pine needle tea

Discussion in 'Flora & Fauna' started by NevadaDesertRat, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. NevadaDesertRat

    NevadaDesertRat Banned Member Banned

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2011
    Messages:
    253
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Henderson,NV
    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.
     
  2. Roamer

    Roamer Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    Messages:
    3,451
    Likes Received:
    65
    Location:
    Harpers Ferry, WV
    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.
     
  3. crookedknife

    crookedknife Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Messages:
    1,379
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Kodiak Island, Alaska
    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.
     
  4. CimarronJr

    CimarronJr Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2012
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Illinois
  5. Woods Walker

    Woods Walker Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    8,434
    Likes Received:
    1,999
    Location:
    Konnecticut
    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.
     
  6. FishingJunkie92

    FishingJunkie92 Guest

    Blog Posts:
    0
    As others said, any will do just fine. And steep it, do not boil it. I add honey to mine as well :)

    Jeremy
     
  7. onthewater2181

    onthewater2181 Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    176
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Acme, washington
    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.

    Sent from my XT907 using Tapatalk 2
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
  8. clanmaki

    clanmaki Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Messages:
    1,478
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Oregon
    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.
     
  9. madmax

    madmax Bushmaster

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2010
    Messages:
    7,411
    Likes Received:
    14
    We've done longleaf pine, sand pine, and slash. They were palatable.
     
  10. Kortoso

    Kortoso Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2012
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    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.
     
  11. Kortoso

    Kortoso Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2012
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Myth busting:
    http://www.eattheweeds.com/bet-your-life-on-it-myth-busting/
    "If you are a cow and you eat many pounds of Ponderosa pine needles you have a 5 to 8% chance out of 100 of having an abortion. If you boil a huge amount of pine needs in water for hours down to a small amount of of gross liquid and you drink it, then maybe it would cause an abortion. A couple of needles soaked in hot water is no threat to anyone except for possible allergies."
     
  12. kubota tim

    kubota tim Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2012
    Messages:
    544
    Likes Received:
    5
  13. rdec

    rdec Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    Messages:
    2,904
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    Yew berries are quite toxic. Juniper berries are used to flavor gin and are excellent with any type of meat, wild game especially.
     
  14. Drewboy64

    Drewboy64 Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    353
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Ohio
    You can actually eat yew berries, so long as you don't eat the pit. Yew is toxic for tea, of course, but I've eaten some berries and they taste sort of sweet, almost like artificial cherry flavoring.
     
  15. justin_baker

    justin_baker Bushmaster

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    5,149
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    California
    I never thought of redwood needles! I will research that and try it out.
     
  16. NevadaDesertRat

    NevadaDesertRat Banned Member Banned

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2011
    Messages:
    253
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Henderson,NV
    Thanks for all the tips. We have bristlecone pine out here and the pinion pine. I think I will try both when I head to the mountains this weekend.
     
  17. LANE4

    LANE4 Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2012
    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    ILLINOIS
    I know you guys say not to boil them, but what about running boiling water through them in a perculator?
     
  18. Crco

    Crco Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2010
    Messages:
    763
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    N.E. USA
    Boiling water in contact with conifer resin will pretty much eliminate all of its inherent Vitamin C content and possibly it's other mineral and health benefits.

    Hot, hot water is fine .... ixnay on the boiling water.
     
  19. Roamer

    Roamer Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    Messages:
    3,451
    Likes Received:
    65
    Location:
    Harpers Ferry, WV
    Thanks for adding some clarification on this. I would feel better if that website cited its sources (kinda ironic given the author's rant about unreliable internet myths). But even so, the abortion danger thing didn't ring quite true to me, either.

     
  20. snapper

    snapper Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    Messages:
    755
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    central NYS
    Hemlock needles and white spruce can be used to make a nice tea as well. Both are pretty common here in parts of NYS. All I've ever done is pour hot water over the needles and let them steep. If you don't want to sort through needles to drink the tea you could wrap them in a clean cotton bandana first and then pour the boiling water of your homemade tea bag. The end result can be a nice herbal tasting tea.

    That's all for now. Take care and until next time...Be well.

    snapper
     
  21. clanmaki

    clanmaki Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Messages:
    1,478
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Oregon
    Just to add to this for the sake of some who might not know, but the Hemlock Snapper is talking about is the tree not the plant. The plant is very poisenous. It probably didnt need to be said but you never know. Just in case.
     
  22. CimarronJr

    CimarronJr Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2012
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Illinois
    Just quoting the USDA. Granted, they ARE talking about cattle eating the stuff. I did not say that you're going to kill over from drinking a little Ponderosa tea; just if the isocupressic acid was enough to hurt livestock then I'd think twice before making a habit of imbibing.
     
