Essential Oil Apothecary

California Sugar Pine Resin


I feel a little like Huck Finn hunting for tree medicine and picking plants and flowers. Its spring in Northern California and I am doing what my grandmother and my mother did their whole life: I’m foraging for tree resins, aromatics and healing plants. When California quarantined in early March and store orders screeched to a dead stop, I retreated to the woods like any dedicated herbalist would in early spring. This being my third year in America, I was still in transition with learning the lay of the botany land. I set in search for poplar trees, to harvest the buds for my Poplar Bud Salve. What I discovered was a city of trees: Eucalyptus as big as my kitchen, tall spruce, majestic firs and so many varietals of pine.

John Muir, a respected naturalist from the last century, proclaimed the California Sugar Pine the king of conifers. And rightly so; pine is a healer, a perfumer and an incense maker. Native Americans ate the sap as a sweetener and preferred it to maple (my Canadian ears are burning). I would not characterize it as a maple replacer but when paired with a stem of fresh rosemary, is one of my very favorite teas that I drink well into summer (a tea I affectionately call MC2 because it provides vitamin C and antioxidants).

I walk every day in different locations to collect our pine resin and have focused on the Sugar Pine (Pinus lambertiana), in part for the sheer beauty of the bark and also because it being the tallest and largest of the species, is most challenging to collect resin, a challenge I seem to enjoy. The soft, rich scented resin is stored immediately in a ziplock bag then transferred immediately to a glass jar. I maintain full control of the resin, tree trunk to jar.

Our California Sugar Pine resin will arrive as I harvested it fresh off the tree. Every package of Sugar Pine Resin will have the harvest date and an extra an ounce or two extra to accommodate any tiny pieces of bark that might have been inside the resin. Before shipping, I will ask if hard or soft resin is preferred and we include one sample from our Super Seven Frankincense collection because frankincense and pine pack a one – two punch in handmade creams and healing balms.

Suggested use: Incorporate into healing balms, creams, mustache wax, as a torch, as a sealant, smudges or incense.

California Sugar Pine Resin is packaged in cfully compostable cellulose bags made of Eucalyptus biomass.




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