Season 9 Episode 4: Herbal Medicine of the Pine Tree with Kat Mackinnon

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Pine Tree with Kat Mackinnon

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Episode Summary

This episode about the herbal medicine of pine trees was so much fun to record and I know you’re going to love listening! Kat Mackinnon is hilarious and quirky, while sharing an impressive amount of information about the medicinal gifts of pine.  Just to name a few, pine can:

► Free the breath, whether there’s tightness or stuckness in your lungs from a cold or flu or from that “weight on your chest” that sometimes accompanies depression or grief

► Relieve indigestion, sour stomach, slow digestion, constipation… pine can be a great digestive tonic and delicious addition to bitters blends

► Gently ease that bloated, irritable, crampy feeling of stuck menses 

► Soothe achy muscles

► Promote healing of superficial wounds

► Provide nutrient-dense physical food… and the soul-food that comes from being with a plant whose very presence invites you to take a deep breath, ground and unwind (even if you’re an “inside kitty,” as Kat put it)

No wonder Kat describes pine trees as beautiful “year-round medicine cabinets”!

By the end of this episode, you’ll know:

► How to work with pine safely

► Are pine pollen supplements worth the money? Why or why not?

► Why Vitamin C is so much more than ascorbic acid

► How you can personalize your own herbal first aid kit

As a listener, you’ll also receive free access to Kat’s recipe for pine elixir, which she turns to anytime she needs relief from stuck respiratory crud.

In case you don’t already know her, Kat Mackinnon, RH(AHG), has been a certified clinical herbalist and nutritionist through the NAIMH since 2011. Kat is the founder and director of Meet the Green, through which she runs a private clinical practice and teaches classes on herbalism and ancestral skills. She is the co-founder of Plant Camp, an online and in-person botanical learning community. She has also been primary faculty at the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism in Lafayette, Colorado since 2012, and the Clinic Program Director, where she mentors student clinicians at the public low cost clinic, and is a principal reviewer of student clinician cases.

They’re hosts to so much and that’s part of why I also love pine. It’s this force on the landscape…It’s this profound presence. Their smell and their nature, the habitat that they provide is this medicine all on its own that you can actually step into.


What You'll Learn from This Episode

  • [01:23] Introduction to Kat Mackinnon
  • [02:23] Kat’s winding journey to herbalism
  • [06:15] How Kat fell in love with pine
  • [08:21] Does the species of pine matter?
  • [10:52] Is pine toxic?
  • [14:02] Pine medicinal actions
  • [23:03] Making pine needle tea
  • [26:04] Topical applications for pine
  • [28:13] Vitamin C content of pine
  • [32:55] Pine as food
  • [35:43] What about pine pollen supplements?
  • [40:47] Forest to Field Festival
  • [45:18] Kat’s current projects
  • [49:12] What’s in Kat’s herbal first aid kit?
  • [55:03] Kat’s Pine Elixir recipe
  • [57:42] Herbal tidbit

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Rosalee is an herbalist and author of the bestselling book Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients Into Foods & Remedies That Healand co-author of the bestselling book Wild Remedies: How to Forage Healing Foods and Craft Your Own Herbal Medicine. She's a registered herbalist with the American Herbalist Guild and has taught thousands of students through her online courses. Read about how Rosalee went from having a terminal illness to being a bestselling author in her full story here.  

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