- Pervasive Xeno-Estrogens and the Vicious Cycle they Create
- The Difference between Pine Pollen Powders and Tinctures
- Who should take Tinctures and who should NOT
- The Benefits of Pine Pollen for Women (plus when they might want to use the tincture and how!)
- Tips on Cycling Hormonal Herbs
- Some Tips on Hormonal Pathways besides just Boosting Testosterone
- The Short Term versus the Long Term Benefits
Click the link below to access the complete transcript.[spoiler]
Logan: Hey welcome back. This is our second episode on pine pollen. If you missed the first one, be sure and go and listen to that. I’m sure you’ll still gain a lot from this one but that’s going to give you the background from which the discussion continues here. It’s me and my brother, Cloud, talking about everything pine pollen.
Cloud: Right and speaking of chemical xenoestrogen, which in our society and our culture we’re constantly surrounded by chemicals whether you have paint on your walls or you have a new car that’s off-gassing, anything chemical around you is putting off xenoestrogens. If you’re using normal commercial cleaners, they have xenoestrogens in them. What happens is it’s being stored up in your body, in your liver. They’re estrogen-mimicking molecules and they get stored in your liver slowly over time, raising your estrogen levels. Testosterone and estrogens are a pair. When one goes up, the other goes down. So over time, you’re slowly raising your estrogen levels while your testosterone is going to be coming down. That can lead to a lot of problems, especially in men who are not supposed to have that much estrogen.
Logan: Right. Men do need some amount of estrogen but yes, you basically accumulate estrogen.
Cloud: But our body makes what we need.
Logan: Right. That’s the thing though. The more estrogen you have, it actually becomes a vicious cycle where it’s your harder for your body to do it. The estrogen also get stored in your fat cells and the more fat you have then that increases the aromatization which is where your testosterone converts over to estrogen, which is generally not a thing you want to have happening. The more you get of this, the worse off you can be and the harder it can be to go in the reverse direction.
Cloud: Yeah. So one of the biggest benefits of pine pollen is the fact that it can detox fake estrogens out of your liver and in turn, lowering the amount of xeno- and phytoestrogens, maybe even micro-estrogens, what then is going to happen to your testosterone? It will slowly go back up to where it’s supposed to. Pine pollen is said to be a testosterone rebalancer. It’s not actually going to boost your testosterone. It’s going to put it to natural levels.
Logan: Which in most cases, unfortunately, is going to boosting it for people because they are at less than the natural levels.
Cloud: Well yeah. It’s going to feel like a boost if you have super high estrogen levels for years and all of a sudden you get rid of that and your testosterone starts to come back up. Yeah, that will feel like a boost but you’re really getting back to where you should have been.
Logan: Here’s something interesting for people. If they’re getting blood tests—it’s definitely good to be able to look at the numbers, you have total testosterone and free testosterone—there’s really kind of the whole science between what you want to look at but typically with men they’ll test just one form of estrogen, estradiol, and certainly if that’s too high then that’s a problem. If I remember this correctly, you want it to be less than half of what your free testosterone is. But the thing is that is just measuring one form of estrogen. There are other ones, estrone and estriol, but they’re not actually able to measure it as far as they know. They’re not measuring these xenoestrogens, these other bad estrogens that can be in your body. So even with blood testing, you’re sort of limited to looking at the picture. The things could look fine and you may still also have a whole bunch of these. Granted if you have a bunch of xenoestrogens because of the other sort of complications, it’s likely that some other issues with the blood tests would arise but those can’t be measured directly as far as where we’re currently at.
Cloud: You had your blood testing, right?
Logan: Yeah. It’s been a little while.
Cloud: And how did your results go?
Logan: I was in the normal range, definitely what’s probably best because the normal range for testosterone, total or free, tend to be a pretty big range that most people would want to be in the higher end of that range. I’d have to look again at my test but I was probably in the middle so it could have definitely been better. One thing that was of interest to me was the one thing that was outside of the normal range, my sex hormone-binding globulin so I’ve paid a little more attention to working with that. I think that’s probably actually why even more so with the pine pollen, the tongkat ali seemed to worked very well for me and has continued to work well because that also has the sex hormone-binding globulin lowering properties.
Cloud: Right. We’ll get more into that in another episode.
Cloud: That’ll be a fun tongkat episode. But to get back to pine pollen, I know we have had some people that had their blood tested before and after pine pollen. They’re definitely seeing some results. Unfortunately, like you said, nothing works 100% of the time for everyone but for these people it worked great.
