Life is better with tea.
Several weeks ago I was asked about the edible and medicinal properties of Spicebush by one of our readers. That inquiry sent me on a mission to see if I could find the shrub locally and if I could learn more about its benefits to share with others. I soon realized that I was confusing this fragrant shrub with Witch Hazel in my area. Although both are edible with many visual similarities and grow in Pennsylvania's heartlands, Spicebush yields a tiny red berry as opposed to Witch Hazel and it flowers in early April unlike Witch Hazel which flowers in late May.
The entire Spicebush shrub (leaves, twigs, and berries) has a delicious spicy aroma similar to allspice. Its red berries, known by some as Appalachian Allspice, are collected in autumn for sweet and savory dishes. Native Americans treated these berries as two different kinds of seasonings by separating its sweet all-spice tasting skin from the berry's peppery tasting seed.
Spicebush leaves, twigs or berries can be used to make a hot or cold iced tea. Use the leaves and twigs to steep teas all year long or make a fragrant elixir from the berries in early October through November. Spicebush Tea is said to have medicinal properties by helping to relieve cold symptoms of fever, fatigue, and pain.
SPICEBUSH TEA | For Cold Relief
1/2 Cup Fresh Leaves
1/2 Cup of Crushed Twigs
2 Tablespoons of Chopped Berries
Inspect and wash plant material.
Bring water to a boil and throw the leaves, twigs, and berries.
Steep for 2 to 4 hours.
Strain. Serve hot or cold depending on your taste.
Note: This information is to bring awareness to edible and medicinal plants. Always make a complete study before consuming any plant life.
Drink tea and let the healing begin,