As A Mainer, Would You Be Brave Enough To Drink Pine Needle Tea?
Hmmm... I might be...
Funny story... when I was 10 or 11, the neighbor kid and I snuck a couple of my mother's cigarettes out of her pack and took them into the woods to try smoking. It was awful. Just as awful as you'd imagine. I'm pretty sure the other kid almost threw up. We were grossed right out, and I never really earnestly tried smoking again. To this day.
But, as we finished our little woodsy smoking adventure, my friend got super paranoid that our parents would smell smoke on our breath. So we ate a bunch of pine needles. Then my friend definitely threw up. Honestly, they tasted worse than the cigarettes. Like a medicine-y dirt flavor. Disgusting.
Fast forward to adulthood...
In my late 30s, I became obsessed with Survivorman. Les Stroud is pretty much one of my personal heroes. But anyway, often when out on his excursions, when he had access to water and the temps were cold, he'd make himself pine needle tea. Naturally, all I could think of was me being a kid and trying to not smell like a Marlboro burp.
But in reality, it's extremely good for you. There is a myriad of alleged health benefits. Granted, these claims have not been evaluated scientifically, but historically there's a lot of anecdotal evidence out there. It's quite likely got more Vitamin C than oranges. It could help vision. Native Americans often used it for respiratory ailments.
Not to mention antioxidants, lots of vitamins ... it may even help cognitive functions. Heck, there are even people on YouTube who think it's some kind of cure-all for Covid. But again, none of these claims have been verified. There was a great thread on Reddit talking about it as well.
However, it does do one thing, according to the video I'm posting here.
It tastes good. I actually tried it. A little splash of honey, and it wasn't too bad. It tasted like you'd think... Kind of "green", very earthy, and of course, piney. But don't take my word for it. Scope this video and brew some up for yourself to try.