‘Pine Needle Tea’ may not be as popular as other herbal tea, but it has its prints in ancient customs. Pine needle tea, produced using the youthful, green needles of certain pine species, is a without caffeine, nutritious, solid drink, consumed for quite a long time by local Americans for its medical benefits. In this article I am going to give you a tour of its biological components, benefits, uses, limitations, compliance, etc. so you know if the tea is beneficial to your health.
Pine needles and tea explained
Pine needles are very thin, sharp leaves that grow on pine trees. The name ‘pine needles’ came from the fine pointed needle-like leaves of pine.
On the other hand, pine needle tea is a byproduct of pine needles. This is a kind of herbal tree that is made from the leaves of the pine tree. The indigenous cultures have been considering this tea as an important medicinal tool for years. However, mainstream formal researches are somewhat limited on this subject.
Most of the pine trees are native to North America. They make pine needle tea from the leaves of Easter white pine. In Korea, the leaves of Korean red pine or Manchurian red pine are used to make the tea. They call it sollip-cha.
To drink pine needle tea or not to?
Its people’s belief that pine needle tea does have some special benefits on your health let alone the taste. But as a conscious consumer, you should know about the components of this tea and its mechanism of actions. The proper understanding about its compounds will enable you to decide whether to drink or not to drink the tea.
What are pine needles composed of?
The components of the pine needle essential oil may vary depending on their species. Most of the pine needle essential oils contain the following compounds:
- germacrene D
How do the components work?
The system of activity of pine needle tea or fundamental oil relies upon the dynamic mixes found in the needles. For example, α-pinene, found in the fundamental oil of the needles, blocks malignancy cell development.
Usually, pine needle essential oil features microbe-fighting action. The mixes (monoterpenes) in the oil diminish energy generation in the microbes and along these lines terminate the microscopic organisms. These mixes (monoterpenoids and monoterpenes) additionally influence organisms likewise, by upsetting the structure of cells.
The phenolic compounds of the pine needle extracts have some cell reinforcement capacities. Because of its antioxidant properties, pine needle extracts also have impacts in memory- boosting. It can also protect the brain from damage.
As I have already said that the formal researches are yet to recognize the positive effects of pine needle tea that people are talking about over the years, on the other hand, it might have some harmful effects for different circumstances. But, definitely, you can get some useful benefits by drinking it. In the next segment, I am going to inform you about all the benefits that pine needle tea has.
Pine needle tea: Health Benefits
The medicinal advantages of drinking pine needle tea are many. You can identify these with the cardiovascular, circulatory, safe and respiratory frameworks, notwithstanding its anti-oxidant activity and capacity to avoid degenerative and chronic diseases. These advantageous impacts are the result of large amounts of vitamin C, vitamin A, polyphenolic mixes, different B family vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium and phosphorous, and also sterols and carotenoids.
Pine needle tea can be associated with all of the following health conditions.
- Immune System
- Respiratory Health
- Cancer and Chronic Diseases
- Cognitive Issues
- Blood Circulation and Pressure
- Bacterial and Fungal Infection
- Healing and Recovery
- Vision and Oxidative Issues
- Menopause Symptoms
This fact may astonish you, but pine needle tea contains four-five times more vitamin C than orange juice. Because of this, its immune- boosting properties are the main benefits of drinking pine needle tea. Now you may ask what this high dose of vitamin C can do to our body. Vitamin C has the capacity to stimulate the production of white blood cell in our body. It can also promote the antioxidant activity throughout our body. Vitamin can lessen the risk of various chronic diseases as well. In addition, it has speed healing and collagen production abilities.
Pine needle tea can boost your memory. In a recent study, it reversed the memory impairment in mice. The study also showed that pine needle tea affects a part of the brain which is important for memory. It reduces the damage in the hippocampus. Thus, pine needle tea may have reversed the stress-induced memory impairment in mice.
Pine needle tea is believed to have expectorant and decongestant qualities. These qualities force to expel the phlegm and mucus and thus eliminating the bacteria and other pathogens living there. The decongestant features of pine needle tree can also clear out sinuses and sinus headaches. Because of this, the indigenous cultures have been consuming pine needle for many years.
Cancer and Chronic Diseases
To talk about the effects of pine needle tea on cancer, I will take the help of some studies. It may be helpful in stopping the growth of cancer cells. One study showed that pine needle water extract eliminated the human brain cancer cells and also blocked the human leukemia cancer cells.
Pine needle has a compound named chrysin that has some strong effects against cancer cell growth and spread.
Another study found out pine needle tea’s impact on reducing growth, spreading, and survival of human breast cancer cells.
