The therapeutic properties of the Siberian pine and products derived from it have been known to folk medicine from ancient times.
Modern medicine does not reject them and as well as producing tasty nuts and edible oil, resin, shoots and needles of the Siberian pine is known for its antibacterial and an anti-scorbutant (against scurvy) properties.The medicinal and nutritional qualities of this wonder product circuited during the 15th-16th centuries when merchants brought the nuts and oil to England, Italy, Norway and other countries.
[quote]Pine nut milk was widely used in Swiss spas in the 18th century as an effective treatment for tuberculosis and kidney infections, whilst cedar oil is applied to the skin to alleviate eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis and dryness.[/quote]
Siberian pine resin is a product of the living tree, obtained by tapping: a network of shallow cuts is made into the trunk while the tree is dormant. The pine tree has an exceptionally high regenerative ability and shallow wounds quickly seal up. This is the basis of modern techniques which allow long-term tapping, over 16–20 years, without harming the tree or productivity.
The resin, meanwhile, was valued in prehistoric times, as a balm with the ability to heal wounds quickly. Unlike the resins of other types of conifer, cedar sap takes a long time to solidify and does not lose its bactericidal properties. It’s still used to treat sores, skin infections and erosive conditions. During the Second World War a turpentine balsam was made from pine tree resin, which proved effective in speeding up the recovery of injured troops and saved many lives.
Nut collecting is physically demanding, time-consuming work, using primitive equipment to process the cones and obtain the cleaned nuts in the difficult conditions which are part of autumn in Siberia, not forgetting a lack of roads.
In recent years cedar nuts have been in short supply because of growing demand inside the country and from China, making them an expensive and premium product.
Demand continues to increase as more people discover the health and healing benefits from incorporating Pine Nut Oil into their regular diets.