Logan: Yeah, that’s a cool thing. A lot of people really onwards thinking that pine pollen would just boost testosterone or help with that but either it’s anti-aromatization or it’s pulling out these estrogens, but it seems to cut down on those levels as well. So it’s definitely not just working on the androgenic pathway.
Cloud: Right. Well, that goes right along with hopefully what I said earlier about it lowering estrogen-mimicking molecules inside your body, right?
Logan: So should we talk about tinctures now?
Cloud: Yeah, I was going to say besides the powder, there is also the tincture form. What is the purpose of a pine pollen tincture?
Logan: Well, before we get to that, what Steven Buhner wrote in his book regarding pine pollen was that the androgens that don’t seem to pass through the digestive tract. They get broken down. That may or may not be true. Obviously, there are hormonal effects that occur with the pine pollen powder. Maybe it’s going through a whole bunch of ways and those actual androgens aren’t directly passing through the body.
However the idea is with the tincture the alcohol is going to draw out the androgens much more. It’s going to draw out the hormonal substances. There’s going to be a lot of other things in the tincture as well but definitely it’s not going to be pulling out all the nutrition that pine pollen has. Then when you take the tincture, especially you put it under your tongue, you take it what’s known as sublingually then your cells are very thin from outside of your body to inside so the alcohol can then penetrate and go directly into your bloodstream thus these androgens can grow directly into your bloodstream and have even more of a hormonal effect right away.
Cloud: So what you’re saying basically is the tincture form of pine pollen is more about the hormone support.
Logan: Yes, absolutely. The way I like to think of it is the pine pollen is more of a hormone balancer, like you already said, while the tincture is more of a hormone booster.
Cloud: Right. Or in my case I tell people the powder is more about nutrition and some hormone support and the tincture is just about the hormone support.
Logan: Right. So the powder could be a food while a tincture is more of a medicine. This is why we recommend cycling with the tincture. Anytime you’re doing anything hormonal, it’s probably a good time to cycle off it then come back on. Even with the pine pollen food, Cloud takes it all the time, we say you can take it all the time. Even with that, having a break every once in a while is probably not a bad idea. The thing is your body can adapt to whatever you’re doing so if you have something that’s somewhat powerful like taking the pine pollen tincture, your body may adapt to that and thus end up, if you do it for the long term, ramping down its own production. So just with anything hormonal, it’s always a good idea to cycle which means going off of it and coming back on.
Cloud: Well, what’s your cycle?
Logan: I am so random with my herbs unless I’m doing a specific protocol for a time. I really am. What do I feel like taking today? So I take herbs intuitively.
Cloud: Well, I would do one bottle. When I finished it, I would wait a couple of weeks to a month before I start another bottle. In my opinion, the powder, like you said, it may or may not—the hormone stuff may make it through the GI tract. That’s up to debate. I think it does because I’ve known plenty of people who take just the powder and it does hormonal stuff. Again, the powder is about nutrition and you probably don’t need to cycle off, in my opinion. The tincture, yeah, it’s a good idea to take a break here and there.
Logan: Because it’s powerful stuff. I believe the first time just taking the tincture, it feels like a bit if energy like body becomes enlivened by doing it right away which I don’t necessarily feel from powder an effect of energy over weeks or days of taking it. But I can feel the tincture right away which is a pretty good sign that it’s doing something.
Cloud: Right, and I found when talking to a lot of customers that actually pine pollen, either the powder or the tincture, for some customers the tincture works instantly like you were kind of saying you can feel it. I’ve heard that as soon as it hits their mouth, they skyrocket with energy and they’re raring to go do all the stuff, work out, do whatever and the powder didn’t do crap for them. Then the other side is the other half of the people that are like I don’t feel like anything from the tincture but I get energy ten minutes after I consume the powder. I think I ended up gravitating towards the powder more actually.
Logan: Everyone’s different and in some people, the tincture because of the taste could be one thing—you’re not tasting it as much if that’s an issue for you. I know my good friend, Tyler, he likes it just for the convenience of it. Putting the droppers in is an easy thing. Even mixing the powder in water or something simple like that, he just likes it for that. There’s another guy I know that seemed to have a pine pollen allergy. He couldn’t take the powder. He’d get a little itchy and red. It wasn’t doing anything serious but I was like try the tincture and see if that works for you. That did work for him. He wasn’t getting the allergic response from the powder at all. He wasn’t getting it from the tincture so he went with that.
Cloud: Yeah. The point is you kind of got to play around like anything with the herbs. You’ve got to find out what works for you. Is it the powder? Is it the tincture? Sometimes taking them both regardless of if one works better than the other for you. If you’re getting all the nutrition from the powder and all the hormone support from the tincture, why not take both and see what happens?
