Manataka American Indian Council








White Pine Needle Tea: Healing


Pine needle tea has been around for a very long time. It was first used by Native American’s for its healing properties. In fact they introduced pine needle tea to the early settlers (in Canada and New England) as a cure for scurvy, which is caused by lack of vitamin C.


Pine needle tea is great for colds, chest congestion and upper respiratory illnesses, though it is also rumored to help with many other ailments as well. You can do your own search on the web to find out more. It is packed with antioxidants, vitamin C and vitamin A.


I want to give thanks to Grandmother Bobbie for introducing me to pine needle tea and its healing effects. I experienced its healing first hand. This tea made my chest congestion disappear in less than a day. I thought for sure I was going to get bronchitis or pneumonia! But instead, I drank pine needle tea and it helped heal my chest and sinuses. I could literally feel my chest “loosen up” and my breathing became much easier.


Luckily pine trees are found in abundance all over the U.S. so it’s an easy and free tea that you can make at home. We just happen to have a white pine tree in our back yard, so it’s very easy to make this tea all year round, even in the midst of winter. 


*        ˝ cup of pine needles, green young needles are best

*        1.5 pints of water

*        Bring water to boil in a stainless steel pan (do not use aluminum)

*        Add the pine needles, reduce heat to a simmer for 20 minutes to overnight.

*        Strain needles and drink warm or cold

            you can also put them in unbleached tea bags


The tea should be red in color with a little oil floating on top.

You can add honey or cinnamon if you like, (since I have type 2 diabetes I add cinnamon). It really doesn’t taste like pine; it has a very mild flavor.


White pine needles have 5 needles on each sprig… but you can use any pine or fir tree (though the recipe may differ).


Remember:  Some pine and fir trees are poisonous. 

Pour boiled water in a cup and do not boil needles in a sealed jar as this may release harmful turpentine.

View this video at about 5 minute mark -- forward the video  Submitted by Alex P

Do not drink pine needle tea when pregnant
or if you are allergic to pine.



~Submitted by Bonnie Delcourt


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