Living Greens Colorado

Skin Care Ingredients

Pine Needle Complexes

Most research regarding the power and effectiveness of pine needles occurs in Russia, Korea and Japan. Two Russian scientists, Solodky and Agranat, are credited with developing “Bioeffectives”. Bioeffectives are natural, biologically active complexes obtained from green conifer needles. They found that green conifer needles were extremely rich in sterols, enzymes, hormones, di- and tri- terpenes, fatty and resin acids, long chain high molecular alcohols (including polyprenols), lipids, vitamins B1, B2, E, K and others. They also discovered that these needles contain more carotene (by weight) than carrots and six times the ascorbic acid found in oranges and lemons. Pine needle extracts are galenicals – natural mixtures of plant based compounds. They contain many substances that are found naturally in the blood, brain, soft tissue and skin. They work synergistically, with no negative interactions. They are utilized readily because similar compounds already exist in the human body. The pine needle has antioxidant, antimicrobial, adaptogenic, nutritional and detoxifying properties.

There exists a patented mixture of bark and pine needles called Pycnogenol. It is known for its ability to stop free radical damage directly related to ageing in cells. So too, it inhibits the enzymes of the body that intend to break down our beneficial collagen. Collagen is a protein that supports skin health. This mixture of bark and pine needles combine to make a product that restores good blood circulation reducing capillary fragility and developing skin smoothness and elasticity. It has been used successfully for diabetic retinopathy, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and menstrual cramps. It is one of the few dietary antioxidants that readily cross the blood-brain barrier to directly protect brain cells and aid memory.

The reason pine needles are antiviral is because they contain high amounts of shikimic acid from which Tamiflu is derived. Tamiflu is the number 1 antiviral agent against pandemics as approved by the FDA. We offer a collection of pine needle complexes. These complexes are derived from trees living in extreme conditions of drought, high and low temperature extremes, high drying winds, and a wide range of altitudes. Our Pine Needle Complex Collection contains the compounds of these trees that allow them to survive in such extreme conditions.

Tree resin is sacred and used by many indigenous religions worldwide. Frankincense and myrrh which are referred to as tree resins are, more specifically, oleoresins. According to Christian doctrine, frankincense and myrrh were presented to the Christ Child by the Three Wisemen . It is often used as incense with the smoke sending payers aloft. The power of pine resin to heal and preserve has been known since the beginning of time. It is mentioned several times in the bible, and Egyptians used it in the preservation of mummies.

Sap serves as a nutritive function that resins do not. There is no consensus as to why plants secrete resins. Resins consist primarily of secondary metabolites that apparently play no role in primary physiology of a plant; however, their protective benefits to the plant are widely documented. When a tree is physically injured it secretes pitch resin to prevent further attack, promote healing, and prevent moisture loss. It has many nutrients and chemicals to heal. Resin then holds the “energy” of healing.

The resin secreted by most plants is a viscous liquid made up mainly of volatile fluid terpenes with components of dissolved non volatile solids which makes resin sticky. The most common terpenes in resin are alpha-pinene and beta pinene, delta 3 carene and sabinene, monocyclic terpenes limonene and terpinolene, and smaller amounts of the tricyclic sesquiterpenes, longifolene, caryophyllene, and delta-cadinene. There may also be a high proportion of resin acids. Some resins when soft are known as ‘oleoresins’, and when containing benzoic acid or cinnamic acid, are called balsams. Oleoresins are naturally occurring mixtures of oil and resin. This product of the tree is what we mostly obtain and utilize.

Tree sap is defined as the fluid transported in the xylem cells of a tree. The xylem cells transport water and soluble minerals via the sap from the roots through the tree, as well as supporting the tree structure itself. Think of sap as the blood of the tree. It contains nutrients that are vital for the health and longevity of the tree, including vitamins, minerals, and sugars, hormones and enzymes. These nutrients are also vital for building the human defense system. The term resin also encompasses shellacs of insects and is used in the coating in some of our containers.

It is from the hardened resin on the bark of the tree, the soft oleoresins from recent wounds (mostly campers with hatchets and insect damage), and the sap from end cuts on logs that we obtain, combine, and then slowly merge with olive oil to make a thick syrup. This syrup is used to make our resin skin care products. We never, under any circumstances, use solvents. We use the minimum amount of heat necessary to preserve the bio life and nutrition in producing our balms and butters. This care is extended to the melting and handling of our shea.

Please browse through our selection of products. Make your selection based on aroma, the physical therapeutic benefits, its psychological benefits, its Chakras, or any other measure for unearthing one’s corresponding tree. In regard to our “tree resin balms”, the aforementioned tree syrup mixture is the first ingredient. In regard to our “butters”, shea is the first ingredient and the tree syrup mixture is the second.

There are several differences between our products and those offered from the Siberian Fir and Maritime Pine products. Both trees need large amounts of moisture. Ours are desert trees. Teheir skin products are aqueous based, ours are fine oil based. It should be noted that our products have been prepared in a facility that may also have processed nuts. Pine allergies exist so please discontinue use if a questionable reaction occurs.

Living Greens’ obtains their Shea Butter from Global Mamas, a Fair Trade Women’s Cooperative in Ghana, Africa.  It is Unrefined (raw) Grade A Shea Butter. It is lightly filtered, retaining its natural color and smell.  African Shea Butter is made from the nut of the African Shea Tree.  It contains a rich amount of irremovable fatty acid which renders it far superior to cocoa butter and other natural vegetable butters.  This fatty acid is crucial to rejuvenating and moisturizing the skin.  Shea Butter provides all the essential vitamins needed to make skin look and feel smoother, softer and most importantly, healthier.  Its therapeutic properties protect the skin from win, cold, sun and it helps heal wounds faster.  Shea Butter stimulates cellular activity, fights the effects of aging and repairs rough, damaged skin. 

The difference between unrefined (raw), refined and highly refined Shea Butter lie in how the Shea Butter is extracted from the nut and how it is processed after that.  Manual extraction processes leave more of the raw ingredients in the Shea Butter.  After is it extracted, it can be further refined removing color and impurities that some people don’t like.  This further refining can also remove some of the smell. 

You can think of the difference between raw Shea Butter and refined Shea Butter as being similar to the difference between wheat bread and white bread.  Truly raw Shea Butter can even be unfiltered.  That is one end of the spectrum.  On the other end, there is Shea Butter that is extracted using chemicals that is pure white, has no smell and has lost a lot its healing properties in the process. This is the highly refined shea that we do not use.

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