Logan: Yeah. In fact, I think that’s a good way. If you’re taking the tincture, it’s probably good to also take the powder just because the tincture by itself is pulling out these parts and making those available. But for the same reason that we talked about at the start of this with isolated nutrients, even if they’re in their natural form, they may enter your body and not necessarily have an idea of where to go or how they should act and that’s really what all the other information, all the other micronutrients within something help it to do. So if you’re taking the powder and the tincture at the same time, I think that might be able to help the tincture to work even better.
Logan: It’s not necessary but people that take both of them seem to report positive results.
Cloud: Well, if you’re taking both, at least you’re going to get one of them that works better for you, right?
Logan: Yeah. That’s the thing. We do recommend people experiment because there’s only one way you can find what works for you. Even if you read all these double blind studies, some people didn’t respond in that group. Nothing works 100% for every person so you really have to experiment. Try the powder by itself. Try the tincture itself. Try them both at the same time. Try them in combination with others and you’ll find what works best for you. And just because it’s working best for you right now, it doesn’t mean it’s always going to be like that. Things change. All kinds of things change so you’ll have to update your herbal program along the way as well.
Cloud: Speaking of that, of things changing, have you noticed a change let’s say from when we first started taking it, the short term benefits to the long term benefits of consuming it for years?
Logan: That’s a good question. One thing I noticed with the pine pollen for me is if I haven’t taken it for a while I take start taking it, I really notice the effects. Then after even a relatively short period of time like a couple of weeks, the effects aren’t as strong. So I could definitely up the dose to get them again but that’s why I kind of do things randomly. But as far as long-term effects, I always pretty much have really good energy. I’m always feeling pretty top of my game and just doing small tweaks in order to get better so definitely taking all these herbs is one of the things that has helped me to get into this sort of state.
Cloud: Right. I’ve noticed the same thing, too. Over time, if you consistently take it you may not get jacked up like I used to in the beginning. Oh man, I remember the beginning. In the other podcast, the pine pollen, I loved taking it. It was like a drug. I felt so good when I took it. It was awesome. Over time, yeah, that slowly faded and I know in Chinese medicine there are short term effects and longer term effects and those for the same herb can be very different. I’ve never found exactly the pine pollen short term versus long term but this why I bring it up, to see what you have noticed.
Logan: Yeah, it’s interesting. Well, one of the things to take into consideration with this is we’re always sort of judging changes based on what our baselines are. When you first started taking pine pollen, like you were saying you felt a lot of energy, felt a lot of benefits from it but really as you continue to take it your baseline of how you feel increases and so you’d have to take a lot more to feel that same sort of energy just because your baseline was much better. That’s the thing. If we think back a couple of years ago, if we went back to there and then judged compared to now we could see a much more clear difference. It’s just over time, it’s hard to really realize especially if these subtle changes have happened along the way. But the idea is to really keep increasing your health, increase everything you want to increase on the upward, expanding spiral that just continues to get better and better.
Cloud: Great. Awesome. So is this just for guys?
Logan: It is not just for guys. In fact, some of our best liked testimonials come from women. What we generally recommend for women is just do the pine pollen powder. Because the tincture is much more powerful hormonally and specifically we’re saying androgenically then it’s generally not recommended for women. That being said, there have been a couple of exceptions, at least one that comes to mind. If we’re talking about women’s hormones, as I said earlier, it can be very complex especially in different phases of life. For instance, there can be too much estrogen and too little estrogen, too much progesterone, not enough progesterone. Women also have testosterone so that can be too high or that can be too low. If it is too low than that may be a case where women can use pine pollen tincture.
I know of one menopausal woman who had great results just taking a couple of drops I believe it was and it seemed to work really great with her. Even if you don’t have the issues with testosterone, still taking the pine pollen powder a lot of people have had very positive effects, a lot of them hormonal. Noticing a decrease in PMS symptoms is one thing or a decrease in menopause symptoms, depending on what age they happen to be.
Cloud: Right. This is where I am kind of, like I said, we recommend pine pollen powder for women over the tincture and every customer I’d talk to I’d be like don’t forget; your wife can take this, too, and trust me, you’ll thank me because what we noticed with our friends and the females around us that were taking it, like you were saying, is just a stabilization of hormones, of not going up and down and just being level. When what they call the menstrual cycle comes around, we even have some people that didn’t even know it was coming. All symptoms disappeared because of the pine pollen. So to me, that kind of shows that the hormone component of the pine pollen powder does make it through the GI tract. Just anecdotally, it does make it through. Something is happening there. Otherwise, I will not think females would be getting these kinds of results of the powder.
