White Pine Needle Benefits
What is pine needle good for?
White pine needles are an excellent source of antioxidants such as vitamin A and C. The oil found in pine needles contain a natural form of suramin, which in pharmaceutical form is used as a parasitic treatment. Shikimic acid, also found in pine needles, has antiviral properties and is helpful in treating flu and respiratory illness.
White pine needle contains…
A fat soluble vitamin essential for embryo development and growth, immune function, vision health as well as healthy hair and skin.
A water soluble vitamin and essential nutrient for tissue repair, immune system function as well as collagen formation. It may also help shorten the duration of colds and flu.
Antioxidants are essential nutrients (like vitamins A and C) that protect cells from free radical damage, helping to prevent chronic inflammation and disease.
The oil from white pine needles contain a natural form of suramin. The pharmaceutical form of suramin is used as an anti parasitic drug in treating things like river blindness. Suramin also contain anti viral properties through its ability to inhibit viral replication. This article published in Nature shows suramin inhibits SARS-CoV-2 infection in cell cultures by preventing the virus from entering cells.
Shikimic acid has antiviral properties and is used to treat flu and respiratory illness. The pharmaceutical medication known as Tamiflu uses shikimic acid from the star anise plant in its composition.
More about white pine needle benefits…
White Pine Needle Properties
- Immune Health
- Respiratory System
- Urinary System
White Pine Needle Uses
- Immune Support
- Anti parasitic
- Anti viral
Pine needle tea or tincture?
It depends. Both pine needle tea and tincture will offer medicinal properties. It’s really your own personal preference. Tea is an excellent way to get the health benefits of a plant while enjoying a moment to relax. Tinctures are convenient, easy to take and can travel with you if needed.
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How To Make White Pine Needle Tea
You can buy white pine needle tea from most local health stores or online. I recommend buying from a company that locally and sustainably harvests their products. You can also forage for white pine needles if you have access and know how to properly identify pine trees.
To make white pine needle tea, simply add one to two teaspoons of dried pine needles to one cup of hot water. Cover and let steep for 10-15 minutes. Strain and enjoy.
- 1-2 Teaspoons of dried white pine needles
- 1 cup of hot water
- Cover and steep for 10-15 minutes
- Strain & enjoy
Or make a tincture…
How do I make pine needle tincture using store bought tea?
The convenience of a tincture is always nice to have on hand, especially if you’re wanting to get the medicinal benefits from a plant that you can take whenever and wherever you want.
Making tinctures can be simple. This recipe is easy to make using store bought pine needle tea.
How To Make White Pine Needle Tincture (Folk Method)
- White Pine Needles (store bought pine needle tea)
- 80 – 100 proof Vodka (40% vodka will work)
- Coffee Grinder (chop by hand if needed)
- Clean Mason Jar with Lid (parchment or wax paper if using metal lid)
- Tincture Bottle or Mason Jar (for finished tincture)
- Using a coffee grinder, gently grind pine needles into small pieces (not a fine powder). Alternatively you can chop by hand. Breaking up the needles will help extract the medicinal properties of the pine.
- Place pine needles into a clean mason jar.
- Using 80 proof vodka (40% alcohol content), fill the jar so all plant material is covered and alcohol is approximately one to two inches more in volume than the herb.
- If using a metal lid, place a piece of parchment or wax paper over opening before securing lid. This prevents the alcohol from causing the metal lid to rust.
- Using a label, write the name of your tincture with plant, type and percentage of alcohol and date made.
- Place in a dark cupboard, giving a shake every so often.
- Steep for 4-6 weeks. The medicinal properties of the pine needles will cause the alcohol to darken.
- Using a cheesecloth lined strainer, strain the pine needles from the liquid.
- Pour your strained tincture into a clean mason jar or tincture bottle to use as needed. Remember to label these jars as well.
How much pine needle tincture do I use?
General Herbal Tincture Dosage
Deb Soule, author of The Healing Garden: Herbs For Health And Wellness recommends beginning with a small dose (3-5 drops) when you are new to a herb. Notice how you feel, whether that particular plant resonates or not before increasing the dosage.
A general dosage guideline…
One dropper full (approximately 1/4 tsp) taken one to three times a day.
For an acute situation, 1/2 – 1 tsp taken four to six times a day.
As a general guideline for children, one drop of tincture per 5lbs of body weight taken one to three times a day.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. If you are in need of medical attention, seek the advice of a trained medical professional.
Making Tinctures – Frequently Asked Questions
What is a tincture?
- Tinctures are liquid extracts made using herbs and alcohol. The alcohol (usually 80 – 100 proof vodka) extracts the medicinal properties from the plant as it steeps for approximately 4-6 weeks. The plant material is then filtered from the liquid, creating a tincture ready to be used.
Why make it?
- There are so many reasons to make your own tinctures. They are easy and cost effective to make, you control what goes in it and they have a long shelf life. They are also a great way to have access to herbal medicine regardless of the seasons or if you’re on the go.
How long are tinctures good for?
- Tinctures have a long shelf life. Some herbalists will say tinctures are good indefinitely while others say a few years.
What tincture dosage should I use?
- As a general guideline, one dropper full taken one to three times a day.
What is the folk method of tincture making?
- There are a few different ways to make tinctures. I use the folk method of tincture making which is a simple, practical way for the home herbalist as it relies more on an estimation of herb to alcohol ratio rather than an exact measurement of weight and volume.
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