Eastern White Pine, Pinus strobus

My husband and I went on a walk. A pine limb fell at a distance in front of us. I picked it up and decided to figure out which type of pine tree we found. The bundle, called the fascicle, and the cone helped to identify it. After a little research, we determined we had Pinus strobus, Eastern White Pine. The fascicle had five needles each, and the cone was brown and about 8 inches long. 

We have so many pine needles!

What is in them, and what is the best method of preparation?

According to the research facility for electron microscopy at Carlton University, White Pine Needles have 15 minerals which include the following: Sodium, Magnesium, Aluminum, Silicon, Phosphorus, Sulfur, Chlorine, Potassium, Calcium, Manganese, Iron, Copper and Zinc. It is difficult to know whether or not all thirteen minerals have bioavailability in each fascicle. However, the four ubiquitous ones include Potassium, Phosphorus, Sulfur and Chlorine. 

Potassium is always good. Phosphorus promotes bone health, and Sulfur protects your cells when taken in healthy doses, but the trace element chlorine (which is important to plants) may keep us from ingesting any  significant amount of pine needles. As my father always says, "Everything in moderation."

Pine needles may have more ascorbic acid, Vitamin C, than an orange depending on what time of year the needles are harvested.  Most people seek them out as a Vitamin C supplement. During our research, we also learned pine needles contain Vitamin A. 

A few other plant constituents we discovered --  flavonoids which vary depending on the species of pine tree, and tannins which we learned freshly harvested needles have more tannins than the aged pine needles. 

Freshly harvested and young pine needles are the best to work with. Here are a few ways to prepare pine needles from Pinus strobus. 


Tea with Pine Needles

Standard Infusion Michael Moore 

Use to boost your immune system; It has been known to support good health during cold and flu season. 

Have a therapeutic tea to recover and heal.


Acetum with Pine Needles


A beneficial way to receive the minerals and Vitamin C.

Strain the pine needles and add honey for a tasty oxymel. 


Pine Needle Infused Oil used for Salve and Lip Balm

Recipe by Rosalee DeLa Foret and Emily Han


Pine Tincture

Folk Method Vodka 50%  ABV

 Herbal Academy recommends a small dose:

 1/4 to 1/2 mL ( 5 -20 drops) diluted in a cup of warm water.


Liqueur with Pine Needles 

Recipe by Rebecca Altman

Strain and let age for one year.

Pitch and Resin

Nicholas Culpeper recommended using the resin to make an ointment. 

This is where I will have to follow up with you at another time.  I am still collecting pitch.

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