Pine needle tea is a natural tea made from pine trees' leaves (needles). This natural brew is what many Australian women turn to when they need a pick-me-up. The fresh citrusy smell and taste can not only enhance your physical self but can give you a positive outlook on life.
Pine needle tea has been found to have many physical health benefits for your body, such as weight loss and relieving coughs and colds. Additionally, women have reported that the tea can improve mental clarity and elevate mood.
If you have never experienced pine needle tea, this article will attempt to answer any questions you might have about this flavourful tea.
The health benefits of Pine needle tea
While formal research on this tea is limited, anecdotal evidence has shown that many Australian women report physical health benefits from drinking it.
Pine needle tea has been claimed to have high levels of vitamins C and A and antioxidant properties. Other benefits of drinking the tea include:
- Improvements to hair, skin, and eyes
- Aids in weight loss
- Good for your cardiovascular health
- Relieves colds and coughs
Pine needle tea may have more vitamin C than oranges
Vitamin C is vital for continued health. Our bodies do not store vitamin C, so we must consume it regularly to maintain levels appropriate for our bodies.
Pine needle tea has a significant level of vitamin C - five times more than oranges and lemons, which have always been associated with high vitamin C levels. The vitamin C found in this tea can provide the following benefits:
- Combatting fatigue
- Minimising varicose veins
- Treating skin issues such as dermatitis
This study shows how vitamin C is vital for maintaining good skin health, and it can also protect against dangerous UV rays when consumed regularly. The recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin C is 65 – 90 mg per day. Pine needle tea can provide some of the RDI.
Other ways to consume natural vitamin C:
- Fresh green vegetables
- Citrus fruits
- Kiwi fruit
Vitamin C found in pine needle tea can help:
- Prevent cell damage
- promote collagen production
- strengthen blood vessels
- prevent unsightly varicose veins from becoming worse.
If you are feeling fatigued and require a pick-me-up, pine needle tea can provide you with enough vitamin C to prevent you from feeling super tired all the time. There has been some success with vitamin C being used to treat the more severe condition of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Vitamin C found in this tea has many benefits to your body, including
- treatment for skin conditions
- preventing varicose veins from worsening
- stopping you from feeling fatigued.
Vitamin A in pine needle tea can improve your eyes, hair, and skin
Your skin and hair are your crowning glory. When we look good, we feel good. Luckily the versatile pine needle tea can also benefit and boost our appearance while improving our eyesight.
Pine needle tea contains vitamin A. Vitamin A is responsible for improving skin and hair regeneration and taking care of our eyesight. When sipped as tea, Pine needles can supply some of the RDI of vitamin A to your body.
Vitamin A is one of the essential vitamins for our vision. A deficiency in vitamin A can cause dryness of the cornea and what optometrists call night blindness. This journal article talks about nutritional night blindness and how a vitamin A deficiency, amongst other things, can be the cause of this treatable condition. Pine needle tea can contribute some of the vitamin A we need.
When we have enough vitamin A, our skin and hair also benefit. The recommended daily intake of vitamin A is 700 micrograms for women.
Vitamin A found in pine needle tea can help to keep your hair and skin moisturised and youthful which is vital to women living in a harsh Australian climate. Vitamin A can also be applied topically to the skin as part of your everyday moisturising.
For some more teas available to help you achieve glowing skin, read these articles:
Pine needle tea can aid in weight loss
Pine needle tea has been found to possess some of the same properties as black and green tea with weight loss benefits.
Pine needle tea has properties that can boost the metabolism of your fat cells, which means that your body can burn more fat following a cup of tea. Metabolism is the process where your body converts fat and muscle into energy. The other good news is that the average serving of pine needle tea is less than two calories per serving.
This Korean study found that pine needle tea had an anti-obese effect when consumed daily. The study found visceral fat and weight gain significantly lower in study subjects than those who drank no tea.
It is important to note that drinking pine needle tea alone will not cause weight loss unless you burn more calories than you consume. For some tips on losing weight, the Australian Government website Health Direct has some guidelines.
For further information about slimming teas available, read these articles:
- The best slimming teas in Australia and New Zealand
- The best natural appetite suppressant teas
- You can lose weight and belly fat by drinking hibiscus tea
Cardiovascular health can be improved by drinking pine needle tea
It is claimed that pine needle tea can be good for your heart. It may reduce cholesterol levels and improve oxygen supply to your cardiovascular system. The presence of chlorophyll in pine needles can help to transport oxygen and nutrients to your body cells.
This study found that combining pine needle extract with cardio exercise improved cholesterol levels in the subjects. Other benefits to the cardiovascular system include:
- reduction in the fatty cells found in the liver
- Lowering blood pressure
A further study shows how the active ingredients in pine needles, ethyl acetate extract, can help lessen oxidative stress by scavenging free radicals and reducing inflammation to improve heart health.
For more information on teas with anti-inflammatory properties, read these articles:
- The best anti-inflammatory teas in Australia and New Zealand
- The anti-inflammatory potential of aniseed myrtle
Pine needle tea has antioxidant properties
It is well-documented that antioxidants are known to help prevent some cancers and boost our immune systems. Pine needle tea is another source of antioxidants.
Antioxidants are found in many types of tea, including pine needle tea green and black tea. According to this study, the pine needle is a well-known source of antioxidants. Scientists carried out extensive tests on both fresh and dried pine needles from different species of pine trees and found the levels of antioxidants to be significant.
A diet high in foods and beverages containing antioxidants can prevent many serious diseases such as cancers and heart disease.
Can I drink pine needle tea if I am pregnant?
