Do you love the scent of pine you find everywhere during the holiday season? Do you ever wonder what the benefits of pine needles and is there any way to incorporate this wonderful scent into your life more naturally? The answer is Yes! pine has so much to offer.
I have loved pine trees as long as I can remember.
In the southwest corner of Kansas where I grew
Back then, I thought I was the queen of the trees, but especially that tree. I could climb to the very top, and sit up there forever. Sitting there, queen of my tree with a snack in hand I would tell the old pine about my day.
That pine was there all my childhood and a big part of my love of trees and nature in general.
Thankfully pine is a fairly common tree both in North America and in different places around the world.
Pine is known and loved for being a softwood and evergreen (that doesn’t lose its beauty even in the coldest of winter months).
What many people don’t know is that there are many health benefits of pine needles. Additionally, the practice of foraging and using pine needles for a huge variety of reasons goes back a long, long way.
Health benefits of pine needles
A few of the health benefits of pine needles are the high levels of vitamin A which makes it wonderful for the skin and its extremely high levels of vitamin C (in fact several times more than that of a lemon or a glass of orange juice).
Pine needles and their high vitamin C levels help to boost the immune system which in turn helps to fight off those pesky infections.
Pine needles have often been the go-to for chest complaints as it is a very effective expectorant.
And although pine needles may not be FDA approved, they have been successfully used by indigenous people of northern regions of the Americas and Europe for centuries (or likely even longer) to combat symptoms of scurvy, which becomes present with low levels of vitamin C.
Other ailments pine is known to help:
- chest congestion
- sore throat
- fights depression/ anxiety
- improves mental clarity
- improves adrenal function
- calms the nervous system
- lowers blood pressure
- aids in preventing weight gain
- powerful insecticidal to help keep bed bugs or fleas or lice away
Foraging for pine
So you love the idea of using pine needles in your life, but you don’t have any pine trees on your property. That’s ok. You can still forage for them!
- Has the area been sprayed with toxic chemicals?
- Do you have or can you get permission to forage?
- Only take only what you need never more
How to use pine needles
With the many benefits of pine needles, the use of pine needles can be very versatile. With so many ways to use pine needles in beauty, home and health, really the options are almost limitless.
DIY Pine household cleaner
Pack a jar half to two thirds full of pine needles and cover them with white vinegar. Let this sit and infuse for 4-6 weeks. If you want a stronger pine smell, stain the pine needles out and compost while packing the jar full again and repeat the infusion process again. You will have a very strong pine vinegar.
Using a spray bottle use your pine infused vinegar as an all-purpose cleaning solution diluted down with water. Great for cleaning windows, surfaces anything. If you would like an antibacterial cleaner add 5-10 drops of tea tree oil as well.
Just like that you have yourself a very green forest-fresh home.
Pine Needle Tea
Since pine needles are so high in vitamin c pine needle tea makes for a great health tonic. When feeling under the weather, a little congested, or just need a bit of a health boost. Infuse pine needles into hot water for 5-8 minutes.
Strain, drink and enjoy as often as you desire.
Pine & Calendula Face and Body Oil
The fact that pine needles are packed so full of vitamins and minerals makes them a great plant to use in beauty and skincare. High amounts of vitamins both A and C make it wonderful for anti-aging and overall skin health.
To make Pine oil, pack a jar half to two thirds full of cleaned and dry pine needles. Fill the jar full of your choice of oil. Olive oil make s a great oil for dry or mature skin, grapeseed or almond oil make great options for sensitive skin. With a lid on the jar place in a sunny place for 4-6 weeks then strain out pine needles.
Mix half and
Stovetop diffused pine
Over the years of becoming a natural health nut, I have loved using essential oils as much as the next. However one of the things that the natural homesteading life has shown me is how to actually use plant material instead of and essential oil. It saves on plant material, packaging, trash, and the wallet.
One great way to use plant materials instead of essential oils is to diffuse them into the air much the same as those essential oil diffusers. The tools you need I promise are much simpler and I guarantee you have them on hand already.
All you really need is your plant material in this case pine needles, along with any other plants you wish to use. Fill a small pot 3/4 full of water, toss in your plants or herbs, and put it on a burner over low.
Some of the plant combos I like to use:
- Immune boosting- pine, clove & cinnamon (decongestant, anti-viral, circulatory stimulant)
- Winter friendly- pine, sage & bay (refreshing, antidepressant, uplifting)
- Tranquility- pine, juniper berries & lavender (refreshing, healing, calming)
I love to use this method of diffusing plant power into the air, as it uses much less plant material than traditional essential oils and it puts a little extra humidity into the air which is always helpful when feeling under the weather.
If you are anything like me you love using nature, beautiful effective nature to benefit you in a sustainable way. Luckily the ever-abundant pine has so much to offer us. And what’s better than the wonderful benefits of pine needles at little or no cost?
Forget OTC stuff from the drug store pine needle tea for your next chest cold. Forget those chemically smelling air sprays next time you want to freshen up the smell in your home diffuse a few pine needles on the stove. Not only will you have saved money, saved trash and packaging you also created a greener and health-supporting home ♡♡♡
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From our family to yours, thanks for stopping by
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Beth is a mother of 5 living on a handful of acres in an old farmhouse in central Kansas. Beth has a background in the military and health and fitness however her passions come from her homestead life. Beth is an enthusiastic homeschooling mom, avid organic gardener, chicken & goat wrangler, who is obsessed with herbs and natural remedies and maintaining an all-around Do-It-Yourself lifestyle. Beth loves to share all she has learned about and sustainable living. While striving for a healthy, natural life, family-centered life.