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Making tea from wild plants

 
Posts: 113
Location: Blue Island, Illinois - Zone 6a - (Lake Effect) - surrounded by zone 5b
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With bergamot, I've cut near the base and dried the whole plant. When it's good and dry I pick the dried leaves off and save them for tea. From what I remember, they will regrow fairly easily and can be harvested a second time in the season. i haven't grown any in a few years though.
 
                                            
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Thanks, Joe.  We are in Southern Michigan.  I'll try that.  Got any info on Oswego tea (bergamot); like when to harvest and what part to use?
 
                                            
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Sorry.  I didn't see the info about bergamot at first.  My computer half screened the page.  Got it and thanks again!
 
Posts: 631
Location: NW MO
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Warren David wrote:
I drink tila (aka tilia) every morning. It is made from the flowers of lime trees (linden or basswood in N. America). It's quite popular in parts of Europe.
Mind you I just buy it from the supermarket because I don't have  lime tree. 



Does it have a caffeine effect like a pick-me-up? Or do you just like the flavor?

 
Posts: 69
Location: Ossineke, MI
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Chaga mushrooms make a wonderful tea that is very good for you. This mushroom contains more anti-oxidants than anything found in nature.

http://michiganmushrooms.net/index_files/Page751.htm
 
                                            
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Sorry, I wouldn't know a changa mushroom if it bit me.  I am only comfgortable harvesting morels.  I would love to walk the woods and know what was edible, but I wouldn't know where to start. 
 
Christopher G Williams
Posts: 69
Location: Ossineke, MI
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Start with a book if you don't have any friends who can teach you. The Audubon and Peterson field guides are a great jumping off point.
 
ronie dee
Posts: 631
Location: NW MO
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farmgirl49242 wrote:
Sorry, I wouldn't know a changa mushroom if it bit me.  I am only comfgortable harvesting morels.  I would love to walk the woods and know what was edible, but I wouldn't know where to start. 



After morels, try looking into oyster mushrooms as they are fairly easy to ID. They used to sell oysters in the store in my town, but they haven't had any for a while. I think the oysters are pretty good.
 
Posts: 164
Location: North Carolina
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Please keep in mind that American elderberry leaves are somewhat toxic.  The leaves, twigs, branches, seeds and roots contain a cyanide producing glycoside.  Small quantities might be ok, but be very, very careful.  Goats can eat a few leaves, which they usually eat sparingly and tolerate them very well.  Humans not so well.  However, drying the leaves thoroughly for over  24 hours, should enable this to evaporate or vaporize and then they are probably safe, as are peach leaves, which have similar chemicals in them.  Personally, I would prefer not to use elderberry leaves, there are too many other things available.  Elderberry is a strong medicine plant, and elderberry juice along with peppermint extract is said to cure the pneumonoccoccus
bacterium. 

All edible berries have edible and excellent tea quality leaves, and are very high in minerals and vitamin C.  Strawberry leaf is one of the best sources of Vit. C. 

 
ronie dee
Posts: 631
Location: NW MO
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Joe O' wrote:
as far as Sumac goes....

      You can put a piece of the sumac in your mouth and see if it's very sour tasting. Around here in northern illinois, they're usually ready in about a month or so. August through September as a general harvest time. Sometimes you find plants that are ready earlier, like now, and sometimes later. You just have to check for tartness. If it is, then its ready to be picked. Don't put them into hot water though. It releases tannins from the plant and will make the tea/drink bitter. Just pour cold or room temperature water over them and wait a day or so. One of my favorite drinks!

Also, from what i've heard from friends, they will lose their sour flavor after a big storm, so try to harvest them before it rains.

Hope this helps - Joe



Sumac is a relative of poison ivy, so if the fruit is white don't touch it. The poison sumach is usually in southern areas, but I have found it by old railroad tracks in northern Missouri.
 
Posts: 183
Location: Vashon WA, near Seattle and Tacoma
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I have a lot of burdock growing in my pastures. I dig up the roots -- always leaving some to regrow -- scrub the dirt off of them with a wire brush, then slice them into about 1/2-inch slices and dehydrate them To make tea, I throw 5-6 slices of dried root into a 2-quart pot, fill the pot with water, bring it to a boil, then simmer for half an hour. Burdock is a wonderful tea, one of the best. I usually get two such decoctions from the same roots.

Another great tea is hawthorn berries. I have a big tree that I harvest every fall. I get buckets full of the berries, which I dehydrate. Tea is prepared like burdock root tea, with about 1/2 a cup of berries for a 2-quart pot. This is loaded with Vitamin C and I regard it as a wintertime staple. I hope this is helpful.
 
gardener
Posts: 1280
Location: Okanogan Highlands, Washington
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Antibubba wrote:
Are there any North American native plants that I can wild harvest or plant that would supply me with caffeine?  Tea, kola nuts, and coffee are all tropical, and I'd love to have my own homegrown pick-me-up.  I'm not looking at other plant stimulants, like ephedra.



I recently heard that bedstraw (cleavers) is a coffee relative, the green seeds can be roasted and ground like coffee beans and are one of the better Northern 'coffee' substitutes.  I haven't tried it, and don't know the caffeine content.  But the clingy little buggers grow everywhere.  Might look into whether your local varieties are useful this way.
 
