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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Kick the crud - White pine needle tea



There are warnings that women should not drink white pine needle tea if pregnant or planning to get pregnant.  Also, individuals with an allergy to pine should not try this.


White pine needle tea has some medicinal properties for colds, chest colds or for diseases like scurvy (vitamin C deficiency).  It is high in vitamins A and C, both of which are essential for boosting the immune system.  Pine is antiseptic and aromatic, providing help to the airway when used as a steam.  The tea is mild and could be made with other herbs such as peppermint to improve the flavor or add a bag of green tea to increase the antioxidants.

White pine is identified by its long needles, attached to the branch in groups of 5.  Another pine, the Red pine, has long needles in groups of 3.  I have read that other varieties of pine can serve as an alternative to white pine, but I don't recommend using anything other than white pine.  It is best to use needles that are green and attached near the end of the branch to ensure the youngest needles are used.

I have heard from a couple of people that this tea was what did the trick to help them beat the lingering cough going around this season.  My hubby and I are drinking it occasionally to boost our defenses in an attempt to avoid the crud!

For more tips to boost your immune system, check out my blog post from Jan. 3, 2013.
http://restoringhealththroughnutrition.blogspot.com/2013/01/boost-your-immune-system.html

White Pine Needle Tea
1/4 to 1/2 cup white pine needles, finely chopped (I make a weak version with 1/4 cup)
3 cups nearly boiling water
honey or sweetener of choice optional

Steep for 30 minutes or overnight.  Strain, sweeten if desired, and drink hot or cold.  Tea should have a reddish color when ready to drink.  Serving size - one cup.

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