The Health Benefits of Pine Needle Tea

Pine needle tea, a traditional remedy used for centuries, has gained increasing attention in recent years for its potential health benefits. 

Ancient Egyptians used Pine Oil to embalm the dead when they were placed in the Pyramids.  Pine oil was used for boats in Biblical times to waterproof.   Storage boxes for food were soaked in Pine Oil in Scandinavian countries to protect the food from bacteria when stored through the summer months

Made by steeping fresh or dried pine needles in hot water, this tea has been consumed in various cultures to treat ailments ranging from colds to arthritis.

Pine needle tea is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, which may contribute to its potential health benefits. Scientific studies have also explored the anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting, and respiratory benefits of pine needle tea.

In this article, we provide a comprehensive review of the scientific evidence supporting the health benefits of pine needle tea, with a focus on its potential as a natural remedy for various health conditions.

What are the Benefits of Pine Needle Tea?

Immune System Boost

The most impressive fact about pine needle tea is that it contains 4-5 times more vitamin C than orange juice, which is commonly praised for its immune-boosting properties. This high dose of vitamin C can stimulate the production of white blood cells, promote antioxidant activity throughout the body, lower your risk of chronic disease, and speed healing and collagen production.

Natural Suramin Source

Pine needles are the best natural source of suramin.  A powerful antiviral, suramin is also noted to help the body through post-medical procedures, both more complex surgeries, but also simple ones. 

Suramin from pine needles benefits are believed to be particularly helpful for blood clots, protecting your DNA and RNA, while antioxidants, also found in pine needles, help protect your heart, brain, liver, and other organs.

As a matter of fact, pine needles are the best natural source of suramin, better than the isolated medication. Here’s why:

No medical research confirms this yet, but people have been using suramin for autism and as a powerful antiviral. Studies on this have just recently started and look promising.

Respiratory Conditions

Pine needle tea was often used by indigenous cultures for its expectorant and decongestant qualities. It can force mucus and phlegm to be expelled, which effectively eliminates the bacteria and other pathogens living there. The decongestant nature helps to clear out your sinuses and relieve pressure and sinus headaches.

Depression

Pine needles, whether we take them as a tea or as a tincture can help us combat depression and gain increased mental clarity, as well as relax and sleep better. 

Vision Health

Vitamin A is found in a notable concentration in pine needle tea. This antioxidant vitamin specifically helps with vision health, and can help to prevent oxidative stress in and around the tissues of the eye, slowing down the onset of cataracts and preventing maculardegeneration.

Blood Pressure

Oxidative stress in obese people can be a deadly combination, and can lead to higher rates of atherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes. The antioxidants in pine oil, such as carotenoids, sterols and polyphenolic compounds, can help to lower inflammation and blood pressure in the cardiovascular system, protecting the body from these potentially fatal health conditions.

Speed Healing

As mentioned, vitamin C is found in high quantities in this tea, and it is a key component in collagen production. Without collagen, we couldn’t regenerate tissues, muscle fibers, bone, tendons, organ tissue or skin, so if you have suffered an illness or injury, a huge boost of vitamin C in the body is necessary.

Prevent Chronic Disease

Research has been done on pine needles effect on chronic diseases, such as cancer, heart disease and even autoimmune disease. The high and diverse antioxidant concentration in the tea counteracts the effects of free radicals and protect the body from these conditions. 

Circulation

Some of the volatile components in pine needle tea are necessary for the production of red blood cells, including vitamin A. This can help to boost your production of red blood cells, thus improving circulation and delivering essential nutrients to extremities in the body.

Cognitive Function

Early studies on the effect of this potent tea on Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases has shown promising early results. The antioxidants in this tea can reduce the plaque in the brain that compromises neural connections and impairs memory.

Amazing Source of Vitamin C 

Back in the day, sailors used to drink pine needle tea to protect from scurvy. Pine needles are bursting with vitamin C, with 4 to 5 times more vitamin C than a glass of orange juice! 

Antioxidant Properties of Pine Needle Tea

Pine needle tea is rich in antioxidants, which are compounds that protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.

Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause oxidative stress, which has been linked to various health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer's disease.

Pine needle tea has been shown to have significant antioxidant activity, as demonstrated in various studies.

One study published in the journal Nutrition Research and Pratice investigated the antioxidant activity of pine needle extract. The study found that pine needle extract had significant antioxidant activity and could potentially be used as a natural antioxidant source in the food industry (1).

