Living Greens Colorado

Wild Raw Ingredients

To the Navajo all parts of the Piñon Tree (Chá’ol  Two Needle Pinyon) are sacred.  Living Greens is harvesting resin from two places that we feel are ancient Indian harvest sites.  We have ruins within sight.  How can we tell?  The Indians harvested by removing bark about 1 foot off of the ground and at just about head height on the opposite side.

Piñons can live to be 800 years old in an environment that averages less than 10 inches of moisture per year, where  droughts occur regularly in 20 year cycles, with winds in excess of 100 miles per hour, and climate temperature ranges from 30 degrees below to 100 degrees plus.  What energies do you think are held within this wonderful tree that allows it to live –no, to thrive – in these conditions?   The tree holds these energies that are captured in its composition.  We, in turn, have captured these strengths flowing through its structure as resin, transferring and preserving it into our skin care balms for you to benefit and enjoy.

Pinus edulis Engelm. Plant symbol = PIED

Therapeutic Benefits:  analgesic (pain reliever), antibiotic (inhibits the growth of bacteria), anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antispasmodic, Antiviral, sedative

Ethnobotany (indigenous plant use):  decoction drunk as an emetic ● sap mixed with tallow and red clay to treat sores and cuts ● sap worn on the face during burial ceremonies ● sap burned as an incense ● sap used as a chewing gum ● sap used to waterproof vessels ● sap used to make colored dyes

Contemporary Uses:  Healing, Nourishing Balms and Butters, Spiritual Use, Aromatherapy

Aroma:  Balsamic, Coniferous, Earthy, Fresh, Piney, Rich, Woody, Santa Fe

Energies / Chakras/ Spirituality :  

1st Chakra – survival and support, 5th Chakra – speaking truth, 6th Chakra – perspective, Balancing, Clarity, Expansive, Grounding, Protective, Purifying, Transformative, Peaceful, Healing, Clairvoyance, Compassion, Consecration, Fertility, Strength

“Whether old or young, sheltered or exposed to the wildest gales, these trees are irrepressibly and extravagantly picturesque,” John Muir wrote, “offering a richer and more varied series of forms to the artist than any other species I have yet seen.”

The Bristlecone Pine (Pinus aristata) holds many distinctions—including being considered the world’s oldest known living tree, with one specimen claimed to be more than 4,600 years old, although most range from 1,500 to 2,500 years of age. Growing in the harsh timberline areas of America’s mountains, a six-foot tall tree may be 900 years old. At lower elevations, the tree can grow from 40 to 50 feet tall, with red-brown bark and a more pyramidal shape, but it is most often found higher up and gnarled in appearance, with branches shooting upward at unusual angles. Its durable wood allows it to stand intact for hundreds of years until its root system decays. This characteristic has permitted scientists to assemble an historical timeline using the tree rings of both living and dead bristlecone pine and its close relative Pinus longaeva that dates back 10,000 years. The tree rings not only provide insight into past climatic conditions but also assist in calibrating accurate carbon-14 dating.

In the White Mountains of California clocking 100 mph plus, the winds play a major role in shaping these trees, and every one looks different from its neighbor. Some are twisted into a corkscrew. Others have branches that stretch in multiple directions. Some of these trees are nearly 5,000 years old and still growing. Some of their dead companion trees still sit in silent testimony to the passing of 10,000 years or more. The living trees were growing when Ptolemy ruled Egypt, when Babylon was a powerful nation and when Alexander the Great was conquering much of the known world.-Dan Blackburn, LA Times.

The native habitat of this pine is located on the climatically harsh eastern ridges of the Rocky Mountains extending south from Wyoming to New Mexico. The plant’s survival depends on its ability to overcome extreme temperature changes, deficient amounts of water, and exposure to strong winds. Rather than growing taller, these plants focus on existing in a harsh, arid environment. Bristlecone pines grow only .01-inch in trunk girth each year and a mere 30 feet in height in a lifetime. The roots maximize water absorption by growing shallow and extensive systems in the alkaline, rocky terrain. The needles have also adapted by exuding a waxy layer to reduce evaporation and prevent desiccation in the arid winds.

