Remember when I got my Reishi
tincture? Well, what I didn't tell you is that my friend had also sent along a large bag of pine needles. I had experimented with Pine Needle Tea
before, but I was still excited to try the ones she had sent me.
My only questions were: Would it taste different? Would the effects be the same? And why use Pine needles, anyway?
I can't attest to the differences in flavor yet, but I can answer the other questions for you!
Native Americans have been using Pine Needle Tea
for centuries, and they were the ones that introduced it to the settlers as a cure for scurvy.
Scurvy, as you might know, is caused by a severe lack of Vitamin C. Pine Needles
have five times the amount of Vitamin C than a Lemon, so a concoction of Pine Needle Tea
was the perfect solution.
are also super high in Vitamin A, and, when combined with its vitamin C content, can be a useful remedy for things like:
- Colds and congestions
- Scurvy and other illnesses caused by vitamin C deficiency
- Skin and Hair issues (vitamin A is great for your skin and hair)
- Some vision problems (vitamin A is great for the eyes)
- Preventing Anemia (organic compounds in the tea can help the production of red blood cells)
- Sluggishness (those same compounds also get the blood flowing and can help energize the brain)
- Aging (Taoist priests drank pine needle tea as they believed it made them live longer)
- Cancer Prevention (according to This Study, the antioxidants may help with preventing certain cancers)
- Infections (the high vitamin C content helps boost the immune system and helps fight off infections)
And that's just in tea form! Other ways you can use Pine Needles include:
- Wound care (a bit of pine sap or a wash of the cooled tea helps fight infections and promote new skin growth)
- Baking (Pine Needles may be the perfect addition to those winter treats! Find a recipe for Pine Needle Shortbread Here)
- Mulch (add them to your compost or soil for extra benefits. Just be aware that they are a little on the acidic side)
- Household cleaner (where do you think PineSol came from? Infuse some pine needles in white vinegar for a powerful cleaner that's anti-bacterial and smells fresh!)
Pine Needles are pretty amazing, but they do come with a few warnings. First of all, do NOT
drink Pine Needle Tea
if you are pregnant because it can cause miscarriages. Also, if you are allergic to any form of pine, it might be a good idea to stay away (for obvious reasons).
Now, there are some Pines to avoid. Do NOT
make tea from:
- Yew Pine
- Norfolk Island Pine
- Lodgepole Pine
- Common Juniper
- Monterey Cypress
- Ponderosa Pine
Always do your homework before foraging. If you can't be sure about any of the trees, just be safe and avoid it. Besides, you can often find Pine Needle Tea
at your local health food store.
If you are lucky enough to find a good tree, making Pine Needle Tea is super easy.
Collect a handful of young needles and remove the brown ends. Wash and chop them into small bits and place about a tablespoon into a cup. Cover with almost-boiling water and cover for 5-10 minutes, or until most of the needles have settled to the bottom. Add honey and enjoy!
There you go! The liquid can be anywhere from a pale yellow to a dark red, depending on the type of needle you use, and has a faint citrus flavor.
To learn more. visit: Organic Facts
, Medicinal Food News
, Forest Holidays
, Dave's Garden
, Natural News
, Manataka American Indian Council
, and The Herbal Academy