Logan: Yeah, here’s something to note. Some people may disagree with me but I believe if you’re really optimally healthy, there should be no symptoms or at least a very minimal amount of bad symptoms with either PMS or menopause. It should really be much more of a gradual transition. I know all kinds of different things can go wrong and there can be a lot of different symptoms but those could be signs so that could be one thing that you can look at as far as if pine pollen works for you or not.
Cloud: So if it hurts really, really bad, you’re screwed up.
Logan: Yeah, because then once again, there can be all kinds of things. One, hormone is way too high or way too low. A toxicity of all different sorts, lack of sufficient vitamins, minerals. all sorts of different things can be at play and actually yeah, that would be one sort of sign you can use for your health, thus if herbs and supplements you’re taking are helping or not.
Cloud: Yeah. Like what you were saying with menopause, I know that our brother, Zane, wrote a blog piece on herbs and menopause a couple of years ago. He did a bunch of research on pine pollen, shilajit and various other herbs that would all help with menopause. Like you were saying, yes, we’ve had customers where they ordered the tincture even against our advice and three drops pretty much eliminated all menopausal symptoms that person had.
Logan: Once again, this comes with the caveat if it happens that your testosterone is already really high then definitely that could exacerbate things. If you do take pine pollen whether it’s a powder or a tincture and things get worse then for whatever reason they may not be working well for you. But we do plan to have a few more women-directed herbs in the future that can help more with the different hormonal issues at play.
Cloud: Yeah. Basically to sum it all up, I think pine pollen powder is for everybody. The nutrition is so great, keeping your hormones in check where they should naturally be, which I think it does help with a lot. My daughter, my two-year old loves pine pollen powder. I don’t force her to take it. She asks for it and it’s kind of weird. She won’t ask for it forever and then all of a sudden out of the blue, she’s like, “I want pine pollen.” How does she know?
Logan: Well, as we didn’t really mention children, I was just saying right here the powder should be safe for children. I definitely wouldn’t recommend the tincture except under doctor’s supervision, someone who knows what they’re actually talking about with this sort of stuff and in certain cases where they really do need more of the hormonal boost. But generally, the pine pollen tincture is not recommended for people besides men over 30 years of age. That being said, I started earlier than that.
Cloud: Yeah, I was going to say I wouldn’t recommend people give it to their child without consulting their doctor.
Logan: I definitely wouldn’t recommend that.
Cloud: But in my view, like I said, it’s more of a food than—
Logan: Yeah, the powder.
Cloud: I would never give my daughter a freaking bodybuilder supplement.
Logan: Flintstone vitamins either.
Cloud: Yeah, oh those chewable candies that have different vitamins in them? You don’t want to give those to your kids?
Logan: All right, any last things you can think of that we should cover here?
Cloud: Pine pollen is freaking awesome!
Logan: To sum it up, we’ve gone an hour here but that’s really the summation of what we’ve covered. Pine pollen is freaking awesome. I’ve taken to calling it the super food of the 21st century. One, it has just sort of become a little more popular. It’s still far from being popular so help spread the word but a little bit more in the past few years in this century. But with the problem with the overly estrogenic environment that you can’t get away from, even if you eat all organic food, there are probably still some things. Tap water has xenoestrogens. Plastics, if you handle those at all, you’re getting some xenoestrogens. Chemicals, all kinds of things, you really can’t get away from them. So more and more we really need this hormonal support. Studies have indicated that the average male testosterone has been on a decline and likely has been for a long time coming so we really in addition to just the basic level of nutrition, those vitamins, those minerals, other micro-nutrients, we seem to need this hormonal support.
I personally feel like I wasn’t born with a high amount of testosterone. It definitely has something to do with a parents’ nutrition and those at play that put own health so that’s an important fact. For me, in fact it’s always with playing these herbs in recent years and all the other things that I do that I feel like I’ve gotten back to even like a basic level of where testosterone ought to be. I don’t even feel that’s necessarily optimal yet. A lot of people need this. You’ve just got to try it out and see if it works for you.
Cloud: Yes. We definitely recommend it to everyone.
Logan: It is worth trying out. That’s for sure. So if you enjoyed this podcast, please head on over to iTunes. Make sure you’re subscribed. Also leave us a review. That can really help us out. That way we can spread the gospel of pine pollen to more people out there. All right, thanks everyone for listening and we’ll talk to you next time.[/spoiler]