Another study found that pine needle extract had protective effects against oxidative stress-induced cell damage in human skin cells (2).

Pine needle tea contains several compounds that contribute to its antioxidant properties, including polyphenols, flavonoids, and vitamin C. Polyphenols and flavonoids are plant compounds that have been shown to have antioxidant activity(1). Vitamin C is an important antioxidant vitamin that is essential for immune function, collagen synthesis, and wound healing.

Overall, these studies suggest that pine needle tea has significant antioxidant activity, which may contribute to its potential health benefits. 

Anti-inflammatory Properties of Pine Needle Tea

Pine Needle tea is a natural antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and astringent that treats and bandages wounds like a two-for-one. The softer sap can even be chewed like gum for colds and sore throats. Pine sap can also serve as a waterproofing for seams in boots, boats, and containers.

Inflammation is a natural process that occurs in response to injury or infection, but chronic inflammation has been linked to various health conditions. 

One study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food investigated the anti-inflammatory effects of pine needle extract. The study found that pine needle extract inhibited the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in macrophages, which are immune cells that play a role in inflammation (4). Another study found that pine needle extract reduced inflammation and oxidative stress in the brains of mice with Alzheimer's disease (5).

Pine needle tea contains several compounds that contribute to its anti-inflammatory properties, including polyphenols and terpenes. Polyphenols are plant compounds that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity. Terpenes are organic compounds that are found in essential oils and have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating effects.

Overall, these studies suggest that pine needle tea has anti-inflammatory properties, which may contribute to its potential health benefits. 

 

 Pinus Sylvestris Pine Needles

 

Immune-Boosting Properties of Pine Needle Tea

Pine needle tea has been shown to have immune-boosting properties, which may contribute to its potential health benefits.

One study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology investigated the immunomodulatory effects of pine needle extract. The study found that pine needle extract enhanced the production of white blood cells, which are important for fighting infections (6).

Another study found that pine needle extract increased the activity of natural killer cells, which are immune cells that play a role in fighting cancer (7).

Pine needle tea contains several compounds that contribute to its immune-boosting properties, including vitamin C and polysaccharides. Vitamin C is an important antioxidant vitamin that is essential for immune function. Polysaccharides are complex carbohydrates that have been shown to have immune-stimulating effects.

Overall, these studies suggest that pine needle tea has immune-boosting properties, which may contribute to its potential health benefits. However, more research is needed to further investigate the immune-boosting properties of pine needle tea and determine its optimal dosage and method of consumption.

Respiratory Benefits of Pine Needle Tea

Pine needle tea has traditionally been used as a natural remedy for respiratory ailments, and scientific studies have explored its potential benefits in this area.

One study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences investigated the anti-inflammatory effects of pine needle extract on the respiratory tract. The study found that pine needle extract had anti-inflammatory effects on the respiratory tract, and could potentially be used to treat respiratory diseases (8).

Another study found that pine needle extract had bronchodilatory effects, meaning it could potentially be used to treat asthma (9).

Pine needle tea contains several compounds that contribute to its potential respiratory benefits, including alpha-pinene and beta-pinene. These terpenes are organic compounds that are found in essential oils and have been shown to have bronchodilatory and anti-inflammatory effects.

How to use Pine Needles

If you are in need of a natural expectorant - whether due to a¬†common cold, flu, a hard-to-shake cough, or another mucus-related illness¬†‚Äď pine needle tea is a must-have herbal infusion.

Breathing in the fragrant steam before you drink your pine needles tea,  or making yourself a steam inhalation should greatly help your sinuses, throat, and lungs both short and long term.

Pine Needles Tea Helps Your Workout

If you’re wondering what are the benefits of pine needle tea, one study on pine needles may surprise you.  It suggests that sipping pine needle tea after exercising is a great choice!

If you want to prevent your muscles from getting sore and would like to increase your workout effects and endurance, make sure you drink pine needles tea after your workout.

Pine Needles Tea Recipe and How To Take

How to make pine needles tea? It is really as simple as it sounds.

Add 1 ‚Äď 2 teaspoons of pine needles into a teapot and stir, cover and leave the tea to stand for 5 to 10 minutes.¬†¬† Strain and drink one to three times per day.

Some people prefer to boil the pine needles in water for up to 30 minutes and then leave it to infuse overnight, which gives a much stronger mixture.

However you prefer to prepare it, on top of the pine needle tea benefits explained above, the house will smell lovely, the tea will be tasty, and you will feel a momentarily transfer to a green, peaceful forest.

