- Harvest healthy pine needles from a clean environment. Use any of the true Pinus spp (but not the Yews which are sometimes called Pine). Traditional cultures used eastern pine, white pine and any of the common Pinus spp found throughout the US
- Use a couple large handfuls of needles for a large pot of water
- Wash and cut the needles into small segments
- Simmer needles in a pot of water for an hour or so (no less than 20 minutes though), remove from heat and leave the needles to steep in water overnight
- Strain in the morning and gently reheat if you'd like the tea served hot
- Try it iced for a refreshing summer treat
- Add a small amount of lemon and honey to taste
Use the decoction method to make this tea. Old timers say it's best to simmer an hour or two then leave it over night before straining in the morning. I like this method best for flavor. It is pleasantly aromatic and goes nicely with a little added lemon. I do not add sweetener, though you could if desired.
Pine needles have 4-5 times the levels of vitamin C as an equivalent amount of lemon.