Pine needles are very high in Vitamin C as well as vitamin A. There are numerous studies showing the incredible healing effects of pine tea, given that it bolsters the immune system as well as provides valuable, immediate and living nutrients for the body. There are also reports that it greatly helps the body recuperate from fatigue among other things.
First, take into consideration any contraindications (allergies, sensitivities) to trying “new” things, especially orally. While I have yet to read anything negative (in fact, all I have read are glowing, positive reactions) from people drinking pine needle tea, as with any food, take the necessary precautions. Here are 6 right off hand (these are the only pines I could find to be reportedly poisonous and/or toxic):
- The Norfolk Island Pine
- Ponderosa Pine
- Monterey Cypress
- Common Juniper
- Lodgepole Pine
How we got started on this:
My wife gathered needles and made a surprise tea for me. At first I was taken back by the strong flavor and could not distinguish it (because she did not immediately tell me what it was from), but it was reminiscent of drinking a Chai tea. Spicy, acidic, fruity and (please forgive the made up word) “pinish”. I can only describe it as the equivalent of smelling a deep concord grape juice and then tasting it…they tend to be very similar and expected. Yes, I know that there are foods that smell nothing like they taste, and vice versa, but the pine tea does have that “predictable” element to it.
Again, the first sip was unexpected, foreign, and I certainly could not place it. After my wife gave up the secret, I had some more, and all the while drinking it I was aspiring to come up with a concoction that would enhance it. So, here it is:
- A half gallon or gallon pitcher/jar
- Pine Needles (fresh and green-cleaned/washed and brown/mottled/discolored needles removed) 2 bunches of pine needles (as I can only describe as what will fit into two hands tightly) cutting them down to size is purely optional-rolling them over with a rolling-pin may help to release flavor/more nutrients
- boiling water-enough for at least 2 quarts
- organic cinnamon
- organic vanilla
- organic sweetner (sugar, erythritol/xylitol, stevia)
- organic milk or cream (1/2 and 1/2 and/or heavy cream-this will depend on your taste)
After the needles are prepared, place them in the pitcher/jar. Add the boiling water and allow to sit for at least an hour. The longer it steeps, the stronger the flavor and the more the nutrients are released into the tea. (My wife suggests to let it sit for at least 2-3 hours-it is similar to making regular, home brewed tea).
Whether cool or hot, and depending on how strong you want your tea, pour in a cup (this is based on the use of a 12oz cup).
- Add a small amount of vanilla (1/16 to 1/8th tsp.)
- 2 tsp sugar or sweetner equivalent (I mix this well before adding the ice)
- 2 Tblsp cream/milk
- sprinkle of cinnamon
- Ice cubes
Mix, serve and enjoy! Since I had my first cup a few weeks ago, I have had these sudden and daily cravings for the tea, especially on hot days. I cannot tell if by body is desiring the essential nutrients that I am not getting in other foods, nevertheless I have been drinking at least one cup per day.
I would greatly appreciate your input as well… respond if you have tried this tea and/or already have been drinking pine needle tea and any added benefits you noticed.
Provided below is a link to some other sites that contain information on pine needle tea including what to watch for (toxic trees) as well as varying recipes (hot or cold) and other information on the positive effects of pine needle tea.
Again, enjoy, and thanks for tuning in!
Pine Needle tea website links:
Other great pine needle resources: