Herbal Tonic Teas

Tonics are herbs that have a generally invigorating and stimulating effect on the system, toning muscles and organs. You should try some of these tonic teas and become familiar with the tastes and effects that suit you and your family and friends. We encourage you to take the time to discover and learn about some of these beneficial plants. You will be surprised at how easy it is to learn to recognize herbs growing along the trail and on your hikes. In a short time, with a little practice, you will be able to discover for yourself the satisfaction of recognizing, collecting, and using many of them.

Here is a general list of tonic teas that may be easily purchased dried at natural food stores, and many of which you will find along the trail:

catnip leaves
celery seeds
chamomile flower tips
comfrey leaves
ginseng root
golden seal root
juniper berries
mugwort, whole plant
nettle flowers, leaves and seeds
orange and lemon rinds
parsley leaves and root
peppermint leaves
raspberry leaves
red clover flower tips
rose hips
sage leaves
sassafras bark
thyme leaves
yarrow, whole plant
yellow dock root
yerba santa leaves

The standard amount of herbs to use is 1 teaspoon per cup of water. In general, if you are using leaves and delicate parts of plants, merely pour boiling water over them, steep for 5 to 10 minutes, strain, and serve. If you are dealing with the roots or bark, add them to the pot of boiling water, lower heat, and low boil from 15 to 30 minutes. Combinations of teas are a good idea, and you will soon find combinations that suit your needs. Usually we combine two or three, but certainly more may be used. Also, it would be a good idea to switch these herbs from time to time, so your system doesn’t get saturated with any particular one. Dried tea leaves are very lightweight and the most rewarding drink we can recommend aside from pure water. Honey may be added to any of these tonic teas.

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