Throughout the holidays I enjoy diffusing Pine essential oil in my home, it’s reminiscent to my younger years when we had the fragrance of the fresh pine wreaths and trees. I’m so excited the snow is melting and it’s time to get back on the hiking trails, stuffing my pockets with the fabulous fragrant pine needles. Early American settlers use Pine Needle Tea to combat the chills and ailments of winter. They also made use of other parts of the pine tree including needles, pitch, bark, twigs, nuts and the essential oils.
I’m use the White Pine Needle for my tea. High in the antioxidant Vitamin C; some say as much as 5 times the amount found in lemons or approximately 400 mg per cup. High in fat soluble antioxidant Vitamin A. Pine bark contains complex bioflavonoids known as proanthocyanidins. The nuts contain Vitamin E, Vitamin K, and are a good source of B-complex (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, Vitamin B-6 and folates). The minerals in the nuts are manganese, iron, copper, magnesium, and calcium.
Pine has many properties including being: antiseptic, disinfectant, anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, insecticidal, analgesic, diuretic, aromatic, and anti-inflammatory.
Pine remedies include teas, tinctures, hydrosols, poultices, or essential oils and are used for the following conditions:
- Immune Booster
- Vision, Skin and Hair regeneration
- Red blood cell production
- Respiratory Issues: colds and congestion
- Bronchitis with thick mucus and expectoration
- Throat pain or infection
- Chronic gout pain
- Nerve pain
- Sprains and muscle strains
- Skin conditions: acne, athlete’s foot, boils,
eczema, psoriasis, scabies, sores, fleas
- Heart conditions
- Varicose veins
- Muscle fatigue
- Multiple sclerosis
- Kidney ailments, Urinary tract infections
- Strengthen nerves of eye
- Relief of eye ailments
- Smooth muscles lining blood vessels
- Slows aging and cellular deterioration
- Boost metabolic activity
TEA PREPARATION: You can make this as a tea, infusion, or a decoction. The tea is mild and because it’s not brewed as long may not contain all the constituents as a decoction. Before you harvest the plant material be certain of plant identification, the White Pine (Pinus strobus) Hint….Needles are 3-5 inches long and are in groups of 5. (Scots Pine, Pinus sylvestris is another wonderful choice for Pine Needle Tea).
- Pick a handful of fresh pine needles remove the brown ends and cut the green needles in small pieces.
- Using a tablespoon or more in teapot or cup and pour boiling water over, place cover on top.
- Allow too steep for approximately 10-12 minutes, the bold green needles will float on the water. I let mine steep till the needles become dull and sink to the bottom. Then strain.
- Adding a touch of honey adds more nutrient benefits and a sweet flavor.
AVOID: There are 3 Pines considered poisonous or toxic and are unsafe to consume: Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa), Norfolk Island Pine (Araucana heterophhylla), Yew (Taxus)
CAUTION: pregnant women should NOT use pine needle tea. May cause hypertension in children and elderly.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. It is not meant to diagnose or treat medical conditions. Seek medical attention, evaluation, and advice when appropriate. This information is provide for information and educational purposes. Empower yourself and take charge of your health through education.
Essential Oil Desk Reference. Pine Essential Oil p.2.76. Life Science Publishing; 5th edition (2012). ISBN-10: 0615440194.
Pubmed.gov National Library of Medicine. Accessed March 26, 2014 Search provided over 30 publications on Pine Tea and more than 80 for Pine essential oil. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=pine+tea
National Center for Biotechnology Information. Accessed March 26, 2014 Search provided articles and scientific papers. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/gquery/?term=pine
Greenchedy. Accessed March 26, 2014 http://www.greenchedy.com/herbal-teas/health-benefits-pine-needle-tea/