The Pine Medicine

The Pine Medicine

Pine trees are a treasure trove of medicinal benefits, offering a range of remedies through their needles, inner bark, and resin. Pine needles, often referred to as "pine tops," are traditionally used in teas to combat fevers, coughs, and colds. Not only do they possess diuretic properties, but they are also a good source of Vitamin C. On the other hand, pine bark, known for its astringency compared to needles, has been historically utilized for coughs and colds. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, certain species of pine wood are infused in wine and applied topically for joint pain relief.

Harvesting pine involves gathering fresh needles in spring for the best taste and potency. The bark can be collected for topical applications such as poultices or infusions in bathwater to soothe muscle aches. Additionally, resin from pine trees, also known as pitch, serves as an effective antimicrobial dressing for wounds and can aid in the removal of splinters. Proper identification is crucial during harvesting to ensure you are dealing with true pines and not toxic look-alikes like yew.

Understanding the diverse uses of different parts of the pine tree and following correct harvesting techniques is essential to benefit from their medicinal properties safely and effectively. It is important to note that long-term internal use of pine bark and resin should be avoided due to potential kidney irritation risks. By appreciating the versatility of pine components and adhering to recommended guidelines for harvesting and usage, individuals can tap into the rich medicinal potential that these trees offer. 

Mighty Pine Tea Recipe

This recipe combines pine tops with dried peppermint and catnip for relief from sinus and lung congestion.



  • Medium pot with lid


  • 1 quart water
  • 1 small handful of pine needle tops (Pinus spp.) - Fresh or dried.
  • 1.5 Tablespoons dried peppermint (Mentha x piperita)
  • 1 Tablespoon dried catnip (Nepeta cataria)


  • Boil the pine needle tops in the water for twenty minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and add the peppermint and catnip.
  • Cover and let steep for an additional twenty minutes.
  • Strain and add honey if desired.


Sip on the tea while hot, reheating each cup as needed throughout the day. Adults can drink three cups a day. Children’s dosages should be lessened proportionally.

Back to blog