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Thread: Question about ingesting pine sap...

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2017

    Question Question about ingesting pine sap...

    Hey everyone,

    I went on a hike yesterday with my partner here in central pa. We came across some pine trees that were freshly cut down; the PA Game Commission is doing some clearing/timbering on Line Mountain, in Northumberland county. We love to pick off the pine needles and smell that wonderful smell :-) But yesterday, one of the standing red pines, was bumped by one of the forest machines. It was bleeding sap. I do have prior military training, and I'm an avid watcher of survival shows, so I know about the pine needles, and the inner cambium layer. What I have never heard about.... ingesting/tasting the actual sap.

    I learned in the military about the edibility test; so I placed a little red pine sap on my lip. I noticed a very bitter taste, and in my training, this means to not try any more. So my question: has anyone ever tasted pine sap? I'm talking raw, directly from the standing tree. After the bitter taste went away, my lips were sticky. Today I have been going to the bathroom a little more than usual; lol. I am wondering... is the raw pine sap actually poisonous?

    Just curious. I know how valuable pine resin can be, especially when trying to start a fire. I'm wondering what you more experienced members think about this?

    Post Note* We often chew on birch twigs and sassafras. I love the taste of these, especially if my water is running low. I have also eaten blackberries, but that's about it. I know... not to touch mushrooms/fungus, unless shown by an experienced bushman/woman.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Again, thanks for allowing me to ask and join this forum. I just joined today. I hope everyone has a great day.

  2. #2
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Central Indiana


    the bitter taste is the terpenes in the sap. You can chew it. It won't hurt you. About the worst thing that will happen is it will get stuck to your teeth if it is sticky. That and the bitter taste. They make gum out of it. Not my cup of pine needle tea though.

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