This video helps you to identify lodgepole pine but any tree in the pine family will have similar actions. We have several other species of pine trees around the County but this one is probably the most common. The needles of all pine trees grow in bundles rather than singly like you would see in a spruce or fir tree. Lodgepole has bundles of 2-3 needles. .
Pine needles, bark, and resin have long been used to help with cough and respiratory symptoms. The tea is pleasant tasting and is a mild expectorant that helps when coughs are not productive or to increase elimination when there is a lot of mucous. This can help with chest pain and wheeziness that often accompanies cold and flus. This remedy has also been used to help with the inflammation and pain that can occur during a bronchial infection. When there is also nausea and exhaustion, pine needles make a wonderful, accessible ally. If you are having severe symptoms be sure to check with your healthcare provider and follow their advice.
To use for coughs: A handful of pine needles (remove from branch) can be added to 4 cups of boiling water. Turn down the heat and allow it to simmer for 20 minutes. Strain and sip warm throughout the day. If you have ginger on hand, cut some up and include in your brew.
For exhaustion: Same as above but add to a hot bath. Rest for 15-20 minutes (as long as water stays warm).
Using pine sap: Pine resin is stronger than the needles. You can chew a tiny rice sized piece in your mouth and you will probably notice an immediate clearing of congestion in the lungs and sinuses. This will help to clear mucous in the lungs.
On a side note, I love using pine sap as a salve for arthritic joints, especially on the hands. It is also good on scrapes and scratches. For you diy'ers looking for something different, check out this wonderful post for white pine salve that works equally well with any of our local pine resins. Remember that pine trees produce resin to seal any openings in their protective bark. Take only what you need and try to get "globs" (technical term) that look pop off easily. Resin will stick to skin and clothes and is difficult to remove so take a container or bag you don't mind ruining.