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Pinene is found in pine trees, and produces that same crisp, familiar scent. If you’ve ever felt your lungs open up when you take a deep breath of mountain air, or sensed a tickle in your nose when you smell fresh rosemary or dill, that’s all pinene.
There are two variations of this well-researched plant compound: alpha-pinene and beta-pinene, although alpha-pinene is typically more dominant in the cannabis plant.
Pinene has an assortment of beneficial effects. Studies have shown that both forms of pinene have potential anti-inflammatory, antiallergic and antimicrobial properties. One study even showed that pinene helped increase the memory and brain function in animals. Pinene is also believed to have anticonvulsant and gastroprotective properties.
Natural healers have relied on pine needles and pine tree sap for centuries. Anecdotally, pinene is believed to help ward off skin infections, soothe a sore throat, and act as a powerful decongestant. Pine needle salve can be used to help relieve headaches and sore muscles, or rubbed on the chest to help clear stuffy airways. It’s also a natural bug repellent!
Experiment with some of these pinene-rich ingredients:
Feeling stuffy or groggy? Try a walk in the woods! The fresh atmosphere will clear your body, mind and soul. The best time is early in the morning when the volatile terpenes are first released into the atmosphere with the rising sun.
There’s a reason your mom always had a bottle of pine-based cleaner under the sink. Try mixing a few drops of pinene essential oil with toxin-free soap and warm water for a natural way to keep your wood floors and surfaces bright!
Love the flavors and smells of the holiday season? Make a pine-flavored simple syrup to use in desserts, or add it to a cocktail (or mocktail) to really *spruce* up your next wintery menu.
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