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Brew your own wild tea from foraged herbs

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Making wild teas from foraged herbs is an easy and affordable way to get the herbal properties into your body and enjoy a warm cup of tasty herbal tisane at the same time.

While herbal tea is made by infusion or decoction of a herb other than the true tea plant ( Camellia sinensis), wild tea refers to herbal teas made of foraged herbs.

Wild tea, also called herbal tisane, is caffeine-free and many of them have medicinal benefits. 

Made of foraged herbs wild tea is freely available but requires some foraging and botanical skills. 

The making of wild teas is something that unfolds once you start the foraging path. It is a beautiful herbal journey that takes you to the forest, the mountains, or on long walks around lakes and rivers. You will enjoy the fresh air and with wide eyes, you will see all the trees, plants, shrubs, leaves, flowers or even roots. 

Brewing your own wild tea is one of the easiest ways to get to know the herbs. Their taste, scent, and texture. You would be surprised how many wild teas you can make for free. 

In this post, I will take you through the steps of making your own wild tisane 

wild tea

foraging for wild tea

Making flower herbal tea start with foraging for medicinal plants thus identifying the herbs.

Make sure you are hundred percent certain with the identification, Smell the herb, touch it, use books or other online applications. Don’t be discouraged if you are uncertain. It is a long learning process that is ongoing but rewarding thus patience is required.

Get familiar with the medicinal properties of the herb

Get to know the benefits of each herb. Many herbs have medicinal benefits and it is, therefore, advisable not to drink the tea for a long period of time like several months.

fresh herbal tea
foraged herbs

how to dry herbs without a dehydrator

You can use fresh herbal material right after you forage it.

Dried wild herbs have a long shelf life and allow you to enjoy the herbs all year long. However, lose some of its medicinal benefits as well as flavor and aroma.

Air drying is the easiest method that allows you to dry the herbs in 3-4 days depending on the weather. You can simply spread them on parchment paper or use this drying rack

Tie them together with a string and hang them to dry with a stem. just make sure they don’t lose their color during the drying process as they might turn brown or black and this is not desirable. Better to keep them away from the direct sun

To speed up the process you can use a dehydrator

drying yarrow

making tea from herbs

Chose the most suitable method of making a tea

Based on the part of herbs or tree you are using you can go for infusion or steeping. Roots or bark usually require longer steeping time to release their medicinal properties.

Elderflower tea
Elderflower tea

Cold infusion

The most friendly method of preparing herbal tea from wild herbs is the cold infusion or cold steeping. This method keeps all nutrients and vitamins, color, and medicinal benefits but requires a longer time. 

You simply place the herb in the glass container filled with water. The time of infusion varies depending on the herbs but can range from a few hours to a few days. I prefer to keep it refrigerated to avoid any mold development. Also, tisane prepared with cold infusion tends to be less bitter and more aromatic with higher content of oxidants. 

This method also works well when combined with hot steeping. I like to keep the tea overnight to infuse and then just quickly steep it so I can have a warm cup of tea and get a stronger concentration than just steeping. 

making concentrate with cold infusion
concentrate of rosehips with cold infusion method

Steeping cold brew

Steeping is the quickest method to prepare a delicious cup of wild tea. It allows the extraction of the flavor as well as health-promoting compounds from the herbal material when it is done properly.

The most critical is time and temperature when you brew wild herbal tea. 

making tea from herbs

How long to steep herbal teas?

Higher temperatures can destroy some of its valuable ingredients while too short steeping time won’t extract enough antioxidants and flavors.

Dried herbs such as elderflowers or linden blossoms require up to 10 minutes steeping time at 100 C (212 F)

Fresh herbs on the hand need only 5-7 minutes of steeping at 100 C (212 F).

Roots (dandelion root) or bark need a longer time to extract their medicinal properties and therefore 20-30 minutes of steeping time is necessary. 

Add some fruity flavors to your tea (optional)

YOu can use wild berries such as raspberries, wild strawberries or pine needles to get a fruity touch.

loose leaf tea accessories

While there are special tools to help you steep tea, you can also keep it simple and still steep like an expert.

If you want to keep it simple your will only need the basics teacup and kettle. However, You can also get some special tools such as tea strainer, disposable tea filtres, tea infuser  or tea bag squeezer.

Let’s make some

Wild tea from foraged herbs

Making wild teas from foraged herbs is an easy and affordable way to get the herbal properties into your body and enjoy a warm cup of tasty herbal tisane at the same time.

Red clover tea

Clover blossoms are known as the herb solving "woman problems". It contains isoflavones that have similar effects to estrogen. Therefore are used by herbalists to ease the most common menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings. White clover blossoms are not as sweet and potent as red clover blossoms.  Choose the blossom before turning brown.

Wild rose tea

Wild rose tea is rich in natural antioxidants and vitamin C. Rose petals possess a soothing properties that are very useful for sensitive skin. I like to use this tea in various skin care products such as rose cream, toner or rose soap but it has a fruity taste that pleases your senses.

St. john wort tea

Made of leaves and blossoms of Hypericum perforatum this soothing St. John’s wort tea is a mild antidepressant that helps people with anxiety and mild depression. Its calming and relaxing properties may help people that suffer from sleeping disorders or nervousness 

Wild violet tea

The flowers and leaves of wild violet made an excellent tea that is packed with vitamins A & C and has anti-inflammatory properties. Wild violet tea encourages healing and soothes the digestive, respiratory and urinary tracts.

Dandelion root tea

In the old days, women used the infusion from dandelion root to wash their faces and their eyes in the belief that they will become more beautiful.

Nowadays, it makes a great herbal substitute for coffee.

Dandelion root tea plays an important role in a healthy gut.  Dandelion root contains Inulin that contributes to proper digestion. Its effects are mainly beneficial for people who have diabetes as the root stimulates the production of insulin from the pancreas and keeps blood sugar levels low.

Dandelion leaf tea

If you happen to have dandelion blossoms instead they are high in polyphenols and important in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Dandelion leaves, on the other hand, make for an excellent source of vitamin A, B6 and C as well as calcium, magnesium, iron, or potassium. They support good digestion a have also strong diuretic effect 

Nettle tea

You need to wear gloves as the nettle leaves sting. Once the needles have been treated with heat they will no longer sting you. Alternatively, let them dry out or dehydrate them to get rid of their stinging ability.

Stinging nettle is a favorite among herbalists, known for its pain relief actions as well as treatment of seasonal allergies and anemia. It makes a great immunity booster. 

Plantain tea

Plantain (Plantago lanceolata, Plantago major) - considered a panacea, plantain has many uses. It contains aucubin and tannins that are mucilages and help with respiratory diseases such as dry cough or asthma (1). in the past plantain has been used to treat lung tuberculosis. Although plantain is commonly seen as a weed, it makes a surprisingly delicious cup of nourishing tea. 

Wild chamomile

Wild Chamomile earned its name from the Greek kamaimelon, meaning "tiny apple", as the scent of fresh blossoms mimics apples. The chamomile tea is made of blossoms that have a pleasantly sweet and mild taste. It contains chemical compounds that may reduce inflammation and reduce the severity of menstrual cramps.

Researchers in this  2004 study found that chamomile tea may have anti-estrogenic effects and help promote bone density.

How do you store the wild teas?

You can store the wild teas in a storage container or drawstring cotton bags in a cool dry place. Don’t forget to label them.
Alternatively, you can use those press and brew tea bags or this poly lined tea bags that are 100% compostable

What is your favorite cup of wild tea?

wild teas from foraged herbs
Vladka Merva on March 27th, 2022

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