Everything You Didn’t Know About Pine gum | Canoeroots Magazine | Rapid Media
Photo by: ISTOCKPHOTO.COM/ YANIKAP Pine gum rolling down a tree.

• Pine gum or resin can come from pines, cedars, spruce, firs, junipers and most other coniferous trees.

• Airborne diseases, insects and animals are blocked by resins defence mechanisms that secretes from punctured areas on the tree. After leaving the tree, turpentine oils evaporate quickly and the resin hardens into a scab.

• This scabbing process is responsible for preserving priceless fossils of specimens long before our time. Amber preserves have lead to ground-breaking finds such as; a carnivorous plant, dinosaur feathers that still have their color and even a Caribbean Anolis lizard that’s 15-20 million years old.

• Rosin, the distilled form of resin is formerly known as colophon. Colophon is used in everything from bandages to dental products. String instruments, such as the violins require rosin to coat their bow. Referred to in the Charlie Daniels song "The Devil Went Down to Georgia", as the devil prepares to duel with Johnny, “fire flew from his finger as he rosined up his bow.”

• Most recently, some unfortunate souls felt the burn when they experienced an eruption of localized buttocks reactions from ash tree toilet seats that were coated in resin-based varnish. Those who fell victim quickly removed their fiery thrones.

• Wide distribution is likely to blame for it being rated one of the most problematic allergens in North America. Commonly used in paper printing, adhesives and varnishes, it’s a tough natural material to avoid.

• Survivalists use all forms of tree gums for waterproofing boot seams, fixing leaky canoes and damaged tents by forming backcountry hot glue sticks. Because it’s highly flammable, it can even be used as a fire starter or candle torches.

• Resin straight from the tree can be applied to wounds to stop bleeding and work as an antibacterial salve and poultices.

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