Pine Trees & Teas
Ever since I moved to the trees, Pine needle tea has fast become a most frequently asked question. It is absolutely gorgeous up here in the White Mountains of Arizona and having the pines all around me has provided an opportunity to sit and be still. A little research through my materia medica and some quiet time to experience her in all her glory led me todays LIVE on facebook.
Pine: Pinus sylvestre (Scots Pine), P. stobus (White Pine), P. pinaster, P. pinea, P. nigra
- Pine is both warming and drying
- Taste is pungent, bitter and sour.
- We use the needles, bark pollen, resin and seeds
- The needles and young buds and young shoots are best collected during the spring time
- A wonderful oil and salve for conditions such as arthritic pain, cuts and scrapes, eczema
Amazing tree once you get to know her:
- Tannins – these are what create that bitter and astringent qualities of Pine
- Resin –Pine resin has been used by Native Americans for centuries to clear negative energy. The resin is collected, dried and burned as incense for various purposes and healing rituals. Resin also has a history of decreasing arthritic pain – especially when it starts to get cold and damp. Think winter storms and slush.
- Terpenes are what we smell, the very aromatic part of the volatile oil – Pine essential oil has been used for asthma and cold/flu issues but can also be a little overwhelming so use sparingly. Too much “Christmas” smell can turn the stomach for some people.
Pine needle tea has been used for generations to heal bronchitis, sinusitis or upper respiratory infections along with conditions such as rheumatism and arthritis. Diet plays a large role too so don’t try to jump the gun there and think this will cure all that ails you. The needles are stimulating and can be used internally and externally but when you add in other herbs, they make a wonderfully strong brew that can keep you warm and cozy on those cold winter nights.
When prepared as a strong decoction and placed in the bath, Pine does double duty. It can be soothing in cases of fatigue, nervous debility and sleeplessness and it doubles as a wonderful aid for those cuts and skin irritations too. Imagine a nice long hot soak and you feel calm, can breathe better and your skin comes out looking wonderful!
As a respiratory tonic Pine relieves coughs and acts as an expectorant for congestion in the lungs and sinuses.
As an oil or salve, it can be rubbed onto the chest to help relive the coughing and help warm you up. Harvesting pine to make the oil is best done in the spring time and wonderful to have on hand for when the cold weather comes rolling in, bring holidays and stress right along with it.
- On rare occurrences, if you have sensitive skin the resin can cause skin irritations so be sure to test it beforehand.
- Might be a good idea to avoid during pregnancy and while nursing.