Need a health boost? Reach for a soothing cup of herbal tea to relieve nausea, bloating and other common ailments. The following 5 foraged and homemade teas address everything from cramps to sleeplessness.
1. Red Clover
Red clover can be identified by its thrice-divided leaves and can be found in grassy places. The blossoms are rich in phytosterols, which can stimulate the production of estrogen. More estrogen means fewer night sweats and hot flashes for women going through the hormonal tumult of menopause.
2. Rose Hips
Almost any rosehip will serve to make a tea. Some of the best rosehips come from rugosa rose, a species common to beach dunes and a popular garden plant. Look for flowers with five petals, thorns, and, generally speaking, five to seven leaflets. The swollen red-orange fruits are what you’ll need, and they make the plant particularly easy to spot in early fall, when the hips are ripe.
Violets emerge from the slowly greening grass. The little plants are packed with helpful compounds useful for combating everything from varicose veins to constipation. However, it’s the presence of saponins in violet leaves and flowers that purportedly make them helpful in dissolving cysts, particularly in the breast.
4. Wild Mint
Mint is easily sourced among the ruins of old homesteads, trailing along the compost pile, or lining a wet ditch or pond. The best place to look for it is in sunny, open areas with moist soils. Mint’s square stem is a dead giveaway. Find this characteristic and crush a couple of leaves.
Yarrow’s anti-inflammatory properties makes it useful for treating all manner of scratches, gouges, and tears. It’s an excellent prescription for cramping. Look for this plant in barren, well-lit waste places like old meadows, along trails or paths, or in an old patch of lawn.