Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Old School Tools: Apinol

Since 1903, "America's Oldest Green Product" has soothed and cleansed those who work or play outdoors. Until I met my wife in 1989, I had never heard of this strange product from Alabama.

When Nancy began to talk about "Alpine Oil," which is how she and her family pronounce it, I thought it was something from a pine tree. Sure enough, Apinol is made from pine oil, and when you put it on a mosquito or tick bite, sore toe, or big scrape the sting is brief and the relief is long-lasting. You do, however, smell like pine-scented cleaning products.

We say around here that "it will help anything but a broken heart," and I'm not sure it would not  help in those cases, too. I have made a poultice from it, using cotton balls and medical tape, and let it sit on a blister or wound overnight. It relieves swelling and quickens healing.

Apinol can be hard to find. Locally, an Westbury Pharmacy carries it, and I have seen it listed on Amazon. I suspect this product, which has only changed from a glass to a plastic spray bottle in my many years using it, will be with us until 2103 and beyond.  Unlike many legacy brands, Apinol knows how to build a customer base and has a decent Web presence.

Tell your friends this summer, when the critters bite and scratch. I have not tried it as an insect repellant, but it's a soothing friend to have in a miserable time of year down South.