Pine needle tea

Discussion in 'Finding Edible Animals and Bugs' started by SirJoe, May 31, 2016.

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  1. SirJoe

    SirJoe Expert Member

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    If your in a situation that you don't have a source of vitamin C, pine needles can make all the difference. Simple cut them into small peaces and boil them, not only does it taste good but the vitamin and mineral content of the leaves will keep you healthy for longer. Always choose fresh and young leaves as they will be more nutritional content.
  2. tb65

    tb65 Active Member

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    I never knew pine needles can give you vitamin C. This will come in handy in a survival situation, that could fight off viruses like colds and flu. Having a healthy immune system is important. I'll look into this, thanks.
  3. remnant

    remnant Expert Member

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    This is quite interesting. A casual Google search invariably turns up results pointing to the fact that most trees have intrinsic utility if people dare to utilise them meaning that the wild has enough to keep up going in times of adversity. But when it comes to vitamin C, I think the best recourse it to carry a good dose of supplements which are easy to achieve the RDA though without the exotic experience of brewing pine needle tea.
  4. glreese

    glreese Member

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    I've never heard of pine needle tea. If true, that is a really great tip! I live in a place with lots of pine trees. I may have to try this out. Even if you're not in a survival situation, Vitamin C is still a great resource to take in.
  5. Endure

    Endure Expert Member

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    Foraging for wild edibles is one of the few ways I enjoy strolling in the wilderness from time to time. Making pine needle tea out of wild foraging is quite something novel and rewarding since I enjoy the idea of preparing food from a garden or from the wild.

    American Indians have used pine needle tea for its healing properties. Pioneers reportedly drank pine needle tea after a long boat ride to replenish their vitamin C. Pine needle tea has 4-5 times more vitamin C than orange juice or a lemon. It is also a good source of vitamin A and is an expectorant (thins mucous). And it is simple to make:

    • Identify your pine! A white pine has a cluster of five needles.

    • Collect a handful of needles.

    • Cut needles to a smaller size. (I often just place the needles in the water whole.)

    • Add to water and bring to a boil.

    • Remove from heat and steep for 10-20 minutes.

    Making pine needle tea is a simple way to enjoy a wild edible and its health benefits. From your backyard, neighborhood, or school yard, pines suitable for making tea are easy to find.
  6. bluebetta

    bluebetta Active Member

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    Awesome source since pine trees are just as available in winter. If it is summer, I hear dandelions are a good source of vitamin A. Although they aren't a good source of calories, since a cup of dandelion greens is only 25 calories, that same cup holds 535 percent daily allowance of vitamin K and 111 percent daily allowance of vitamin A. Unlike the pine trees though, they won't be found in winter.
  7. MountainCutie

    MountainCutie New Member

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    This is a really interesting post. I had heard about this before but I know some pine trees are toxic so I haven't had any pineneedle tea. Can you tell me which trees can be used for this in the northwest? I am worried I will choose the wrong kind. Is it only the five needle white pine?
  8. Bishop

    Bishop Master Survivalist

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    I can tell you it's not like southern sweet tea but if yo have some things to add to it it's not bad I have added orange Gatorade with it made it tastes a lot better
  9. jeager

    jeager Master Survivalist

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    I've done the pine needle tea and it tastes awful to me.
    Rose hips, wild or domestic, are better but that's subjective.
    Your mileage may vary.
  10. Tumbleweed

    Tumbleweed Expert Member

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    I have made pine needle tea because I read about how nutritious it is supposed to be. It doesn't taste great; but if I needed it to survive, I would not even be considering that as an issue.
    Another way that you can use it is to put the pine needles in vinegar, and it will infuse into the vinegar. If you use white vinegar, the pine needle vinegar turns out a very pale green, and if you use apple cider vinegar, then it is kind of a brownish green. Either way, it tastes and smells a lot like balsamic vinegar, and can be used in a salad dressing that you make with vinegar and oil.
    I have never heard that any pine trees are poisonous, but some have a stronger taste than others do. I think that Euell Gibbons said that all pine trees, as well as spruce or fir, were edible.
    Other evergreens, like fir and spruce do not have as strong of a turpentine flavor as pine has.
    We used to use a substance called "pine tar", not to eat; but to put on a wound to help it heal. Since Pine has a lot of vitamin C and vitamin A, I can see that this would also help something to heal.
    When you boil down the needles and get a syrup, you can use it as cough syrup, from what I have read, although I have not tried this part.
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