5 Pine Needle Tea Benefits

‘Tis the season to enjoy the health benefits of the mighty pine.

Dec 11, 2020

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Everyone loves a stroll through a pine forest with its fresh, citrusy smell wafting above, and soft, spongy needles blanketing the earth underfoot. Aside from appreciating these majestic trees in the outdoors, did you know you could use pine needles in a delicious and healthy tea?

Full of healing properties and smelling like Christmas, pine needles are available for picking all winter when there is no other greenery to be found. It is very important to correctly identify a pine tree as there are some trees that may look like pines but are in fact toxic, according to the  Art of Manliness.

Pine needle tea is easy to prepare. Simply pick fresh young needles, simmer water, and let the needles steep for 20 minutes and then strain. Do not boil the needles as they will lose their healing properties, and avoid this drink if you are pregnant.

When making this tea, your home will be infused with a fresh, woodsy aroma. Add some fresh lemon juice or honey and enjoy. Aside from being delicious, it is healing. Here are five healthful reasons why people love sipping pine needle tea.

Filled with vitamin C

Pine needles are bursting with vitamin C, having four to five more times vitamin C than a cup of orange juice, according to Art of Manliness. Come winter, when there are no other natural sources of vitamin C around, pine needles are a great choice to help build your immune system. (This is why it saved so many sailors from scurvy.)

Although there are not many scientific studies done on the nutritional benefits of pine needles, a Korean study showed that it has healing antioxidants, reporting that pine needles may inhibit leukemia cell growth as well as protect people against DNA damage.

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May ease cold and flu symptoms

If you have a sore throat or feel a cold coming on, reach for some pine needle tea. Many indigenous cultures have used pine needles as an expectorant for coughs, as well as for relieving a congested chest, according to Daily Detox Hacks. The healing properties help eliminate bacteria by forcing mucus out and also help to clear the sinuses.

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Lots of vitamin A

Aside from being packed with vitamin C, pine needles are a good source of vitamin A.  This vitamin is great for your eyesight, helps build your body’s defense system, and is important for bone health, according to Healthline. Also good for your skin, Vitamin A is used to treat acne. Having ample amounts and vitamin A and C may also result in healthy hair growth and strong nails, according to Daily Detox Hacks.

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Good to have after exercise

After a serious workout, it is recommended to sip on pine needle tea, according to Healthfully. Its antioxidants help to limit oxidative stress that is caused by exercise. A 2014 study supports this idea, recommending that athletes should incorporate this food into their nutritional regimen.

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Offers a positive sense of wellbeing

Once again, it is the large amounts of Vitamin C in pine needles that help brain health , according to Daily Detox Hacks. People who drink the tea report feeling an elevated mood and this is supported by an animal study.

Pine is also known to reduce stress, according to Health. If you cannot access fresh pine, aromatherapists recommend placing a few drops of evergreen oil on a tissue or on your pillow and inhaling slowly.

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NICOLE NATHAN BEM, CONTRIBUTOR
Nicole is an editor, blogger and author who has recently left her urban life in order to be more connected with nature. In her spare time, she’s outdoors hiking in the forest, mountain biking or tending to her new permaculture garden.