What is Pine Tar?
The word tar may conjure up images of black sticky goop, but it has nothing to do with its ugly cousin coal tar. Pine tar comes from the sap of pine trees. It has been used in medicine for more than 2000 years for various skin conditions. Most often its made by burning pine tree stumps in kilns. This produces a dark golden colour paste with a high resin content. Modern pine tar is processed in a way to makes sure to remove any toxic phenol levels or carcinogenic components that have been of concern in the past.
Skin Healing Properties
There are many skin-supporting properties in pine tar. Pine tar provides antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal properties. Applied to minor wounds, cuts, burns, infections and rashes it helps to cleanse, moisturize and soothe. When a pine tree is damaged they release pine sap. It contains antibacterial, antiseptic, antifungal and antiviral and other healing properties to help the tree prevent infection and to heal the wound. Its healing properties are potent for both humans and trees.
Eczema & Psoriasis
Most notable is Pine Tar’s use for eczema, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis and other dry itchy flaky or inflamed skin conditions. It provides immediate soothing benefits once applied to relieve itching, discomfort and irritation. Pine tar heals skin by reducing inflammation, DNA synthesis and mitotic activity. These properties help to support a return to the natural process of keratinization. Keratinization is important as many skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis have a connection to abnormal keratinization as well as altered immunity and inflammation.
Keratinization is the process by which the outer layer of skin hardens to protect an area. This explains why conditions like eczema and psoriasis involve flakey, scaley patches of skin. Areas that are more common are areas of high contact and are more likely to be areas of repeated trauma or abrasion. In certain types of dermatitis, the outer layer of the skin is damaged. Your skin’s natural barrier against irritation and environmental stressors is weakened and results in increased irritation in the area.
Pine tar applications can help to bring moisture and protection to the area. In the case of psoriasis, pine tar can help to slow the growth of skin cells to reduce inflammation and plaque formations and to remove scales. Results include improved skin appearance and soothe itching.
Black Ointment contains Pine Tar along with Olive Oil, Chaparral, White Oak, Chickweed, Comfrey, Lobelia, Marshmallow, Red Clover, Eucalyptus, Goldenseal, Bee’s Wax and Tea Tree Oil. It works wonders on rashes and itchy skin such as psoriasis and eczema. It also helps to relieve muscle aches and pains. Applied to strains, sprains, backache as well as itchy irritated skin, scrapes, burns and rashes it offers relief that lets you focus on life, without irritation.