12.3.14

We are lucky to have wellness pros like Lacy Phillips of Free + Native just lingering around in our lives, ready at moment’s notice to enlighten us on such random, yet incredible little topics as today’s superfood, pine pollen. We love everything Lacy does as founder of Free + Native Journal, a holistic guide and forum and when we heard her gushing about this incredible tree pollen, we asked her to dive in and tell our readers all about it.

Pine pollen has been a staple of Chinese and Korean medicine for more than 2,000 years, utilized for its adapotgenic properties and its ability to boost peak physical performance while balancing mental health. When taken over time, it has been shown to restore vitality, lessen the signs of aging and increase energy and immunity – all the benefits we are looking for in a superfood. Here’s Lacy to tell us more about this superfood and to share a transformative healing tonic…

I’m absolutely in love with pine pollen and use it for a number of my clients’ tonic recipes – along with my own daily adaptogenic tonic or smoothie!

Derived from the pollen of a pine tree every spring, it serves up a list of magical properties: vitamin-rich with A, D, E, B-carotene, B1, B2, B3, B6, and folic acid, making it incredibly skin-feeding and balancing. Wonderfully rich in minerals, it also provides bioavailable calcium, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, molybdenum, phosphorous, potassium, silicon, sodium and zinc. It also contains over twenty amino acids, including all eight essential amino acids making it a complete protein. As an incredible adaptogen and androgen, it can be consumed on an ongoing basis to balance meridians and combat stress, without stressing the body. Being a natural source of testosterone, it can dramatically improve athletic performance, mood, normalize weight and protect the organ and gland systems in both men and women.

Pine pollen has also been found to protect against breast and prostate cancer by inhibiting and halting cancer cell growth and multiplication. It may also reduce the size of the prostate gland, while supporting normal functioning. One last note, it also contains phenylalanine and arginine. Phenylalanine stimulates dopamine levels in the brain promoting happiness and feelings of well-being. Arginine is used to improve fertility in men and women, as well as increasing the release of growth hormone. As you can see, pine pollen is quite a powerful substance and a very safe one at that. It has a very neutral flavor profile, which makes it the perfect addition to any festive holiday tonic. Try the recipe below – one of my favorites: Spiced Pine Pollen Tonic.

How to use it: Pine pollen can be found in powder, capsule or tincture form. Make sure to purchase one that has broken cell walls in order to ensure its potency and bioavailability. A couple Chalkboard favorites are Pine Pollen powder by Surthrival and Sun Potion, which we’ll definitely be mixing into Lacy’s Spiced Pine Pollen Healing Tonic.

Lacy’s Spiced Pine Pollen Healing Tonic

Ingredients:

1 cup Dragon Herb Gynostemma Tea
1 scoop of grassfed Whey Protein Powder
1 Tbsp pine pollen powder
1 tsp mesquite
2 dashes of ground or freshly ground cinnamon
1 dash of ground or freshly ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
stevia to taste (I use 10 drops)

Directions:

Bring one cup of filtered water to a boil. Once boiling, steep your bag of Gynostemma tea for 3 minutes. I prefer this tea as my base as it has a wonderful beautifying, adaptogenic and tonifying herbal formula, but any tea base will do.

While that is steeping, add all your other ingredients to a high-speed blender. Then add your brewed tea to the blender.  

Blend on medium for about a minute. 

Add to your favorite tea mug and garnish with cinnamon – or cacao nibs for a bit of a chocolate chip sensation.

Voilà! Peace, happiness and festiveness in a cup.

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