There are several things I can identify off the top of my head that can be used for tea. I bet you can identify some of these also! You might have seen some things or know what they are but you may not have known that you could brew up a cup of tea with them!
When I was a kid, my parents got really big into camping. The whole time they were camping they were also identifying plants, especially edibles! My dad would study up on them and take his field guide with him to help him identify plants.
I hated it, when I was a kid. I thought it was stupid and boring. I’m not sure how some of it stuck with me. I somehow retained some of the knowledge from these adventures. Boy, am I sure glad that I did. Funny, how I’m eagerly interested in it now.
Sure I wish I had listened more, but all is well that ends well. So I want to pass on what little information I did get out of it and share some of the information that I’ve learned as an adult as well.
Doing your own research before foraging is very important! Identifying a plant can be very tricky. These may interact with medication you take. Take field guides with you and talk to local experts, and also speak with your physician especially before consuming any wild plants!
Foraging for Tea | Wild Tea Recipes
Pine Needle Tea | Wild Tea Recipes
There are many species of Pines. Some species of Pines are poisonous. So please study and be careful to identify the correct species that are edible.
To make the tea…
- Collect a small hand full of green needles (from an edible none poisonous species of Pine.)
- Remove the brown piece at the end of the needle. They mostly just pull right off.
- Cut them about 1/2 an inch long.
- I like to put the needles in a tea diffuser, so they are not floating around while I try to drink the liquid.
- Place the diffuser in a coffee or teacup and pour some hot water in.
- Allow at least 5 minutes for needles to steep!
Avoid if pregnant
Safrole the oil found in the roots and twigs of Sassafras is also found in other common things you may find around your house, such as, black pepper, nutmeg, and basil. They all occur naturally.
In the 1960’s the FDA banned food additives using safrole, due to studies on rats and mice. The results of the studies found that long-term exposure could result in liver cancer among some other complications.
Directions to Make Sassafras Tea
- Gather the roots about 1 big one or 2-3 small ones
- Wash the roots
- Cut the roots to be 2 or 3 inches long
- Dry them, find a cool dark place for them to dry for about a week. If any rotting occurs you will have to throw them out. Keeping them away from light and heat will help.
- Peel the bark off of the roots.
- Boil the roots in about a quart of water, and simmer for around 15 to 20 minutes.
- Strain out any floaters with a fine mesh strainer.
- You are now ready to pour it in your favorite mug!
- Add some sugar or honey, to tone down the bitter flavor.
Red Clover Tea
Avoid this if you’re pregnant, if you’re sensitive to hormones, or if you’re taking blood thinners.
- Gather about 3 – 6 clover blossoms.
- Place them in a tea diffuser, and place the diffuser into a mug.
- Pour hot water in the mug, and let the blossoms steep for 10 – 15 minutes.
Blueberry, Raspberry & Blackberry Leaf Tea
We have wild blueberries and blackberries growing on our property.
- 1 cup of leaves
- Bake the leaves at 400º for 25 – 30 minutes.
- Using a mortar and pestle or a food processor grind up the leaves into a powder.
- Place the powdered leaves into a tea diffuser, and place it into a mug.
- Pour hot water in the mug, and let it steep for 2-5 minutes.
Check out Growing & Foraging for Lemon Balm – This blog post on Grow Forage Cook Ferment is awesome. It has a great tutorial to show you how to make lemon balm tea with wonderful pictures!
Four Wild Winter Teas, has some great ideas also.
I’d love To Know what you think!… Leave me a comment!
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