Posts: 122
Location: Sacramento
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Here is a possible coffee substitute:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yaupon_Holly
 
Posts: 145
Location: B.C.
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Sea buckthorn. Yum!
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Hippophae+rhamnoides

You can find other teas here.
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Search_Use.aspx?glossary=Tea
 
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Podocarpus costalis or arius is abundant in our place. we started processing the fruit berry into wine. we are also exploring the seeds as coffee or tea. we roasted the seeds, removed the pulp then pound it.
can anyone help us in improving our process and the taSte of the tea. thanks
 
jane castillo
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can you explain how to make tea from berry seeds?
 
Posts: 18
Location: Kansas City Kansas
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White mulberry leaf tea my absolute favorite full of vitamins and minerals plus more calcium then milk
 
Posts: 131
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I know this thread is old, but...
Rose leaves make a great tea - does not taste like the flowers at all, closer to real tea in flavor. Thistle buds are also good. We just rinse them and dry them on screens in a warm place, single layer of leaves of course.
 
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Does anyone know how to make an extract from English Ivy other than tea?
 
Posts: 9
Location: South Boston, Massachusetts
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I'll jump on this zombie thread!

We love fresh tea made from foraged Comptonia peregrina (sweetfern).

Mindy
(of Marc & Mindy of The Walking Herbalist)
 
Posts: 9
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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I saw in this forum the brewing of Pine Needles as a great tea and it was said it would be a good source of Vitamin C. It should be noted that if you are wanting Vitamin C from anything you can't heat it. Vitamin C is a very delicate nutrient and is destroyed with too much heat, age or oxygen. If you are wishing to up your Vitamin C then it would be advised that you use a cold steep method and drink it cold.

I love to brew lovely teas from all kinds of different plant leaves, roots and bark. Leaves often only need hot water poured over them and steeped for a bit but roots and certain barks, though fabulous for making teas, actually need to be boiled to get the full nutrient values from them. i.e. Dandelion root is a liver support but needs to be boiled for a bit for it to release all its goodness.

I make a Decoction every day in my mini Crock Pot that sits beside me at my desk at work. Decoction involves mashing and then boiling your plant material if it is fresh (or using the dried equivalent) in water to extract the maximum amount of the healing oils, volatile organic compounds and other chemical substances.

It is well worth researching each and every plant that you would like to use for tea to understand what it has to offer and if there could be anything that you might not want as an effect. For instance. Stevia which is a great sweetner, has a side effect of reducing fertility. So it is great for those who are happy with their family size but not so good for someone eager to have a baby.
 
pollinator
Posts: 166
Location: Zutphen, The Netherlands
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I like one sage leaf in a cup,  it makes a very nice tea.
 
Posts: 16
Location: Columbia, Missouri
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Can you make tea from Autumn Olive berries or leaves? I know some - more patient than I - people make jam from the berries.
 
Posts: 40
Location: South-central Iowa
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The only wild plant I harvest for tea is nettles. Actually, I harvest it for the greens, but save the cooking water and often mix it 50/50 with sweetened mint tea. My daughter and I enjoy it (and she doesn't seem to notice its not pure mint tea). Herbs I grow for tisanes include: peppermint, spearmint, lemon thyme, lemon balm, bee balm, chamomile, tagetes lucida, and my favorite: anise hyssop.
 
Posts: 501
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I drink a tea for my high blood pressure.  All the leaves are dried and ordered online.  I've looked into planting my own sources, but now we're planning on moving in a year of so, so I probably won't plant here.

1/3 cup of hawthorne leaves and blossoms,
1/3 cup of nettle,
1/3 cup of spearmint, and
1/3 cup of sugar
in a gallon of hot water.  

I drink about 1/2 gallon a day.  

The hawthorne and nettle are both good for the blood pressure, the spearmint and sugar make it taste good (although mint is really good for you anyway).  You could probably use stevia instead of sugar.  I've used honey and like it better, just a question of money.

It takes 3 days to take effect  for me.  for the first few days my blood pressure will stay high (150+/100+), which is where is goes after a few weeks of being off the tea (I get careless and run out or run out of money and can't reorder for a while.  On the third day my blood pressure drops to about 110-120/ 80.  I've gone off and on it several times and it seems to work for me pretty consistantly.

 
pollinator
Posts: 157
Location: Monticello Florida
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I once made pine needle tea. Just a small handful of needles (not sure what kind) thrown in a cup with hot water, covered and set for ~10 minutes. I didn't see much color but the flavor was great.
 
pollinator
Posts: 147
Location: Yukon Territory, Canada. Zone 1a
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For anyone in the North, the Labrador Tea plant is an great wild edible.

From the Food First website:

Labrador tea is aptly named for its edible use and can be made into a tea served hot or iced. It is caffeine free. The flavour is floral. See brewing instructions in the recipe below.
Fresh leaves can be chewed on while hiking
Fresh leaves can be used as a seasoning for meats or fish.
Use leaves fresh or dried or freeze them for year-round use.

TA-Labrador-Tea.jpg
[Thumbnail for TA-Labrador-Tea.jpg]
 
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Peony Jay wrote:Sea buckthorn.  Yum!
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Hippophae+rhamnoides

You can find other teas here.
https://www.umiteasets.com/tea-leaves/yellow-tea.html



Yum!, I like Sea buckthorn too.  Few year passed, how about the tea tree right now?
 
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