Drink Your Christmas Tree
Yes! You really can drink your christmas tree! I read a post about eating your christmas tree from a fellow homesteader – Whole Fed Homestead. So I started researching about the health benefits of pine trees. I was surprised, although I shouldn’t be, because nature is truly amazing. Why wouldn’t God provide us with the most Vitamin C in the winter thru these great trees. Pine needles are loaded with vitamin A and C. They are rich in antioxidants, flavonoids and more. Pine needle tea was common among American Indians to stay healthy in the winter months. Korea has also used pine needles medicinally for centuries. Here’s a more recent study on the benefits of pine needles.
This is one of the reasons why I love homesteading. It brings you closer to nature. I am always learning something new. A new reason to be in awe of the Creator.
Now, keep in mind you’ll need to make sure your particular tree is edible. Most conifers are edible. According to several sources such as the Garden Guide, there are 3 types of pines that are not edible: yew, ponderosa and australian. Also use caution if you are or can get pregnant. It’s not recommended to drink pine needle tea during pregnancy.
So, how can you drink your Christmas Tree? Here’s a few things I’m trying.
Pine Needle Tea:
- Cut the needles from your tree
- Wash and place in a cup or jar
- Pour hot water over the needles
- The needles will float to the surface
- Let the tea steep until the needles sink to the bottom or turn a dull green
- Strain out the needles and drink up
- For more flavor add a drop of cinnamon, lemon, or orange essential oil. Another option is sweetener, fresh or dried fruits.
You can also make sun needle tea. Place your clean needles in a jar with luke warm water. Place in a warm spot for 8 hrs. Here’s a picture of my tea. I added a drop of cinnamon essential oil. YUM!
Place clean needles in a mason jar; add organic olive oil until needles are covered. Store jar in a cool, dark place for 3 weeks. Strain and use in salad dressings or cooking. This is a great flavoring for fish. You can also make salves and chap stick with this oil. (stay tuned for my future posts).
Place clean needles in a mason jar; add honey until the needles are covered. Store jar in a cool, dark place for 3 weeks. Strain and add a few drops of lemon essential oil. This can be added to drinks or ice cream. It’s also great for throat irritation. The vitamin C from the pine needles, the antibacterial properties in the honey and lemon make a great syrup for the throat.
Warning*** Not all essential oils can be ingested. Always follow the bottle label.