By Pamela Santore
The sight and smell of pine cones is reminiscent of the traditional Christmas season. Pine trees are adorned with lights and ornaments. The lighting of our evergreen trees is celebrated soon after Thanksgiving, while wreaths decorated with pine cones embellish our home. If we rethink this common yuletide staple as a tree of life, we may realize its potential as a potent aphrodisiac.
Whether it is the huge number of seeds produced or the suggestive shape of the cones, the pine tree has been considered a powerful tool used to enhance sexual desire since the dawn of time. The ancients knew of the stimulating property of pine. Women used the “still green seeds” of the pine in a douche to wash their vaginas. It was thought that by following this ritual, women would experience an instant tightening and greater sensitivity in their vaginal areas. A similar recipe from India, dating back to the sixteenth century, used the pine tree bark as the essential ingredient of a similar douche. This recipe called for the addition of cumin and stamen of lotus flowers to produce the effect. Modern sources continue to recommend scrumptious pine dishes as a precursor to sex.
During the reign of Julius Caesar, Apicius authored the first known cookbook. Translated to “On the Subject of Cooking,” a recipe for a stew of onions, pine kernels and various herbs was touted as an effective love potion.
Galen, a Greek of the second century, urged those looking for a little boost in their libidos to drink “a glassful of thick honey, and eating twenty almonds and one hundred pine nuts before going to bed.” It was said that after following this ritual for three nights, “a man will acquire vigour for sex.”
Before the first century, the Roman poet Ovid wrote about love and seduction. In his poem, which is considered a manual of seduction and intrigue, “Ars Amatoria” or “The Art of Love,” Ovid imparted a list of aphrodisiacs which included “the nuts that the sharp-leaved pine brings forth.” In Medieval manuscripts, Cream of Pine Nut Soup came with a warning to be “careful to whom you feed it.”
Although there are many varieties of pine nut, the most effective for the purpose of sexual stimulation, are said to be from the Chilgoza Pine or the Noosa Pine. These pine nuts grow in the north-western Himalayan Mountains, from Afghanistan to Tibet. The seeds are cylindrical and one tree can bear up to 25 cones. Each cone produces up to 100 seeds. The Chilgoza pine nuts are a staple food for the residents of Kunawar, a region known for its high birth-rate. Although effort has been put into cultivating the Chilgoza pine outside the Himalayas, all attempts have been unsuccessful.
The most common pine nuts in Europe come from the Italian Stone Pine and the Swiss Stone Pine. In the United States the seeds of the Mexican Nut Pine are also promoted as aphrodisiacs. Among Mediterranean countries, Spain has the most organized pine nut production. The average annual production of Spain represents between 40 to 60 percent of the world production of pine nuts, most of which are exported to the United States.
In folklore, Pines, Firs and Spruces are considered the same and are definitely closely related and are often used interchangeably. In mythology, they are often associated with the dwelling places of fairies and gnomes and are regarded as benign, “refreshing places where tired walkers can safely rest in the protective aura of the trees.” They not only symbolize humbleness, good fortune, prosperity and protection, but also fertility. “Their needles stay green even through the harsh winter months, and thus their evergreen nature has been interpreted as a sign of their vitality.” (sacredearth.com)
Considering the nuts a vital force, farmers once sought to transfer its protective powers to their barns and stables by sweeping them with brushes wound from pine twigs and hanging some above the doors. Modern customs in Germany echo this belief. After the foundations of new buildings are laid, the “raw structure is crowned with a decorated pine tree, to attract protection and prosperity.”
The modern Christmas tree is a fairly new practice that is only a few hundred years old, but directly stems from erstwhile pagan rituals celebrating the evergreen. Our modern winter custom of pine branches or Yule logs being decorated and brought into the house to provide light and warmth originated as a reminder of the immortal life force. Although the church attempted to suppress these traditions, it was not possible to stifle them.
In Roman mythology, pines were sacred to Attis. Known to be the lover of the earth goddess Cybele, he was gored by a boar, and after his death, changed into a pine tree. During a festival celebrating Attis, a pine tree was cut and brought into the sanctuary of the goddess. Music accompanying the celebrations was said to throw spectators into a frenzy, driving some worshippers to emasculate themselves by cutting off their own genitals. “Blood and semen are the sacred fluids of life,” and by offering these to the Earth Goddess “it was hoped that the life force (Attis) would be resurrected and thus the fertility of the Goddess restored.”
Pine pollen is a yellow, powdery substance produced in the millions of tons each year by the earth’s pine forests. The pollen contains over 200 identified elements from vitamins to male hormones. It has been called the natural testosterone. Androstendedione is an adrenal hormone produced in humans. If you reduce androstendione by one molecule, you will have testosterone. The use of androstendione can raise testosterone levels and Native Americans use it for extra energy when needed. (eattheweeds.com)
Possessing large quantities of exceptionally potent sterols, pine pollen contains a powerful plant growth stimulant called brassinoloide which is very similar in structure to numerous animal steroid hormones and produces similar steroidal responses. Scots pine pollen has been found to contain high amounts of these components.
For those seeking winter sexual pleasure, turn to the evergreen. Remember, however, to beware, because hard-core aphrodisiac aficionados with nut allergies should not use without consulting a health care practitioner.
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