  23. Fiddlehead

    Fiddlehead Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2011
    Messages:
    678
    Likes Received:
    33
    Location:
    New England
  24. Loogaroo

    Loogaroo BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2011
    Messages:
    2,673
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    Madera California
    In the wise words of Socrates- "I drank what?"
     
  25. Woods Walker

    Woods Walker Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    8,434
    Likes Received:
    1,999
    Location:
    Konnecticut
    Hold on. We are on page 3 and no pics? What the.....

    Eastern White pine.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  26. EdD270

    EdD270 Guide Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2009
    Messages:
    2,467
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Mogollon Rim, Arizona
    I've made teas with pine, spruce and fir. Of those, my favorite is spruce and least favorite is pine, but all are good.
    And, yes, here's a pic.
     

    Attached Files:

  27. SwissArmyKnife

    SwissArmyKnife Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    Messages:
    647
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Westville, OK
    Is there a good resource on identifying these particular trees? Possibly on with the various medicinal effects as well. A picture library with this info would make a delightful sticky in this forum.

    EDIT: right after I jumped the gun on this post is did some searching. This resource is great at identifying conifers!
    A Field Guide to Conifers
    http://www.bio.brandeis.edu/fieldbio/pkenlan/HTML/index.html
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2012
  28. UDTfrogman

    UDTfrogman Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Messages:
    327
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Georgia
    I tried this stuff today and it was NASTY! But I had to try it.
     
  29. Woods Walker

    Woods Walker Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    8,434
    Likes Received:
    1,999
    Location:
    Konnecticut
    How did you make it?
     
  30. Whisper Creek

    Whisper Creek Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2012
    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    N/C Wisconsin
    When I made mine, I just snatched some white pine... kinda bitter, but not to bad for my first time. :)
     
  31. Gecko

    Gecko Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Canada
    I have tried pine tea on several occasions. I believe I have tried tea from both white and red pine needles.

    If I remember correctly, I think I found the white pine to have a sweeter softer flavour. The red pine was a little bitter, but that might have been due to the way I brewed the leaves.

    I think (I am not sure if this is the case) the key is to not boil the needles, otherwise you get that nasty leafy bitter taste.
     
  32. Gecko

    Gecko Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Canada
    I forgot to mention, if you are searching for a tea that tastes of the woods, if you haven't tried this already you should try Lapsang tea (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lapsang_souchong). Black tea that has been smoke dried over pine.

    The tea is smoky tasting (duh!) and importantly: caffeinated.
     
  33. rdec

    rdec Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    Messages:
    2,904
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    +1 on Lapsang Souchong. It is something of an aquired taste but IMO there is no better tea outdoors.
     
  34. Iron Wyvern

    Iron Wyvern Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Messages:
    482
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Texas
    I read once that you should only use pine needles that are round and not the flat ones... I never did find out whether or not there is an actual reason for this.
     
  35. SwissArmyKnife

    SwissArmyKnife Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    Messages:
    647
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Westville, OK
    Can you make tea from juniper needles? If so, how does it compare to pine? I've got alot of juniper and short leaf pine around here. Picked up some of the pine while hiking today. I'll have to wait til tomorrow to steep them and try it.
     
  36. edibleplantguy

    edibleplantguy Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 2, 2011
    Messages:
    453
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Haslett, Michigan
    All conifer needles for tea...

    Greetings All,

    I would like to clarify some of this discussion. First of all, when identifying Pines (Pinus spp., one is looking for needles which are wrapped, at the base by a rather membranous sheath, into groups of 2, or 3 or whatever. The groups (each constituting a single fascicle) may include from 1 to 5 needles, but even a single-needled pine (e.g. Pinus monophylla) has the membranous brownish wrapping. Also, pine needles tend to be dissected from a circle; so on a four-needled pine, each needle, in cross-section is one quarter of the circle; on a three-needled pine, each needle in cross-section is one third of the circle, etc. Spruce and other conifer needles (in temperate North America) not.

    Our associate clanmaki states, "Be careful of Yew, It is also an evergreen but some what toxic. It has short needles." In actuality, the needles of yew (Taxus spp. are from 0.5 to about 1 inch in length, lighter on the bottom than the top surface). They and all other parts of the plant except the red flesh of the berry-like aril, are not just somewhat toxic, they are deadly toxic. It is one of the most toxic substances in all North America, regardless of the reality that it is probably the most common landscape plant around. The leaves (needles), twigs, bark, roots, and the seed in the berry-like aril, are loaded with a sodium and potassium channel blocker (the alkaloid taxine) which can stop multiple organ systems simultaneously (including the heart, a major organ for many mammals). I advocate teaching young children that the (edible) berry-like aril is toxic, because if a child swallows a single seed with a cracked shell, an unpleasant clinical event and possible tragedy are in store.

