Bark tanning of animal skins utilizes many different tannin-rich plant materials in nature. From conifers, the cambium of the tree is where most of the tannins are located. The darker/more colorful the cambium, the richer it should be in tannins. Cambium powder has maximized surface area and thus should lend well to easily releasing most of its tannins.
We also use cambium powder as an addition to home-ground gluten free flours. Paler cambiums will generally be more palatable and less bitter. As a small-percentage addition to flours, it can lend a unique chemistry to any batter, aiding in gluten-like congealing and rising of a bread product. Too much cambium may cause an acrid tone, so best to add quantities measured with spoons until you know how it will affect the recipe.
Cambium is also medicinally active. The inner bark is starchy and has many of the same compounds and volatiles found in the needles of the conifer, including immune-stimulants and vitamin C. Cambium is naturally aromatic. It is ‘woody’, however it is not actual wood from the tree, but rather a dried starchy membrane that resembles wood.
[**The following is an excerpt from Medicinal Plants of the Western Mountain States by C. W. Kane**]
Even today the bark of [conifers] can still be found as an ingredient in some cough syrups. Another potential for pine bark that deserves more research is its arabinogalactan content (immune stimulating starches). Although Larch (Larix) bark is well known in the alternative health field as an immune stimulant, the bark of other pine species may be of similar value. Ascorbate complexes (vitamin C) and phenolic compounds (similar to pycnogenol) found within the bark also makes most species of pine interesting. Furthermore, pine bark, of whatever species, will contain fair quantities of volatiles, making it a good base material for essential oil distillation.
– [as an immune stimulant]
**Always do research for yourself before using herbs for healing. There are many great, educational books available! I like to cross reference several reputable sources before using a new herb. I am obligated to remind you that you are solely responsible for your own actions and what you choose to do with this herb. This product is not intended to treat, diagnose, or cure any disease, and my comments have not been reviewed by the FDA. This product is not produced in an FDA approved facility**