From the Food Bible.
Spruce tea can be made by steeping fresh evergreen needles in water, that will be as potent with the both preventive & curative ascorbic acids as the ordinary orange juice. You can get it even more directly by chewing the tender new Spruce needles, whose starchy green tips are particularly pleasant to eat in the spring.
Pine may just be a popular Christmas tree to you, but to Indians, pioneers, mountain men and hikers, the tree has been a source of nutrition, medicine and at times a lifesaver. All pines share basically the same medicinal qualities. However the main medicinal varieties are scotch pine and white pine. The parts of the tree that are highly medicinal are the needles, inner bark and sap. Pine needle tea is high in vitamins A and C. In fact the fresh green needles have five times the amount of vitamin C found in one lemon. Throughout the centuries, people have literally survived on pine-needle tea as well as cured themselves of scurvy by drinking a tea of both the needles and inner bark of the pine tee.
Offered by Susan.
While reading Plants of the Rocky Mountains I came across this passage under "Lodgepole Pines":
The inner bark is succulent and sweet in May and June (when the sap is running), and it was eaten or chewed like gum. Because it is difficult to digest raw, it was usually boiled: too much caused a bellyache. The nourishing seeds were also eaten. Evergreen tea is high in vitamin C and was taken in winter to prevent or cure scurvy. It is still enjoyed today, often sweetened with sugar, honey, molasses or maple syrup, or spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and orange peel. Evergreen teas should always be used in moderation, because large amounts can be toxic. Pregnant women should not drink this tea.
From another source:
Pine Needle Tea
Crush and snip needles from yellow pine. Boil a pot of water, place pine needles in boiling water, cover, and remove from heat. Let steep from 20 minutes to all night. Refrigerate unused drink. The best tea will be a reddish color and a small amount of oil will rise to the top.
Note from author: if you simmer the tea it will contain less vitamin C.
Offered by Mary.
Pine needles are rich in vitamin C and A. That means that no one need get scurvy if there are pines around. All you have to do is once a day, take a few needles and chew on them for awhile. Swallow the juice to get the vitamins and spit out the needles. You could also make tea out of the needles, but heat kills vitamins, so chewing needles is easiest and best.
Posted on the Pole Shift ning.