Think of pine pollen like ashwagandha, ginseng, or saffron; a little goes a long way. In traditional Chinese medical texts, 5 grams per day was added to food as a spice for tonic and adaptogenic qualities.
Pine Pollen's mild taste and dry texture lend itself to many recipes and drinks. Its health benefits as a superfood for are numerous.
Some who take the pollen for body-building or stamina boosting effects report the best result from a higher amount. On the other extreme those taking the pine pollen as part of a maintenance program along with other adaptogenic herbs, a multivitamin, mineral regime, and other superfood support, may choose a smaller daily intake.
Naturopathic Note: Like any superfood, there is a good reason for moderating pine pollen intake. The body can get used to the bio-active nutrients in pine pollen, as in any other herb or superfood. To avoid getting used to it best to take 4-5 times a week. Think of it as a spice that can add a kick to your day.
We compare our two different species of pollen like two different types of apples. There is a difference in taste, smell and colour, and pollen grain size, but for the most part nutritionally similar. We haven't had the chance to do extensive detailed testing as of yet to actually indicate the subtle differences but hope to have them in the near future. Till then, it comes down to personal preference and which resonates with you the most.
A living food has not been pasteurized, has not been radiated, or gassed, thus it comes with the natural probiotics, and its nurtural enzymes are intact and bio-active. Provided with the right light, oxygen and nutrients the living pine pollen will germinate.
Raw, wildcrafted pine pollen is quite safe for regular use. Think of pine pollen as a vegan alternative to royal jelly, only with many other nutrients and multiple times the plant hormones and this should all make sense.
The pine pollen tincture, however, poses a potential risk for a pregnant woman or young child and thus like many other herbs in this age group best be avoided.
There is also a hypothetical risk of taking the tincture too much and long-term; dependence. In the sense that the body will assume it has plenty of the stimulant in the form of plant hormones, and after an initial phase, reduce its own natural hormone regulation. A hypothetical, severe case is called an endocrine system shut down; a scenario that happens in anabolic steroid user. Although this has not been reported with pine pollen, likely because the dose of the androgens is too low compared to prescription drugs.
The pine pollen grain has two cell wall layers. A thin delicate wall of unaltered cellulose called the endospore and a tough resistant outer wall exine. Based on animal studies and depending on pollen kind it is estimated that we can assimilate up to 50-60% of the raw pollen.
There are no reliable studies to show the difference of human digestion of cracked vs live pine pollen cells; the only studies are in test tube and they show that after cracking the cells you get a small increase in solubility of the nutrients; namely 1% increase in the water-solubility of proteins and 15% increase in carbohydrate and a smaller % increase of the minerals.
If anything the outer layer of the pollen is designed by billions of years of evolution to protects the light-sensitive Brassinosteroids (BA) like testosterone and DHEA, and other growth promoting ingredients like Gibberellins (GA) and ABAs from damage by oxidation and light.These are the active ingredients that make pine pollen what it is and not its protein or carbs. Considering that cracking will expose these ingredients to air, the small increased digestibility of the cracked cells are offset by the oxidation that comes as a exposure of these substances.
In fact from our experience with working with raw Canadian pine pollen and cracked cell Himalayan pollen, we can attest that the cracked Himalayan cell is darker and assumes a brownish hue in tincture, which is evidence of oxidation. This was exactly why we decided to stop our Himalayan brand of imported cracked cell pollen, and only supply the best and freshest pollen to our clients.
There are no listings in anecdotal reports of Pine Pollen powder or tincture interaction, positive or negative. However since pine pollen contain powerful phytoandrogen, those who consume a pharmaceutical testosterone or DHT, and wish to supplement with pine pollen should consult a medical professional for advice
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