Many believe that the compound α-pinene of pine needle tea has some anti-cancer effects in it. Researchers took that into account, and they ran several studies. All of these studies found that α-pinene indeed helped to block human liver cancer cell rapid growth.
Those researches have also found that pine needle tea is also effective against chronic diseases like heart diseases and even autoimmune disease.
Some early studies have shown promising results about the effect of pine needle tea on Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. The beta-amyloid deposition is the plaque in the brain which can compromise neural connections and can also impair the memory. Studies suggested that the antioxidants of pine needle tea help to lower the level of beta-amyloid deposition.
Blood Circulation and Pressure
A screening has found catechin as a useful compound in the pine needle extract. Scientists have experimented catechin with rats. And what they found is really remarkable. It actually helped to lower the high blood pressure in rat kidney, lung, and testes tissue. The active compound catechin may be the new potential treatment for high blood pressure.
On the other hand, the volatile components of pine needle tea can help to boost the production of red blood cells, including vitamin A. Thus; it can improve the blood circulation and can also deliver essential nutrients to extremities in the body.
Bacterial and Fungal Infection
The compounds of pine needle extracts have properties that can kill microbes. In addition, these compounds have antibacterial and antifungal effects. They are capable of blocking gram-positive bacterial and fungal growth.
One study has found that ethanolic pine needle increases the physical activity of mice in a stressful environment. Thus, they can reduce the symptoms of depression. However, it has not tested on the human yet. So, this extract may come to use as an antidepressant.
Healing and Recovery
As I have stated, you can find vitamin- C in abundance in pine needle tea. And you know that this is the key component in collagen production. Collagen helps to regenerate tissues, bone, tendons, muscle fibers, organ skin or tissue. So, you need a huge boost of vitamin C in your body if you have come across an illness or injury.
Researchers have shown that pine needle extraction reduced the production of white blood cells in mice. It is an indication that pine needle tea can be helpful in reducing inflammation.
Vision and Oxidative Issues
Although you can’t find it as a high quantity as vitamin C, there is a notable concentration of vitamin A in pine needle tea. And, we all know that this antioxidant vitamin helps us with the vision health. It can also prevent the oxidative stress in and around the tissues of the eye. In addition, it can help to slow down the onset of cataracts and to avert macular degeneration.
Pine needle also has notable amounts of antioxidants like flavonoids, proanthocyanidins, pinene, mycrene, cadinenes, and thujenes. Pine needle also contains calcium, iron, potassium and phosphorous.
Leukotrine leads to asthma in children. Some studies have found that the regular ingestion of pine needle tea may reduce the level of leukotriene. The pine needle tea also has the presence of shikimic acid in it. This acid works as a preventive measure for swine flu.
A recent study has centered on the women who are going through menopause. The study has found that the women among them, who were consuming pine needle tea, have shown less tiredness and fatigue.
Be Aware! Pine needle tea dangers
Many pine trees and different conifers may have poisonous quality dimensions that could cause responses like skin rashes, gastrointestinal complexities, dizziness, and headaches. Before searching for pine needles or any wild berry or organic product, dependably ensure you distinguish the plants you are picking before you utilize them.
Vitamin C is a water solvent which implies that the body can’t store it. So, you can’t take in a lot of this vitamin.
Vitamin A, then again is a fat solvent, which implies that your body stores it. Therefore, taking excessively vitamin A can deliver some dreadful symptoms. Anyway, it isn’t humanly conceivable to ingest excessively vitamin A from pine needle tea!
Possible Side Effects
First and foremost, let me clarify one very important thing. Most of the studies centered on pine needle tea are not based on the human body. So, the benefits and side effects are not very clear in that way. As like many other plant extracts, users must handle pine needle with extreme caution.
On the other hand, there are many plants that look exactly like pine trees. Many of them are toxic to humans and animals.
Various species of pine are also responsible for abortions in pregnant cows. However, there is very little knowledge about its effect on human health.
There are some side effects of pine needle tea on the human body that can cause some serious discomfort.
Irritation and Congestion in the mouth and throat sores
Some varieties of pine needle can cause serious irritation and congestion in the mouth. On the other hand, it may cause throat sores, and the pain is unbearable.
Patches of skin with inflammation
The common side effect of pine needle tea is patches of skin with inflammation. However, it is due to the individual’s allergic response to the pine trees. So, before taking pine needle tea, make sure that you don’t have any allergy with a pine tree.
Nausea and Vomiting
Drinking too much of this tea can cause nausea and vomiting. However, some toxic pine variety can do the same if ingested.
Same old things are also applicable to this part. Too much pine needle tea can leave you with a headache.
