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Pine Needle Tea

Pine needle tea, made from the young, green needles of certain pine species, is a caffeine-free, nutritious, healthy beverage, consumed for centuries by native Americans for its medicinal benefits. The longleaf, shortleaf, Virginia and loblolly are some of the pines used for making the tea.

Pine Needle Tea

Possible benefits of pine needle tea

Rich source of Vitamin C: Pine needle tea has a rich Vitamin C content that is believed to be four to five times higher than lemon or a cup of fresh orange juice. It is therefore effective in curing scurvy, a condition that occurs due to deficiency of this particular vitamin. Native Americans introduced European settlers to this tea when the latter were suffering from scurvy.

Pine Needle Tea

Pine Needle Tea

Rich in Vitamin A: Being a good source of this fat soluble vitamin, an antioxidant beta-carotene, the tea helps in producing red blood cells, maintaining a healthy vision and aiding in regeneration of hair and skin. A medical encyclopedia published in Korea in the 15th century mentions of a unique property of this tea in preventing grey hair.

Decongestant properties: This herbal tea is effective in expelling phlegm from the body, thereby helping in treating cold, blocked nose and sore throat. People suffering from bronchitis may get relief on inhaling its vapor as it is functional in breaking the mucus accumulated in the lungs. However there is no proper clinical proof regarding this medicinal property of pine needle tea.

Cancer preventive properties:  Several studies conducted on animals have revealed the antimutagenic, antiproliferative, antitumor and antioxidant effects of pine needle, preventing or killing malignant cancer cells. The tea is usually most effective during the first stage of cancer.

Helping to fight flu: The white pine needle tea produces shikimic acid that is an important constituent for tamiflu, a common flu medicine. Thus, its anti-viral property helps to fight against this particular ailment.

Acting as an energizer: Rich in various nutrients, it provides energy, helping one maintain a healthy lifestyle. Taoist priests were believed to drink this tea for a long life.

Relieving pain: When cooled, this tea acts as an effective bath infusion and antiseptic wash, helping in relieving muscle cramps and body pains. It is also said to aid in treating gout and rheumatism, though there is no sufficient proof in this regard.

A gluten- free herbal tea: Being gluten- free, it is highly beneficial for people suffering from celiac disease (an intestinal disorder caused by eating gluten found in wheat, oats etc.).

Helping in weight loss: The white needle tea is effective in controlling obesity and aiding weight loss by helping the body to metabolize fats or lipids.

Providing mental clarity: This tea helps in maintaining the clarity and clearness of mind, thereby giving a refreshing feeling.

Other benefits: It also helps in providing relief from various heart ailments, kidney diseases as well as conditions like varicose veins, sclerosis, muscle fatigue and gangrene. It even facilitates strengthening of optical nerves, helping in treating certain eye ailments.

Pine Needle Tea Pictures

Pine Needle Tea Pictures

How to make Pine needle Tea

  • Take a cup of fresh green pine needles and clean off the dirt by rinsing them in cold water
  • Chop the needles into small pieces, removing the defective ones
  • Boil 3 cups of water in a saucepan
  • Put the chopped needles in the boiling water (you may also add other herbs such as rosemary for an added flavor)
  • Stir it with a wooden spoon
  • Allow the mixture to simmer for no more than 20 minutes
  • Remove it from the flame and steep it for another 20 minutes
  • Use a strainer to filter the pine needles out of the tea
  • Add honey or maple syrup for a sweet taste

Over-boiling of the tea may reduce its Vitamin C content. If you are not drinking the tea immediately, you may also steep it overnight till it attains a reddish tinge, giving it a strong taste. It is better to make the tea fresh as storing makes it less nutritious.

Pine Needle Tea Photos

Pine Needle Tea Photos

Pine needle tea safety and precautions

Pines to be avoided for consumption

Make sure that the pines in your area have not been sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals. The toxic varieties of pine to be avoided include Ponderosa Pine (smelling like turpentine), Common Yew, Lodgepole pine or shore pine and Norfolk Island or Australian pine.

Consumption during pregnancy

Pines containing phytoestrogen molecules may result in spontaneous abortion; therefore, pregnant women are advised not to drink it. Lactating mothers too should avoid its consumption due to certain risks to their babies.

 Side effects

People suffering from pine allergies should refrain from its usage. It should not be used to supplement any conventional treatment. When using it for a medicinal purpose a doctor’s advice is recommended.

Pine Needle Tea Images

Pine Needle Tea Images

Pictures of Pine Needle Tea

Pictures of Pine Needle Tea

Where to buy Pine needle tea

This enriching herbal tea is available in health and herbal stores, while you can also order it online.

Article was last reviewed on 5th December 2022

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