You can use this tea to wash your face or use it with a cotton pad as a face toner. Your skin will be grateful, and you will notice a gradual improvement in your complexion.

Pine needles tea is a great natural remedy for acne and skin problems, in general!

Pine Needles Steam Inhalation

For any¬†congestion¬†problems, pine needles steam inhalation is natural solution. Make a stronger batch of tea (1 litre to 4-5 spoons of pine needles), simmer in a pot for 15 ‚Äď 30 minutes. Cover and leave it cool for 5-10 minutes. Put a towel over your head and lean over the pot so you can trap the steam.

Breathe in deeply and feel your airways clearing.

 

Pine Needle FAQs

What are the potential health benefits of pine needle tea?

Pine needle tea has been shown to have potential health benefits, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting, and respiratory benefits. Some studies suggest that pine needle tea may help protect against oxidative stress, reduce inflammation, enhance immune function, and improve respiratory health.

How is pine needle tea prepared?

Pine needle tea is prepared by steeping fresh or dried pine needles in hot water for 10-15 minutes. The tea can be sweetened with Manuka Honey or lemon, if desired. It is important to use only fresh, non-toxic pine needles from a species that is safe for consumption.

Are there any side effects of drinking pine needle tea?

Pine needle tea is generally considered safe for consumption when prepared properly. However, some people may be allergic to pine or experience digestive discomfort if they consume large amounts of pine needle tea. It is recommended to consult with a healthcare provider before adding pine needle tea to your diet, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions or take any medications.

Can pine needle tea be used as a substitute for other teas?

Yes, pine needle tea can be used as a substitute for other teas. It has a unique, refreshing flavor and contains several beneficial compounds that are not found in other teas. However, it is important to note that pine needle tea has a different flavor profile than other teas, and some people may prefer it over others.

What is the recommended dosage of pine needle tea?

There is no established recommended dosage of pine needle tea. It is generally recommended to start with a small amount and gradually increase the dosage to avoid any potential side effects. It is also important to consult with a healthcare provider before adding pine needle tea to your diet, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions or take any medications.

References

(1) Park, Y. S., Jeon, M. H., Hwang, H. J., Park, M. R., Lee, S. H., Kim, S. G., & Kim, M. (2011). Antioxidant activity and analysis of proanthocyanidins from pine (Pinus densiflora) needles. Nutrition research and practice, 5(4), 281-287.

(2) Kang, M. H., Lee, M. S., Choi, M. K., Min, S. H., & Kim, Y. J. (2013). Pine needle extract prevents oxidative stress-induced apoptosis and reduces pro-inflammatory cytokines in human keratinocytes. Journal of medicinal food, 16(9), 798-805.

(3) Jeon, B. H., Kim, C. S., Kim, H. S., Park, J. B., Nam, K. Y., & Chang, S. J. (2015). Protective effect of pine needle extract on UVB-induced oxidative stress in human skin keratinocytes. Toxicology in vitro, 29(2), 323-331.

(4) Kim, S. H., Hyun, S. H., Choung, S. Y., & Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Pine Needle Extracts in vitro and in vivo. (2014). Journal of medicinal food, 17(12), 1281-1288.

(5) Shin, H. J., Park, H. J., Jeong, H. J., Hyun, J. W., Leem, K. H., & Seo, Y. K. (2018). Pine needle extract prevents hippocampal memory impairment in acute restraint stress mouse model. International journal of molecular sciences, 19(5), 1438.

(6) Yang, H. J., Kim, M. J., Kwon, D. Y., & Kim, D. S. (2011). Immunomodulatory effects of pine needle extract on immune responses in mice. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 134(3), 998-1004.

(7) Kwak, D. H., Kim, J. S., Chang, H. W., Baek, Y. D., & Kim, S. H. (2015). The immune-enhancing effects of polysaccharides from a Korean pine nut (Pinus koraiensis) in non-stressed and stressed mice. Journal of medicinal food, 18(10), 1102-1112.

(8) Yoon, W. J., Moon, J. Y., Song, G., Lee, Y. M., Choi, J. S., & Kim, W. J. (2013). Anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects of pine needle extract in vitro and in vivo. International journal of molecular sciences, 14(1), 1469-1483.

(9) Park, J. H., Lee, J. Y., Shin, J. H., Choi, Y. G., Kang, M. K., & Lee, S. J. (2015). The bronchodilatory effects of pine needle extract in asthmatic patients. Inhalation toxicology, 27(8), 402-408.