The health benefits of pine needle and rose hip tea are amazing. It’s a great midwinter tea to keep colds and flu at bay.
A half cup of finely chopped white pine needles
25 rose hips (if you are using the bigger rose hips from cultivated roses, drop the number to 15 hips)
A tablespoon of honey or cinnamon
1 cup of water
When gathering your pine needles, be sure you know what you’re gathering as some evergreens are poisonous. I find that needles from the white pine are the tastiest, and these trees are easily identifiable by their long, soft needles. Pine needles are full of vitamin C, Vitamin A and antioxidants. Tea made with their needles is great at relieving chest congestion.
Rose hips are the reddish-orange berries left on the bushes after the flowers have died. They are a tasty fruit eaten on their own, in apple sauces, or even breads. Rose hips are loaded with vitamin C, in fact they contain more of this vitamin than citrus fruits. They also have many anti-inflammatory properties and are therefore good for joint pain and arthritis. Different varieties of roses have different tasting berries, it’s all a matter of personal preference. Wild rose hips that have not been subject to fertilizers and sprays are the most healthy.
Mash the rose hips enough to break them open and drop them into a bowl. Place the chopped pine needles on top. Bring the water to a boil and pour it into the bowl with the needles and the rose hips. Cover the bowl and let it seep about 15 minutes. Strain the mixture through a tea strainer or a piece of cloth. (For a faster brew, just drop the pine needles and the rope hips into the water and then bring it to a boil. It will save seeping time. Once it boils, strain the mixture as before.) Mix in the tablespoon of honey (or cinnamon if you prefer) and enjoy the best natural cold remedy there is.
*Do not drink this tea if you are pregnant.
Copyright © Amber Reifsteck ~ The Woodland Elf – Originally published Jan 26, 2010