Pine Needle tea has been known for its many health benefits since a long time ago. It even has become increasingly popular over the last few years. However, there are still many common misconceptions about it.
Through this following article, we would provide every facts and information that you need to know about Pine Needle Tea. From benefits to side effects, even how to make it, so please keep reading to discover.
What is Pine Needle Tea?
Pine needle tea is a herbal tea made from the leaves of pine trees, or you usually call it pine needle. You can use fresh pine needle or dried pine needle to make it.
Pine trees can be found across the world, from cold to subtropical regions and each country has its own history and folklore attached to pine trees. Because of its benefits, pine needle tea is consumed in the US and many Asian cultures.
In Japan, there are two most important native species of pine needle; Pinus thunbergii (kuro matsu, translated as “Japanese black pine”) and Pinus densiflora (aka matsu, translated as “Japanese red pine”).
Pine needle grow naturally in various areas in Japan and has been popular since ancient times. It can be proven by the pine needle’s appearance in ukiyo-e prints, kimono patterns, and family crests. Beside consuming pine needle by brewing them as tea, people in Japan also use them for bathing.
What does Pine Needle Tea Taste Like?
Pine needle tea has a pleasant herbaceous taste and refreshing scent. The taste could depend on the variety of pine needle you use. It can have a hint of citrus taste. Some people also said that the taste reminds them of basil or peppermint tea.
Are Pine Needles Safe to Consume?
Most pine needles are safe to make tea. However, there are some varieties contain harmful toxins. There are at least about 20 known toxic varieties of pine trees such as Yew (Taxus), Norfolk Island Pine (Araucana heterophylla), and Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa). Rather than risk yourself, It is better to buy Pine needle Tea that has been safely produced.
Pine Needle Tea Nutritional Information
Pine needle have been used as herbal medicine for a long time, and contain rich nutritional components which leads to possible benefits. Pine Needle Tea Nutritional Components include:
One of Chlorophyll's benefits is relieving constipation because it cleans your intestines. It can also help to transport nutrients and oxygen into the body cells.
Quercetin is a type of flavonoid and polyphenol, it is a component that is mainly contained in vegetables such as onions. One of Quercetin's benefits is improving blood circulation and preventing arteriosclerosis.
Terpene Essential Oil (alpha-pinene)
Terpenes are components that make essential oils have a strong scent. Terpenes are said to promote various health benefits, such as helping you sleep or boosting your energy level. It is also effective for relaxing, refreshing, and relieving fatigue.
Vitamin and Minerals
Pine needle tea is rich in vitamins, especially vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K.
Pine Needle Tea Benefits
It is said that the medicinal benefit of pine needle has been recognized in China for a long time and the record was found in 500 years old Chinese medicine books. There is also a legend that said hermits ate them as an elixir for longevity. Below you can see pine needle tea benefits, not only to your body but also to your mind.
#1 Rich in Vitamins (Vitamin A, C, and K)
The most well-known reason for pine needle tea’s popularity is its Vitamin C concentration. Vitamin C helps to improve your immune system and is also well-known as an antioxidant. They also contain vitamin A which is good for your eyesight and skin, and Vitamin K which is good to help your body to make various proteins that are needed for blood clotting and the building of bones.
#2 The Power of Antioxidants
Pine needle tea could be a very rich source of antioxidants which may be essential for fighting free radicals, cancer, chronic conditions, and preventing diseases.
A published research demonstrate that pine needle exhibit strong antioxidant, antimutagenic, and antiproliferative effects on cancer cells and also antitumor effects in vivo and point to their potential usefulness in cancer prevention
Antioxidant, antimutagenic, and antitumor effects of pine needles (Pinus densiflora)
#4 Keep Your Heart and Respiratory Healthy
#5 Weight Management
Pine needle Tea calories are minimal, which is excellent news for those looking to cut down their intake. The average serving will contain no more than two calories.
It is also said that pine needle tea can boost the metabolism of fat cells. Metabolism is a process where the body converts fuel such as fat and muscle into energy. Pine needle Tea consumption could lead to your body burning fat quicker and more efficiently.
But remember that drinking it for weight loss only works when you’re burning more calories than you consume through your diet and physical activity.
#6 Essential Oils to Improve Body Circulation System, Relieving Fatigue and Relaxing
Terpenes which is an essential oil component in pine needle tea are said to help you to have a better sleep or boosting your energy level. It is also effective for relaxing, refreshing, and relieving fatigue. One of the way to feel this benefits is using pine needle tea as a bath tea.
How to Make Pine Needle Tea
There are two ways to brew pine needle tea: brewing in a pot or kettle and brewing in a kyūsu or Japanese traditional teapot.
