Pine Needle Tea
Pictures: 1.) Pine Needles 2.) Chopped pine needles ready for infusion 3.) Pine Needle Tea Infusion 4.) Finished Pine Needle Tea after straining (very light pale green color and slightly cloudy)
With January being National Hot Tea Month, I thought it may
be helpful to give you a few easy to make medicinal tea recipes. The first one,
being very easy indeed, is made from pine needles. We are blessed to have 2
large white pine trees in our backyard and I’ve been making tea from the
needles for several weeks now. It is a very mild tasting tea, with subtle hints
of the forest and a finishing taste of light citrus.
The pine tree has so much history for being used in herbal medicine making.
Did you know that pine needles have more Vitamin C in them than fresh orange juice? In fact, the natives used to drink the tea from pine needles to prevent scurvy, which is a deadly disease caused by Vitamin C deficiency.
Another historical event reads back to 1536, when the French explorer, Jacques Cartier, whose crew was cured from scurvy with the tea of pine needles and bark. This tea was given to them by the Iroquois after the crew suffered nutritional deprivation for months at sea.
Pine needles are also rich in Vitamin A, which is another important vitamin needed to keep our immune systems healthy and functioning properly. These medicinal needles also have a diuretic effect, helping the kidneys to drain properly, preventing the kidneys from getting water-logged.
Drinking a glass of pine needle tea has a decongestive effect on the respiratory system. It also has disinfective properties too, which is very helpful in those suffering with coughing due to colds and flus. It is wonderful to drink for those dealing with chest congestion and clogged sinuses.
Gather the needles from a pine tree that you know has not been treated with herbicides and pesticides. Also, collect pine needles from trees that are not by roadsides and urban areas.
*It is important to note here that this tea is not advisable for pregnant women to drink.
Here is the recipe:
½ cup chopped pine needles (wash very well with warm water before infusing with hot water)
2- 2 ½ cups water
Pour boiled water over the chopped pine needles and let steep for 30 minutes. If you have time, you can let it infuse overnight and drink the next day. It is advisable not to boil the needles in water because this diminishes the Vitamin C. Strain after infusion and drink. You may add a teaspoon of raw honey to tea once it is cool enough to drink.
Enjoy your medicinal Pine Needle Tea!