    Now our associate Kortoso, under the heading "Myth busting" includes a quote from Deane Jordan (Green Deane and many other IDs, including Zorba, and Straightrazor) from his site (eattheweeds.com) in which he belittles any concerns about Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa) needles as tea for humans. His quote that begins (in Kortoso's post on page 2 of this thread) "If you are a cow, and you eat many pounds of Ponderosa pine needles..." is misleading and dangerous, although not as dangerous as some of his other posts. If you are an expert then you also know he has mis-identified plants on his own website; plants it does not take an expert to identify. I recommend extreme caution when trusting this particular site. At any rate, he does not deserve the label myth buster. Also, besides the isocupressic acid that is responsible for cattle abortions (from Pinus ponderosa, P. contorta and P. jeffreyi) Ponderosa pine also contains (in its growing tips) dehydroabietic acid, that in experiments (http://vet.sagepub.com/content/33/1/22.refs?patientinform-links=yes&legid=spvet;33/1/22) causes kidney, and sometimes nerve damage. Now, while no human I have ever read about has suffered thusly, I do think that noting the effects on the only animals known to eat this stuff in any quantity is reasonable.

    Also, I would recommend that the whole thing about virtually all conifer needles (except yew) being safe to consume, is mostly North American in its scope. I would not counsel anyone to take this notion to the tropics.

    Having said that, using all the other North American pines and spruces is fine and in a survival situation provides significant amounts of vitamin C.

    Thanks for reading.

    edibleplantguy
     
  37. ratamahatta

    ratamahatta Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Your Kantucky.
    Eastern White Pine!

    Love the smell and the taste!:4:

    [​IMG]
     
  38. SwissArmyKnife

    SwissArmyKnife Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    Messages:
    647
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Westville, OK
    See, it's comments like that that make me go from "yay, I'm going to try something new today" to "ummm, let me make sure it is what I think it is first." Thanks for the information. Back to the tree ID sites...
     
  39. Mr.Purcell

    Mr.Purcell Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2010
    Messages:
    248
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Idaho Panhandle
    ( pardon the abb. qoute) I'd like to take this moment to express my thanks, and admiration. Thanks for taking the time to post here and share your knowledge, and admiration of your knowledge- it's invaluable to an on-line community like this to have someone with your expertise checking up on the 'online' experts. I was just about to jump into this thread with dire warnings regarding the use of P.ponderosa as both tea and a source of edible cambium, based solely on the fact that I can't recall ever seeing this tree browsed by Wild ruminants ( domestic cattle don't count, have heard they have been known to eat poison Hemlock- no wild animal that I know of would). However, your warning regarding both Yew and P. ponderosa is one most people will actually take to heart, and that is the bottom line. Thanks again.
     
  40. Roamer

    Roamer Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    Messages:
    3,451
    Likes Received:
    65
    Location:
    Harpers Ferry, WV
    I just read in this book that tea made from Douglas fir needles (young, fresh needles preferred) was historically used as a coffee substitute. Gotta try that one! :45:
     
  41. Mr.Purcell

    Mr.Purcell Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2010
    Messages:
    248
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Idaho Panhandle
    I find Hemlock to be the most pleasant tasting... so far the most palatable inner cambium that I've tried also.
     
  42. riverjoe

    riverjoe Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    Messages:
    8,198
    Likes Received:
    1,300
    Location:
    Northern In. On the river
    There you go with that inner cambium again . :4:
    I actually found some Tamarack ( I think ) down the road on some county property today . Wish I could try the cambium but not my trees and they are pretty rare around here any way . Guess Ill stick with the Slippery Elm .
     
  43. Mr.Purcell

    Mr.Purcell Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2010
    Messages:
    248
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Idaho Panhandle
    Well, have tell ya that the Larch cambium off bigger trees is pretty 'packy' in a 'pitchy' kinda way, straight off the tree at least :4:
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2013
  44. Spearo

    Spearo Banned Member Banned

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    0
    Tea.jpg
    Some tea from earlier this week.
     
  45. EdD270

    EdD270 Guide Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2009
    Messages:
    2,467
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Mogollon Rim, Arizona
    I've made tea from:
    White fir, abies concolor Douglas fir, pseudotsuga menziesii
    Ponderosa Pine, pinus ponderosa (yuck) Engelmann spruce, picea engelmannii
    blue spruce, picea pungens

    I like Anne O. Epple's book, Plants of Arizona for ID here in AZ.

    I find it good to wash the needles in cold clean water, then bring the pot to boil, add the needles and let them steep for a few minutes. I like to let them sit about 5-10 minutes, but your taste may vary. then remove the needles and pour the tea through a filter, I use paper towels or coffee filters, to remove the floaties that came off the needles during steeping. I like it like that, but some will add honey or sugar to taste.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2013

Share This Page