyway, I scored some glorious branches from a client's yard today, actually more than I can stay awake and chop any more of tonite. I've done 2 pints of oil already and shaved off some bark from the branches. I'm going to try the cough syrup with part bark and part needles.......
Anyone else using dear sister pine?