Plants that you can make tea with?

Redondo Beach, CA(Zone 10b)

Hi All -

I have no idea where to put this post but I'm hoping this will work.

I recently went to Huntington Gardens in Pasadena and saw a False Roselle (small hibiscus). The docent said that folks take the beautiful scarlet colored buds and put them in boiling water and then add a bit of sugar.

It got me wondering what other kinds of plants you can use to make tea with? Can we start a list?


Arlington, TX(Zone 8a)

Sassafras root?

(I also want to know if anyone here has popped Amaranth. They say it's the only other seed that 'pops' like popcorn. Wonder if it tastes OK?)

This message was edited Sep 5, 2011 4:25 PM

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

A lady I knew years ago made Bee Balm tea. I didn't like the taste of it, but I'm not really a tea drinker either.

I think you can use Lemon Balm to add a lemon flavor to your tea. And of course you can make teas and mojitos from various mints.

(I have tons of Amaranth seeds and have thought about popping them, but never actually got to the process. Texan, if you need some seeds to try, I'd be happy to send you a bunch. Just dmail me your addy.)

Oakland, CA(Zone 9b)

There's a fairly comprehensive list on the website: Some of them don't taste terribly good - guarana, spirulina, and a few others - and some you need to be careful with because of medical issues, such as comfrey and valerian.

Any type of sage makes good tea, especially pineapple sage which is a lovely shrub, too.

Always Google any herb tea you're thinking of making to check out contraindications and side effects!

Redondo Beach, CA(Zone 10b)

Thank you all so much. I'll take a look at the website jkom51!

Boonies, SD(Zone 4b)

My mother used to make all kinds of teas. Red clover, rose hips, linden, chamomile, dandelion, stinging nettle (that one will cure what ails you!!). Some didn't taste very good, but we drank them when we were sick. I think we got better just so we wouldn't have to drink more!!! ;)

Halifax, MA(Zone 6a)

Wunne Mohtompan (Good Morning),

Wilderness Teas and Coffees:

Acorn- Quercus sp.: Roast acorn shells, then steep in boiling water or sap and use as a coffee substitute. Measure 1 teaspoon per cup of water, put into saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes, strain and serve.

American/Allegheny Barberry- Berbis canadanse: To make a midwinter tea, boil 1 teaspoon of young leaves per cup of water; remove from heat and steep, covered for 15 minutes. A "lemonade" is made by cooking the berry juice in a simple syrup which is made from a one to one ratio of water and honey or maple sap. Dilute the cooked berry juice, mixing together 1/4 cup berry juice and 1 cup water.

Bearberry- Arctostaphylos uva-ursi: Dry leaves and crush. Mix 1 teaspoon per cup of boiling water and steep, covered for 15 minutes. The tea is used to sooth stomach upset.

Beechnut- Fagus grandifolia: Roast the husked nuts in a preheated 300°F oven for 30 minutes or, if camping, roast near a campfire to crack the shells and shell the nuts. Dry them further until brittle; grind them fine or pound with rolling pin or mallet, place in a mason jar. To prepare: allow 1 teaspoon per cup and place in saucepan, cover with boiling water; simmer for 15 minutes. Strain and serve.

Blackberry- Rubus ssp.: Dry leaves and crush. Mix 1 teaspoon per cup of boiling water and steep, covered for 15 minutes.

Catbrier- Smilax rotundifolia: Dry leaves and crush. Mix 1 teaspoon per cup of boiling water and steep, covered for 15 minutes.

Cattail- Typha latifolia: Dry stems and crush. Mix 1 teaspoon per cup of boiling water and steep, covered for 15 minutes.

Chicory- Cichorium intybus: Dry leaves and crush. Mix 1 teaspoon per cup of boiling water and steep, covered for 15 minutes.

Cleavers- Galium aparine: Dry shoots and crush. Mix 1 teaspoon per cup of boiling water and steep, covered for 15 minutes.

Clover- Trifolium spp: Dry leaves and blossoms; crush them. Mix 1 teaspoon per cup of boiling water and steep, covered for 15 minutes.

Dandelion- Taraxacum officinale: Dig up and wash second year or older roots; dry and slowly roast in over a fire or in a slow oven (300-325°F) until crisp and brown, which can take up to for several hours. Grind fine and store in a sealed jar (mason) measure and brew like coffee. Wine and tea can be made using the blossoms.

Dewberry- Rubus spp.: The shinny berries can be made into wines or fruit drinks. The leaves can be made into a tea. Muddle 3 to 5 leaves in a mug and cover with boiling water, cover the mug and steep for 5 minutes.

Dill- Anethum graveolans: Muddle 2 to 5 seeds in a mug, pour boiling water into the mug and let steep, covered, for 15 minutes. Use as a digestive aid and appetite stimulant.

Dittany- Cunila origanoides: Make a hot infusion from the leaves to ease cold symptoms. Steep 1 tablespoon of leaves to in boiling water, covered, for 15 minutes.

