Pine needle tea has become quite a superstar overnight. Although this beneficial brew has been used as a tonic for thousands of years, it’s become much more popular recently. Read on to discover its many benefits, and how to brew it.
Benefits of Pine Needle Tea
Pine needles contain a startling amount of beneficial components. For example, a handful of Eastern white pine needles will have more vitamin C than a lemon or orange of equal size.
Indigenous North American peoples made pine needle tea year round to fend off scurvy, and to fend off cold weather illnesses. In addition to being packed with vitamin C, these needles are also full of vitamin A and antioxidants. These needles contain antifungal, antiinflammatory, and anti-viral components such as terpinene, camphene, and limonene1. It’s easy to see why these are so beneficial to us!
I use pine needle tea as a decongestant and expectorant for issues such as upper respiratory infections and bronchitis. It’s great for loosening up stubborn mucus in the lungs while also offering that fabulous vitamin C boost to get over the infection.
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Pine Needle Tea to Combat Spike Proteins
Some people are also taking this tea to help them detoxify from recent vaccines. According to recent scientific data shared by the Salk Research Institute, the Suramin (shikimic acid) found in pines—and other conifers like spruces and firs—inhibits certain spike proteins. This means that it can help prevent sub-cellular replication, and may help to inhibit blood clotting and platelet aggregation.
For further information on how Suramin inhibits these proteins, read the paper entitled 100 Years of Suramin2 by Natalie Wiedemar, Dennis A. Hauser, and Pascal Mäser.
Below is an excerpt from the paper:
“Suramin decreases the activities of a large number of enzymes involved in DNA and RNA synthesis and modification: DNA polymerases (103,104), RNA polymerases (103,105,106), reverse transcriptase (18,103), telomerase (67), and enzymes involved in winding/unwinding of DNA (107,108) are inhibited by suramin, as well as histone- and chromatin-modifying enzymes like chromobox proteins (109), methyltransferases (110), and sirtuin histone deacetylases (111).”
How to Make Pine Needle Tea at Home
First and foremost, make sure that you’re using the right kind of pine needles. While many conifer species are perfectly safe for consumption, others are quite poisonous. Read our article on the right species to use for pine needle tea here.
To brew up a lovely batch of this conifer tea, you’ll need:
- A small pot to brew your tea in
- Chopped fresh pine needles
- Fine mesh strainer or sieve
- Honey, maple syrup, or other sweetener, if desired
Step 1: Chop
Make sure to chop the needles finely before brewing them. This allows their components to release into the water more easily.
Step 2: Measure
Use 1 tablespoon of chopped pine needles per cup of water in your small pot or saucepan.
Step 3: Decoct
Warm on medium-high heat until it just starts to boil, then reduce heat to a very low simmer. Let this simmer for about 5 minutes, then remove from the heat.
Allow to steep another 5 minutes, then strain into cups. You can sweeten this with a bit of honey or maple syrup if you like, but some people enjoy the tea as it is.
You can drink this tea 3–5 times a day for up to 6 weeks. Then give your body a break for a few weeks before you start to drink it again.
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DIY Pine Needle Tea Bags
If you find that the simmered tea is too strong for you, then you can just brew this tea like you would Earl Grey or Oolong instead.
If you don’t have a strainer, or if you prefer your tea in pre-bagged form, no worries! It’s easy to make your own pine needle tea bags.
Buy some pre-made, reusable cotton or muslin bags, or make your own from old clean sheets, pillowcases, or even lengths of cheesecloth.
Add 1 tablespoon of finely chopped pine needles into each bag. Then either tie it or sew it closed so you have a nice, sealed parcel.
Pop one in a cup and cover with boiling water. Let steep for 5–7 minutes, then remove the bag. Sweeten to taste if desired. If you enjoy this tea, try combining it with peppermint, catnip, or lemon balm to experiment with different flavor combinations. These are all beneficial when you’re feeling poorly, and are complimentary with pine’s healing components.
*Note: do not drink pine needle tea if you’re pregnant or nursing. Some pine species can cause spontaneous abortion if ingested, and infants may have allergic reactions via breast milk. Check out our full article on which pine species to use for tea here.
Disclaimer: the information shared here is for educational purposes only and does not substitute for professional medical advice. We recommend that you consult with your healthcare practitioner before taking any natural supplements or medicines, and consult with a herbalist or naturopath to determine whether any of the plants mentioned here are the right choice for you.