The bristlecone pine grows naturally in mountainous areas of Colorado, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, California, and Arizona, often at even higher elevations than the subalpine fir.


In order that the flowering plant sustains its health, Living Greens collects only one bloom per plant practicing ethical wildcrafting.  The Arnica flower is infused in cold pressed virgin olive oil for over 6 months before blending into either the unrefined shea butter (see About Shea Butter) to make the Arnica Cream, or the unrefined Colorado beeswax to make the Arnica Balm. Both raw shea butter and raw beeswax hold healing benefits of their own. Living Greens’ Arnica products are made in a 3 to 1 ratio:  3 parts of shea butter and/or olive oil & beeswax, to one part Arnica Montana flowers. This reflects a stronger mixture than most commercial creams and gels.

Arnica plants grow in European mountains and North America. The plant has a long history in healing, dating back to the 1500s and to Native American healers. The Catawba Indians used a tea of arnica roots for treating back pains. Also used as a wash to treat sprains and bruises. (Sources: Millspaugh, Charles F. American Medicinal Plants. NY: Dover Publications, 1974.  Mooney, James. Myths of the Cherokee and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees. Nashville TN: Charles and Randy Elders, Publishers, 1982. Weiner, Michael. Earth Medicine Earth Food. NY: Fawcett Columbine, 1980.)

Arnica Montana has been used for centuries by Native Americans, and its medicinal virtues were discovered by Europeans in the 1500s after noticing that mountain goats would chew the plants after falling on the rocky slopes of the Alps. (Source: The Use of Arnica By Douglas Brown, CCH, FNP, RSHom(NA)

Mountain Spruce Trees (Ch’o)

Living Greens uses various types of Spruce Pines

Native American Symbolism: Spruce trees are mythologically important plants among Southwestern tribes, where they are symbols of the sky and directional guardians of the north. According to Hopi myth, the spruce tree was once a medicine man, Salavi, who transformed himself into a tree. For this reason, spruce trees are considered particularly sacred to the Hopis, who use spruce boughs to adorn kachina dancers. In the Pima flood myth, the father and mother of the Pima people survived the deluge by floating in a ball of spruce pitch. Among northern tribes, spruce trees (like other evergreens) are associated with peace and protection. Spruce is a particular symbol of good luck to the Salish tribes, and spruce roots are used as fiber for weaving basketry regalia by many Northwest Coast tribes. Northern Algonquian tribes used to bundle spruce and fir needles into sachets or herbal pillows to protect against illness.

It is a versatile tree that is a fast grower and proves dominant within its territory. Its wood is good at storing/conducting energy and it is seen as good to use when bargaining with Earth elementals.

Therapeutic Benefits:  Analgesic, Antianxiety, Antibacterial, Antifungal, Anti-inflammatory, Antioxidant, Antirheumatic, Antispaspmodic, Diuretic, Mucolytic (clears mucous), Warming, De-stress, De-fatigue, Respiratory relief for ailments such as asthma or bronchitis

Ethnobotany (indigenous plant use):  bark for tannin as an astringent ● bark for cord and rope ● bark for baskets and small utensils ● bark for respiratory complaints such as tuberculosis ● leaves and gum decoction in treating coughs and cancer ● ashes of twigs in salve for damaged skin ● for eczema

Contemporary Uses:  Healing, Nourishing Balms and Butters, Soothing Muscle Relief, Lumber, Fuel, Charcoal, Paper, Spiritual Use, Aroma Therapy

Aroma:  Piney, Fresh, Citrus

Energies / Chakras/ Spirituality: 1st Chakra – survival and support, 2nd Chakra – relationships, creation energy, 4th Chakra – unconditional love, 6th Chakra – perspective, balancing, expansive, grounding, introspective, protective, uplifting

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