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Effective Way to Drink Pine Needle Tea
Pine needle tea contains a lot of essential oil and fat-soluble vitamins. We recommend drinking pine needle tea after meals because it decomposes and absorbs oil well. It's a good idea to have it as a drink after breakfast or dinner.
Besides in dried leave form, there are also pine needle powder-type products that you can drink by simply powdering the leaves and pouring hot water. This way is recommended for easier making.
Please remember to use a moderate fixed amount for a long time instead of drinking a lot at once. You can drink pine needle tea every day but you should avoid drinking too much. It is recommended to only try about half a cup for the first time. If you are sure that your body has been used to it and you feel no side effects, you can consume it once or twice a day.
Pine Needle Tea for Bath Tea
In Japan, dried pine needle are also commonly used as Bath Tea. The essential oils in pine needle improve your body circulation system. And the gentle scent of pine needle is said to have the benefit of relieving fatigue and relaxing.
Here is how to use the dried pine needle as part of your bath routine:
1. Put 30g of dried pine needle (about 7.5 tablespoons) in a large tea pack.
2. Let it simmer for a while.
3. Then put it in your bathtub.
Pine Needle Tea Possible Side Effects
Basically, there are no side effects if you use non-toxic pine needle. But it is important to consume pine needle tea according to your physical condition.
Please avoid drinking pine needle tea if you are taking warfarin, a drug that is used to treat people who have blood clot problems.If you have a weak gastrointestinal tract, use it with caution as it may cause gastrointestinal problems.
People with pine allergies may experience throat damage, nausea, and diarrhea. In rare cases, the essential oil of pine needle also can cause symptoms such as stomachache and skin rash.
Pregnant women and those who are still in the breastfeeding period should refrain from consuming pine needle tea since it contains a small amount of caffeine.
Pine Needle Tea FAQ
- Is Pine needle tea good for you?
- Yes, pine needle tea contains rich nutritional components which leads to possible benefits such as: source of vitamins, the power of antioxidant, antiviral properties, keep your heart and respiratory healthy, weight management, and for relieving fatigue and relaxing. For more detail about each benefits please read Pine Needle Tea Benefits section.
- Is Pine needle toxic?
- Most pine needle are safe to make tea. However, there are some varieties that contain harmful toxins. There are at least about 20 known toxic varieties of pine trees such as Yew (Taxus), Norfolk Island Pine (Araucana heterophylla), and Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa).
- What are the side effects of pine needle tea?
- Basically, there are no side effects if you use non-toxic pine needle. Avoid drinking pine needle tea if you are taking warfarin, or allergies to pine. Those who have a weak gastrointestinal tract also should use it with caution as it may cause gastrointestinal problems. The essential oil of pine needle also can cause symptoms such as stomachache and skin rash in rare case.
- Is it okay to drink pine needle tea during pregnancy and lactation?
- Pine needle tea contains a small amount of caffeine. Pregnant women should refrain from taking caffeine, it means better to avoid pine needle tea during pregnancy and lactation period.
- How much pine needle tea can you drink?
- You can drink pine needle tea every day but you should avoid drinking too much. It is recommended to only try about half a cup for the first time. If you are sure that your body has been used to it and you feel no side effects, you can consume it once or twice a day.
- When is the best time to drink pine needle tea?
- We recommend drinking pine needle tea after meals especially after breakfast and/or dinner because it decomposes and absorbs oil well.
- Where to buy pine needle tea?
- If you are living far away from pine forests, or you don't want to risk yourself by mistakenly choosing toxic pine needle for tea, there are some great quality pine needle teas available online. You can also check our product recommendation below which use Japanese domestic and premium dried pine needle.
Recommended Pine Needle Tea Products
- Japanese Domestic Pine Needle Tea (100% Japanese dried pine needle) by Nakajima Seiyaku
- A carefully selected Japanese dried pine needle pack of 100g. This product has undergone strict quality control procedures by skilled craftsmen from Nakajima Seiyaku, Japan. We are paying attention to the production area, quality, and safety of our product. Enjoy our domestically produced dried pine needle without worry.
- Pack of 100g
- View Product
- Japanese Domestic Pine Needle Tea (100% Japanese dried pine needle) by Nakajima Seiyaku
- A carefully selected Japanese dried pine needle pack, set of 2 x 100g. This product has undergone strict quality control procedures by skilled craftsmen from Nakajima Seiyaku, Japan. We are paying attention to the production area, quality, and safety of our product. Enjoy our domestically produced dried pine needle without worry.
- Set of 2 x 100g
- View Product