Pine needles are not just for use as a cooking material.
The Japanese black pine tree has a very long life span; around several hundred years. Because of this the Japanese black pine tree is a symbol of longevity in Japan. Soon the Japanese people are going to decorate the entrance of their homes with pine tree boughs and pine needles as part of the preparation for welcoming the God of the New Year. It is believed that the God of the New Year arrives at each house toward the end of the year and remains in the pine tree boughs and pine needles while waiting to become the official God of the New Year, emerging from the pine needles and boughs on New Year’s Day.
This was until recently the limit of my knowledge of pine trees and pine needles, until I found the Japanese website which shows how to make a pine needle health-drink. Pine needles surely have many health benefits that they inherit form their old tree hosts. See: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4241895/
This Japanese link shows how to make the drink. https://sutekini-ikiru-cafe.jimdo.com/%E3%83%A9%E3%82%A4%E3%83%96%E3%83%A9%E3%83%AA%E3%83%BC/%E6%83%85%E5%A0%B1%E3%83%A9%E3%82%A4%E3%83%96%E3%83%A9%E3%83%AA%E3%83%BC/%E6%9D%BE%E8%91%89%E3%82%B8%E3%83%A5%E3%83%BC%E3%82%B9/
The recipe advice says you need about 30 very fresh pine needles (not sprayed with chemicals!) per serving. First, rinse them well under running tap water. Transfer the rinsed needles to a blender along with about ½ cup water and process for 30 seconds. Pour the pine needle juice through a strainer, discarding the pine needle mash. Drink it as it is or add it to carbonated water, yogurt, or anything you might think is right.
My grandma didn’t do this. My mother didn’t do this. I am not doing this. Just some pine needle information on what supposedly health-conscious people are doing in Japan. Does it work? Try it and see how you feel. Let me know the results.