The toxicity level or taking an excessive amount of pine needle tea can cause serious diarrhea problems.
Dizziness is a common side effect that may occur if you are taking pine needle tea for a longer period of time. Taking too much of this can also cause dizziness.
Cautions for some people!
When you are consuming any herbal tea or herbal product, always make sure what exactly you are doing. Lack of studies on herbal products like pine needle tea can also make the job very difficult. Many myths and confusions are over there regarding these plants. Pine needle is also no differences among them. Following are some of the health effects that people believe pine needle tea has.
- Congestion & sore throat relief properties
- Ability to increase mental clarity
- It can combat depression
- Can suppress weight gain
- Ability to lessen allergy symptoms
- Can lower the blood pressure
Are these things true? Well! Most of these studies are based on mice models not on the human body. So, you can’t be absolutely sure with those effects. Because of this, it will be a wise thing to consume pine needle tea with extreme caution.
If you have allergy issues with pine trees, then don’t think of drinking pine needle tea.
It is worthless to say that like any other herbal tea, one shouldn’t drink it while they are pregnant.
The right pine needle tea recipe
So, you’re sure to drink a cup of tea? Then I can definitely help you with that. After collecting or picking up the ingredients, it’s just a matter of five minutes to prepare the tea. It’s a very easy and comfortable job that you can definitely accomplish on your own. Let’s know how to prepare the tea.
Getting things ready
Before starting to make the tea, you need to get your hand on the following ingredients:
- Fresh and chopped pine needles – 1 to 4 tablespoons
- Boiled water – Depending on the number of people (One cup for a person)
- Raw and organic honey – 1 to 4 tablespoons
- Lemon slices (optional)
Choosing the pine needle tea
As I have already mentioned it several times in this article that all pine needles are not edible. Some of them may have a certain level of toxicity. So, you need to be sure to pick the right needle before going to make the tea. Here is some of the pine needle that you use to make your tea.
Pinus strobus or the White pine needles
The White Pine is a tree with much fables appended to it. Native Americans have been using it for a considerable length of time as a staple in a shaman’s “medical aid unit.” Many legendary stories and folk remedies are there around about this exquisite needle tea, with tremendous helpful properties.
This species of pine tree is very common and widespread in China. However, this pinus massoniana has a close relative that is on the red list for toxicity. So, make sure to check the label of your pine needle tea bag before purchasing.
In addition, you should look for the sustainably harvested pine needles, instead of the wild harvested ones.
This species is high in essential oils. It also has antimicrobial and antioxidant healing properties.
You probably know this species as the Eastern white cedar.
This is not a true pine. But it is very popular as homegrown US spruce tip tea. They also call it Douglas Fir.
Preparing the tea
Now, you know about the pine species that you can use to make your tea. You also have the ingredients to go into the preparation method. So, let’s jump into the process.
- Start with boiling the water.
- Take the chopped needles to the cup. 1 heaped tablespoon of needles should be enough for a cup.
- Wait for the water to boil and take it off the heat when done.
- Pour the water over the needles into the cup.
- Now, you have to cover the cup with a dish. Leave it to steep for 5 minutes.
- To release the flavors and compounds of pine needle you need to stir once.
- Strain the tea and add some honey. Stir again to dissolve the honey.
- You can squeeze the lemon juice for a better taste.
- Garnish the cup with a lemon slice and take a sip with delight!
Understanding the usage of the tea
Before go for consuming the pine needle tea, you must understand the usage of the tea. To help you with that I am giving some lights on the appropriate dosage, sources, drug interactions, compliance, and overall user experiences associated with the tea.
1200 mg of pine needle extract is good for the human body. A study on pine needle’s antioxidant effects has suggested the dosage.
White pine or Pinus strobus is the usual natural source for brewing pine needle tea. You can also get pine needles as various extracts, pine needle oil capsules, or as tablets.
There is currently no conclusive information or evidence regarding the drug interactions with pine needle compounds.
Many users have reported the benefits of drinking pine needle tea. Benefits such as improved cold symptoms, congestion relief are among them.
Different users praised for the charming and invigorating taste and smell to the tea.
A few users reported that they couldn’t see any discernible advantages from taking the tea.
After going through the whole article, it’s obvious for you to get an idea what I am going to say in this section. Well, nothing more actually to talk about! Just be aware of the facts I have mentioned. Since we don’t have proven data on the benefits of pine needle tea; you need to be careful with it. However, there is also no conclusive evidence of the side effects. So, you can enjoy the taste of this soothing tea in the right amount and with the caution of course. Stay healthy and happy!