Pine needle tea has been used for thousands of years by the Native Americans for health benefits. However, it is not a go-to for alternative medicines these days though it should be. In fact, it can help provide mental clarity, conquer diseases, and even combat cancer.
Pine needles are actually much more potent in vitamin C than fresh orange juice and was used by the early North American settlers to avoid the vitamin C deficiency disorder, scurvy. Since pine needles also have a high content of antioxidants, it is also helpful for boosting immunity.
Healing Properties of Pine Needles
Similar to oil found in eucalyptus, pine needle oil protects against several harmful organisms and promotes good health. Research indicates that it helps promote better immunity, helps provide relief for sinus and bronchial infections, disinfects yeast spores, E. coli, and mildew, and protects against the flu and common colds.
Pine needle oil can also neutralize free radicals and protects against eye diseases, muscular degeneration and disorders of the nervous system. Pine needle oil is also a useful treatment for athlete’s foot, eczema, dandruff, psoriasis, boils, and acne.
Pine is also been noted by research to provide mental clarity and is a strong source of vitamin A. It has also been noted to help with depression, obesity, sclerosis, kidney stones, allergies, high blood pressure, and tumors.
Published research has also acknowledged that pine needles are a potent antioxidant, are antimutagenic and have antiproliferative effects on cancerous cells and there are also other anti-tumor agents that make it helpful in the prevention of cancer. Pine needles are also a great source of proanthocyanidin, which is a compound that is similar to antioxidants.
How to (safely) make Pine Needle Tea
Pine needle tea can be used to help fight off any of these issues and promote good health. However, making it must be done safely. It is imperative to brew pine needle tea that is of a safe species such and white pine has been identified as the best choice. It is also best if only a handful of younger needles are gathered that still have brighter green color. Needles that are used must be from trees that have not ever been sprayed with any chemicals and that are positioned far off of roadways.
After gathering the correct pine needles, remove the brown paper-like sheath from both ends of the needles and chop. Place the needles in a container that is heat-proof. Pour boiling water over the pine needles. Cover the container and let the needles steep in the boiling water for 10 minutes. Strain the mixture, sweeten if desired to taste, and drink right away.
There are some precautions to these pine needles. There are some needles which are toxic so do not use these in your tea. The following includes:
- Australian Pine
- Norfolk Pine
- Ponderosa Pine (also called Western Yellow, Yellow, Blackjack, or Bull Pine)
- Common Juniper
- Common yew
- Monterey Cypress
- Lodgepole or Shore Pine
Note! Women who are pregnant or anticipate becoming pregnant should not consume this pine needle tea due to an increased risk of abortion of the fetus.