It is not recommended that you drink pine needle tea when pregnant or breastfeeding as it could cause miscarriage, or your breastfeeding infant could have a reaction to you drinking pine needle tea. Read:
Pine needle tea can relieve the symptoms of colds and coughs
When I have a cold or cough, I reach for the pine needle tea straight away! The fresh citrusy flavour of pine needle tea may be just the tonic for your stuffy nose.
Many people find that pine needle tea can soothe the symptoms of colds and coughs, such as:
- Sore throat
- Blocked sinuses
- Excess mucus
- Stubborn coughs
As discussed, pine needle tea can have up to 5 times more vitamin C than oranges and lemons. Vitamin C is traditionally used to stave off colds and help you recover quicker.
The antibacterial qualities of pine needle tea can help fight throat infection and relieve chest congestion by working as an expectorant. The antibacterial properties of pine needles can break down stubborn mucus and ease coughs when taken with a teaspoon of organic honey.
How much pine needle tea can you drink?
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Always start with a moderate fixed amount of tea over a more extended period instead of drinking a lot all at once. It is safe to drink pine needle tea every day, and we recommend you try about half a cup the first time. If you feel okay with this amount over several days, you can safely consume it daily.
Pine needle tea should be consumed following a meal (breakfast or dinner) to achieve maximum absorption and prevent any gastrointestinal reactions.
The physical benefits of drinking pine needle tea range from providing some of the necessary vitamin C and A we require to remain healthy and as a treatment for coughs and colds. There could also be benefits for your cardiovascular health and possible prevention of some cancers and serious illnesses.
Pine needle tea for mental clarity and focus
The properties of pine needle tea benefit our bodies and our minds. Mental clarity and focus are so important in our busy lives.
When used as a complementary treatment, pine needle tea can be a natural remedy for regaining mental clarity in times of difficulty and stress. People have reported that the scent of pine needle tea can:
- alleviate stress
- help with mood stabilisation
- give a feeling of well-being
The scent of pine needle tea can elevate your mood
Aromatherapy is one of the oldest known natural therapies. Using the power of scent can significantly affect your well-being and boost your mood. The fresh smell of pine needle tea always makes me feel happy!
The scent of pine needle tea or fresh pine needles can make you feel good by elevating feelings of well-being and clarity. While there have not been numerous studies into the effect of pine needle tea as an aromatherapy treatment, the anecdotal evidence is proof enough.
Pine needle tea could be beneficial for treating depression
As a complementary treatment for depression, pine needle tea could benefit those who suffer from this debilitating illness.
This study found that pine needles contain some flavonoids that come from ethanolic extracts in pine needles, which can help with serotonin levels and may alleviate the symptoms of depression. While this study is positive, there still needs to be further studies conducted on human brains to ascertain how much it can help.
Clinical depression can be a severe condition, so it is important to note that pine needle tea alone is not a holistic treatment. Always seek help from your doctor or contact Beyond Blue for helpful resources and contacts.
If anxiety is an issue for you, these articles could be helpful:
- Can lemon balm help with anxiety?
- Valerian Root: my best natural supplement for anxiety
- Which herbal teas should I drink for stress and anxiety?
Pine needle tea can help you sleep
When I struggle to fall asleep, I like to take something natural to give me as much quality sleep as possible. Pine needle tea has some properties that make rest possible.
This study showed that pine needles could increase sleep duration and reduce sleep latency in the subjects without significant toxic effects. The active ingredients found in some species of pine trees that induce hypnotic/sleep effects are:
- terpenoids (e.g. linalool)
- flavonoids (e.g. quercetin)
Quercetin can alter the sleep-wake cycle, which we know as circadian rhythms. If our circadian rhythms are out of kilter, we can experience insomnia and wakefulness.
For further information about solving your sleep problem naturally, read these articles:
How do I make pine needle tea?
Put around 10 grams (2 teaspoons) of pine needle tea into a pot with a litre of water. Bring the water to a boil and allow the water to simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the tea to cool. Strain the needles from the liquid, and the brew is ready to consume. You can drink it hot or cool.
The results of the limited studies available on this topic can show the mental health and well-being advantages of consuming or inhaling the scent of pine needle tea. Pine needle tea can be an effective complementary treatment for depression and other disorders such as insomnia.
What are the possible side effects of Pine needle tea?
As with any alternative or complementary therapy, it is essential to take note of recommendations as to how much you should consume. While pine needle tea is known to be non-toxic, there are still some conditions where you should take precautions.
Reasons you should practice caution:
- you are on blood-thinning medication such as warfarin
- you are pregnant
- you are breastfeeding
- you have asthma or allergies
- you have a weak gastrointestinal tract
If you experience any one or some of the above conditions, it is probably best to avoid consuming pine needle tea.
Can you be allergic to pine needles?
Yes, like anything you consume or encounter, you can have an allergy to pine needles. Pine trees can cause itchy red eyes and a rash for some people when they encounter pine needles. Others who have severe net allergies can react due to pine trees' pine nuts. Pine nuts can cause mild to severe reactions, including anaphylaxis.
Drinking pine needle tea can provide many positive outcomes for our mental and physical health. This fragrant natural beverage can provide you with some of the RDI of vitamins A and C, as well as being a healthy tonic for your cardiovascular health.
While there has been very little scientific research into the benefits of pine needle tea, people have been drinking the tea for centuries. The anecdotal evidence suggests that it can be a safe and natural complementary treatment for many ailments.
No one could deny that the scent of pine needles is a very pleasing aromatic treat. The benefits of aromatherapy have been known for thousands of years. Pine tree leaves can remind us of Christmas even here in sunny Australia! Or it can make us feel that all is right with the world. However, you choose to enjoy pine needle tea, remember just to breathe!