The May long weekend officially launched camping season for us. Other than the stillness, fresh air and nature, my favourite part of camping is making pine needle tea!
We found out about pine needle tea in a wilderness survival book. Being a tea lover, I decided to give it a try. Plus, it has some amazing health properties:
- More than 4 – 5 times the vitamin C content of lemons
- High in the fat-soluble antioxidant Vitamin A
- Anticatarrhal (reduces mucous) and antiseptic properties
This site has a great top 10 list of benefits. Apparently, “Taoist priests drank pine needle tea as they believed it made them live longer.” I’ll have a second cup, please!!
Making the tea is as easy as boiling a generous handful of pine needles in some water for about 20 minutes. I let it sit and cool for a while with the needles still in, to keep drawing out all of the good stuff.
Some pine needles can be toxic so avoid the Ponderosa, Norfolk Island and Yew variety of needles. I use red pine.
Also, avoid pine needles that could have come in contact with pollution and waste materials. The further out in nature, the better!