Living in a northerly climate, I have often speculated about how aboriginal people avoided diseases caused by vitamin deficiencies like scurvy (no imported citrus in those days.)
According to wikipedia, the French explorer Jacques Cartier and his men were saved by the natives showing them how to
boil the needles of the arbor vitae tree (Eastern White Cedar) to make a tea that was later shown to contain 50 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams.
Has any one ever made this concoction? The instructions at eHow seem pretty straight forward, but I am still a bit nervous about the whole thing. After reading a passage like
If you have access to fresh, bright-green pine needles, you too can enjoy this unusual tea
questions that occur to me like "will any kind of pine's needles do, or are some poisonous" have prevented me from experimenting.
Inquiring minds need to know!