Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Scots Pine Stimulus

Look at this picture of Dog's Plot homestead. What do you notice? Not so much the little box of a come-lately house which now rests on the old foundation..... but rather the mighty Scots Pine which the old folk probably planted even before they started to girdle the existing trees and clear the stones, rocks, and ox-sized boulders out of the new fields

Why is it it is that those hardscrabble immigrants who had to transport their entire households and tools to build and grow what they would need, brought with them seedlings of trees that bore no edible fruit, particularly pines, to a country already prickly with pines?
Recently my friend the park ranger and Adirondack guide who goes by the name Riverheart, told me about some friends of his in the central Adirondacks who have a small business harvesting woodland herbs and essences. For the last several years they have been providing Scots pine pollen to scientists who have been looking into its chemical composition and running tests to determine its effects on certain medical conditions, such as arthritis, and Lyme disease.
The natural function of the pollen, in addition to the fertilization of the female element of the pine, is to act as a growth stimulant, and there is anecdotal evidence that limited doses have the same effect as Viagra. But beware. according The Natural Testosterone Plan; for Sexual Health and Energy by Stephen Harrod Buhner:

"The chemical analaysis has revealed that the
"Pine pollen contains large quantities of exceptionally potent sterols. One such, brassinoloide, is a powerful growth stimulant to plants. The brassinosteroids in pine pollen are also very similar in structure to many animal steroid hormones and produce similar steroidal activity. In addition to these kinds of sterols, pine pollen also contains significant human male hormones such as testosterone and androstenedione and relatively large quantities of amino acids and other essential nutrients. Scots Pine ( Pinus sylvestris) pollen has been found to contain androstenedione, testosterone, and epitestosterone in high amounts.

Cautions: Some people are sensitive to pine products- seed, pollen, bark, resin and so on. Negative reactions can run from mild allergies to anaphylactic shock. If you have a history of allergies to pollen or severe reactions to bee stings, do not use without consulting your health care practitioner. Adolescents should not take pine pollen.."

You can't look at these huge rocks which make up foundations, line the wells, and stud the hedgerows around here without speculating about how those men and boys moved them. There is a lot to be said for the sheer determination of the Scots Irish, and for the clever use of levers, inclined ramps, sledges and oxen, but there is also every advantage in having a gigantic testosterone and steroid producing plant looming over your home. It is no surprise that the Scotts and Irish who had been driven off their land by the English who destroyed most of the pine forests and put sheep on the land, would gather up some seedlings and take off across the water.
The presence of the big pine here helps explain some of brother Davey's bone stressing over-enthusiasm with the digging bar and shovel, such that he made some efforts his bones could not really support, and it also explains the supper aggessiveness of the roosters here, not explicable in terms of roostosterone alone.
Last year I decided to stop marketing Roostosterone on Ebay not only because of the occasional wattle and comb effect on customers, but also because of the difficulty of harvesting the stuff. But with the Scots pine.....which will be pollinating in May, there will be no such problem . I'll just shake the catkins in a bag....and as far as intended or unintended effects....well it is a natural substance to which we are all exposed to some degree, and it is up to every individual to manage what she puts in his mouth and visa versa. Anyway what could be worse than arthritis and Lyme disease, or maybe cancer?
For better or worse, I expect to be gathering pollen this Spring. It should provide a good boost for me pulling the Ark when I haul off to the Great I may not need to get the Yak I have been considering and can't really afford anyway. Also, I could maybe sell some along the way to finance my travel, but, I'll leave the mail order marketing to the people a Woodland Essence:

So don't bother me about it. And for Cripes sake, be careful. Note especially that, although this may actually be beneficial to some women, it is not for the allergic sort of person, and particularly not for adolescents.
I wouldn't even want to be around an adolescent stoked on the stuff, unless maybe he was at the bottom of a well or harnessed to a sledge.

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