Blog: Making Zhingwaak Mshkiiki Waabo (White Pine Tea)


07 May

Jazzmin Foster (who most recently worked with TRACKS in the Development & Delivery position) and her son, Henrick, made some Zhingwaak Mshkiiki Waabo and wanted to share the recipe with you all Making this medicine is the perfect thing to do to stay healthy while social distancing!


Zhingwaak Mshkiiki Waabo (White Pine Tea)

Makes 4 cups of tea / Ready in 20 minutes


Ingredients 

  • 2 handfuls of fresh white pine needles
  • 4 cups of water
  • Maple syrup or honey to taste


How to Make the Magic:

  1. Find a beautiful Zhingwaak
  2. Put your tobacco down and ask that tree to share its medicine with you and give thanks for the gift of its life
  3. Pick needles in bunches from the tree leaving the branch intact for more needles to grow from it
  4. At home, bring the water to the boil in a small pot
  5. Once the water is boiling, take it off the heat, stir in the pine needles and cover.
  6. Set steep for 20-30 minutes
  7. Remove pine needles for the compost
  8. Add sweetener
  9. ENJOY

The Tea will look almost clear and that just right. If the tea becomes dark, you will have cooked out all the nutrients and it will be bitter. Zhingwaak is very delicate and subtle to taste.



In Anishinaabemowin, White pine is known as Zhingwaak or Zhingwaakwag for plural.

Zhingwaak presents herself as a calm and delicate Elder. Every part of her, every aspect is soft, refined and gentle. The way she sways gracefully in the winds, the way her branches elongate elegantly, even her needles are soft and delicate and grow in bunches of 5.

The bark of the Zhingwaak is like an elegant ribbon skirt. She looks as if she is dressed in the most beautiful grey silk wrap tightly around her body.

Her long tapered cones are very much enjoyed green and fresh by squirrels and other animals alike.

White pine sap is so thin that it doesn’t dry in clumps. The sap is strong and potent medicine.

Information from: Plants Have so Much to Give us, All we Have to do is Ask: Anishinaabe Botanical Teachings by Mary Siisip Geniusz. 


Blog & Recipe by: Jazzmin Foster