Is Pine Needle Tea good for THE flu ?
There are articles doing the rounds about the benefits of Pine Needle Tea, especially in relation to the anti-viral properties in treating the latest pandemic outbreaks and the side effects of the harmful protein spikes both from the virus and the jab programmes that are rolling out all over the world.
Doing some research I discovered that various Pinus varieties have been used for a long time specifically by the Native American Indians for a variety of medicinal purposes but mostly for respiratory diseases. There are approximately 80 different varieties of Pinus and the majority are not toxic, but a handful is. I will list those later on in the article.
Let’s have a look at how Pine Needle herbal tea can be used for medicinal purposes and why?
The chemical makeup of the plant results in a few of the following actions :
- Mucolytic ( breaks downs mucus)
- Antipyretic ( reduces fever caused by respiratory diseases)
- Antirheumatic (slows down or prevents rheumatic arthritis)
- Rhuebafacient ( dilates blood capillaries to increase blood circulation
- Vermifuge ( expels intestinal parasites such as worms without harming the host)
- Sedative and carminative in bronchioles.
Pinus trees contain Shikimic acid- prevents the reproduction of an influenza virus and similar variant viruses in the human cell and the virus eventually dies.
Pine needle tea is an effective remedy for Bronchitis. The antibacterial and sedative capabilities slow the growth of microorganism that causes bronchitis and at the same time the mucolytic properties of ascorbic acid and other acids are able to dissolve the mucus.
The essential oil used in a burner, diffuser or a few drops in a hot bath or basin breathing in the vapour, is also an effective way to treat bronchitis.
The herbal tea can be used for coughs, colds, pharyngitis, and sinusitis. It is also used for urinary infections in the bladder and kidneys. It is effectively used for nephritis which is a kidney disorder that causes your body to pass too much protein into your urine.
Most Pinus varieties also have Shikimic acid. This is the chemical making headlines at the moment. It is found naturally in many plants, including various pine trees.
This acid has been isolated in laboratories and has been used in the production of the antiviral drug Oseltamivir for many years. It successfully treats the swine flu and other H1N1 viruses and their subsequent variants. It has a couple of actions that make it successful in treating the latest H1N1 variants. It reduces blood coaguability .i.e. blood clots. It is an anticoagulant and antithrombotic. It also prevents the reproduction of the various influenza viruses by preventing the new budding viral particles in the human cells from spreading to other healthy cells. Eventually the virus dies.
This is great to know because the pine tree is commonly grown all over the world which makes pine needle tea easily accessible to be used to treat the various ailments mentioned above.
In South Africa the commonly grown Pinus varieties are Pinus patula also known as the Mexican Weeping Pine and Pinus elliottii also known as the Slash Pine. Both varieties have Shikimic acid in them. Studies have shown that the highest concentration of Shikimic acid is found in newly forming pine needles during the spring and summer and the concentration decreases after leaf formation.
One can use both pine needles and pine buds in herbal teas. Harvest young pine needles or pine buds. Dry them on a sheet of paper or a drying screen out of the sun in an airy place. Leave them to dry. Once dried store in clean dry airtight glass bottles and keep out of direct sunlight, preferably in a dark room or cupboard.
Recipe for Pine Needle or Pine Bud herbal Tea
3 tablespoons of dried pine needles/ dried pine buds or the equivalent of 5 tablespoons of fresh pine needles/ pine buds.
1 litre of hot water
Pour hot water over the pine needles or pine buds and let it seep for a minimum of 20 minutes. Do not boil the pine needles this will break down the vitamins.
This herbal tea can be sipped at, throughout the day for preventative measures. If one is ill, this can be repeated for up to 5 days. Then give a rest for a minimum of 2 days before commencing with this treatment again. Some varieties can be bitter so you can add some honey to sweeten this herbal tea.
The essential oil is mainly distilled from Pinus sylvestis or Scotch Pine and has high concentrations of turpentine in it among other active ingredients. It should not be ingested internally and only used externally in a burner, diffuser or in steam vapours in a bath or basin with hot water in it. You can mix 2 drops of Pine Essential Oil to a table spoon (15ml) of any carrier oil and apply this to your skin.
Click here to see more information about Pine Essential Oil
Please note: The herbal tea should not be ingested by anyone with gastric or duodenal ulcers as it will worsen the condition. Both the Essential oil and the herbal tea should not be used by those who are pregnant or lactating. Over usage of ingesting the herbal tea can cause digestive issues over time due to its high content of tannins.
Toxic Pinus varieties that should not be used medicinally:
Pinus ponderosa - also called the Blackjack Pine, Western Yellow Pine, Yellow Pine and Bull Pine
Pinus contorta v. latifolia also called Lodgepole Pine or Shore Pine
Pinus radiate also called Monterey Pine, Insignis Pine
Araucaria heterophylla also called the Australian Pine, Norfolk Pine, House Pine, and Norfolk Island pine. It is not a true pine.
Taxus baccata also called The Yew. Not a true Pine
Once again we can see that plant-derived products are inexpensive and can be easily accessible in different parts of the world. Natural products are usually found to be less toxic, cheaper, and have very few side effects in comparison with synthetic drugs. Apart from this, they have proved their wide therapeutic benefits for many different types of conditions. Plant-derived remedies have shown over and over again, different kinds of ways that provide treatments against the activities of viruses and bacteria.
Keep well and keep the good vibes vibing
The Lion Heart Lady