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Thread: pine needle tea

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    Tracker NevadaDesertRat's Avatar
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    Default pine needle tea

    What varieties of pine trees can you use to make pine needle tea? I was watching a ray mears video and it got me interested in it.

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    I read recently that you can use any variety. Even redwood 'needles' work. At least, Native Americans apparently used all kinds and some had different medicinal properties. I reckon it's a matter of finding out what you like.

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    All pines and spruces too. Any time of year is fine, but it is less bitter if the needles are from "tips" which are the brighter green sections that appear in spring. Spruce tips are also used locally to make beer. Be sure to give the needles a good smashing with the side of your knife for the brightest flavor and the most vitamin content.

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    I would just avoid Ponderosa Pine. It has abortive effects on cattle. USDA warns against consuming it.
    http://www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=9977

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    Whatever type you pick the best way IMO to make the tea is NOT to boil the needles. Add hot water to the needles and then soak for whatever time works out best for you. For me that's 5-10 minutes.

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    As others said, any will do just fine. And steep it, do not boil it. I add honey to mine as well

    Jeremy

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    I make pine needle tea a lot around my household. I have found the needles from a pine that is young (10 years or less) taste the best. I either run mine through my dehydrater or put on a cookie sheet on top of the fireplace. I then grind them up and put the them in tea bags and store them in a jar. If I feel even the slightest hint of a cold, I drink a couple of cups. I let it steep for ten minutes and add a little bit of honey.

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    Last edited by onthewater2181; 01-10-2013 at 03:04 PM.

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    Be careful of Yew. It is also an evergreen but some what toxic. It has short needles. Good to develop some identification skills. And research.
    There are no "failures", Just learning experiences.

    PSALMS 83:18; ISAIAH 43:10-12

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    We've done longleaf pine, sand pine, and slash. They were palatable.

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    Thanks for the pointers on poisonous species.
    When I get (Douglas fir) growing tips, they are so good I can't bear to put them in boiling water; I just pop them in my mouth. But I will try steeping the mature needles.

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