Preparing Pine Needle Tea
Making pine needle tea is easy, and only requires fresh, young pine needles and hot water. However, it is imperative to choose the right pine needles as there are 20 known toxic varieties of pine trees. The Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus) is nontoxic and an excellent variety. Avoid using these toxic varieties: Ponderosa Pine, Balsam Fir, Lodgepole, and Monterey Pines. Additionally, there are also quite a few trees that are commonly called “pine trees”, but are in fact toxic imitators, such as the English Yew, Norfolk Island pine, and the Yew pine. These should never be used to brew pine needle tea. Again, most experts recommend using Eastern White Pine to brew tea.
1 cup water filtered
1 handful fresh eastern white pine needles
· To begin, collect or purchase fresh pine needles. A small handful should be sufficient for a strong cup of tea.
· Cut off any of the brown ends or sheaths of the needles - they can also just be pulled off. Chop the needles into 1/4 inch chunks
· Bring a pot of water to boil, and then add in the freshly cut pine needles.
· Cover the pot with a lid and allow the needles to steep for 3-4 minutes.
· Remove the pot from heat, but keep it covered and allow it to continue steeping.
· Once all the needles have sunk to the bottom and the tea has cooled, pour through a strainer into a cup and enjoy!
Make sure to always use fresh eastern white pine needles as they can loose their medicinal properties and dry out in a few days. Elderflower Botanicals offers two concentrated extracts in the form of white pine elixir and white pine extract. Since 1 mL of extract is approximately equivalent to 1 cup of tea, this is a convenient, portable, and long lasting way to consume eastern white pine medicine. The elixir has been formulated for people who prefer a sweet piney flavor as opposed to the traditional extract.