White Pine : Medicinal Uses

     The Pine tree is known for its many medicinal uses, especially those that were used by Native American tribes such as the Cayuga, the Onondaga, the Oneida, and the Seneca.  The Pine contains pinosylvin, which has antibiotic properties.  The Oneida used this to prevent disease in their houses by shutting the house and bringing a bucket of burning pine needles inside.  Pine knots have the highest content of pinosylvin and thus were/are commonly used in treatment.  People also make salves out of the resin that are then used on open wounds as an antiseptic.  Pine is also commonly used in the treatment of respiratory diseases such as coughs and asthma because it has properties that open the bronchi of the lungs.  An unusual use of the Pine by the Seneca people was "ghost medicine."  Pine smoke was wafted into the eyes of someone who had seen a dead person, and it was put into a house when someone died to cleanse the house.