I came across a magnificent, mature white pine tree laying across the ground in the woods, from the look of it, freshly fallen. it must have come down during super-storm Sandy. I harvested needles and twigs to honor its life and death by making a delicious, medicinal infusion.
On my way out of the woods by a familiar path, I stopped when I saw that two tall sassafras trees that had formerly flanked the trail entrance were also laying on the ground. Their roots were exposed to the cold afternoon air. Giving thanks for their gifts, I broke off some small roots to dry for infusions....
I filled a stainless steel soup pot with about 3 cups of well-chopped pine needles and twigs, and broke up about a half-cup of the semi-dried sassafras roots, covered them with cold water, brought it all to a boil, then turned it down to a simmer, covered, for hours.
This delicious infusion is both moistening and astringent, bringing healing to lungs, lymph, skin, liver, kidneys and joints! And if that wasn't enough, pine induces inner peace and sassafras elevates your mood.
I loved the tea and drank it freely, knowing I was supporting my immune and respiratory health with the best possible preventative medicine that was wild and local.
One night I turned it into desert by stirring cinnamon powder and vanilla extract into organic, canned, whole coconut milk and slowly poured it into a cup of the pine sassafras infusion for a startlingly yummy, healthy dessert. You can choose your proportions according to your own taste. Enjoy!!