Elderberry- Sambucus Canadensis: Elderberry has been used in tisanes for immunity boost. Boil-down the berries to make a sweetened syrup (Elder Rob). Dry the flowers and steep them, using 1 teaspoon per cup of boiling water, for 15 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of Elder Rob per cup.

Goldenrod- Solidago spp.: Collect flowers and leaves, on a dry day, and air-dry. To make a light tea; add 2 teaspoon of flowers and leaves to a small pot of boiling water and steep, covered, for 15 minutes, strain and sweeten with honey or maple syrup.
Grape- Vitis spp.: For tea crush 3 to 5 grapes in a mug and pour boiling water into the mug, cover, steep for 15 minutes.

Ground Ivy- Nepeta hedracea: Dry leaves and blossoms; add 1 teaspoon to 1 cup of boiling water and steep, covered, for 15 minutes.

Icelandic Moss- Cetraria islandica: Dry plant. In a mug, pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 teaspoon of moss. Cover and steep for 30 minutes. Let cool, strain and sweeten. Serve either warm or cold. You may also mix it with nut milk or fruit juice.

Juniper- Juniperus communis and spp.: You can make a coffee substitute by roasting and grinding the berries; measure and brew like coffee. You can also so make a tea that is high in vitamin C.
Juniper Tea
20 sprigs of juniper
½ cup blue juniper berries
2 quarts water
2 tablespoons honey

In a large pot, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil, cover, lower temperature and simmer for 10 minutes.

Labrador Tea- Ledum greonlandicum: Dry leaves, muddle 2 to 3 leaves in a mug. Pour in 1 cup of boiling water and steep for 10 minutes. Sweeten to taste with honey or tree syrup.

Life Everlasting- Gnaphalium polycephalum: Place entire dried, blossoming plant in 2 quarts of boiling water, cover and steep for 15 minutes. May be sweetened to taste.

Linden/Basswood- Tilia americana and spp.: Dry cream-colored blossoms and inner bark. Steep in 1 ½ cups boiling water, 1 teaspoon of fresh or dried blossoms and/or inner bark for 10 minutes, strain and sweeten to taste. It is an excellent remedy for colds.

Lovage- Ligustrum canadanse and Scotch Lovage- L. scoticum: Dry leaves and roots. Add ¼ cup to 1 quart of boiling water and steep, covered, for 15 minutes. The tea can be sweetened, but is not really necessary. The tea is rich in minerals and is communally used as a digestive aid.

Maple- Acer spp.: Sap is drunk, in the later winter/early spring as a nutritious drink. You can refine it by simmering it for hours, until it becomes an amber color.

Mint Mentha spp. Use fresh or dried. Add I teaspoon to a mug and pour boiling water over it, steep, covered for 15 minutes.

New Jersey Tea- Ceanothus americanus: Use fresh or dried. To make the tea, steep 1 tablespoon fresh or 1 teaspoon dried leaves per cup of boiling water, covered for 15 minutes. Sweeten to taste. Dried root bark can be steeped in water to make a sedative tea and the entire plant can be steeped in boiling water to create an infusion for external skin conditions.

Pennyroyale/Squawmint- Hedeoma pulegioides: Steep, 1 tablespoon of fresh leaves and stems in 1 cup of boiling water, covered, for 15 minutes to make a tea to relieve headaches and cramps. Steep entire plant to make a external wash for rashes and itching.

Persimmon- Diospyros virginiana: Dry leaves. To make the tea, add 1 cup boiling water and 1 teaspoonful of dried leaves to a mug, cover, and steep for 10 minutes. You can add the ripe fruit to any other fruit, to make drinks or flavorings.

Raspberry- Rubus spp.: See Blackberry.

Rose Hips- Rosa spp.: Use either fresh or dried and grind the hips to extract the vitamin s C and E. Steep 2 teaspoons in 1 quart boiling water in a covered pot for 10 minutes.

Sassafras- Sassafras labium: The leaves, roots and bark were used to make teas. Muddle 2 to 3 fresh young leaves in a mug and cover with boiling water, steep for 10 minutes. Alternatively, pour boiling water over dried roots or bark and steep, covered, for 30 minutes. This was used as a remedy for fevers and also used as a Spring tonic.

Spicebush- Lindera benzoic: Tea was made by covering 3 to 5 leaves with boiling water and letting steep, covered, for 10 minutes or by pouring 2 cups boiling water over 1 tablespoon of dried roots and bark, covering and steeping for 30 minutes.

Strawberry- Fragaria spp. Use leaves and fruit fresh or dried. Place 1 tablespoon of leaves and fruit in a mug, pour in 1 cup boiling water, cover, and steeping 10 minutes. For Strawberry Ade
4 cups water
1 cup of crushed strawberries
Honey to taste

Combine strawberries and water in large pitcher; add honey to your taste.
Chill for 30 minutes. Serve cold.

Sumac- Rhus glabra, R. typhina: The berries are high in vitamin C and malic acid. Gather ripe red berries in late Summer, use fresh or dried for out of season use. Bruise 1 cup of berries and steep in 1 quart hot water for 15 minutes; cool and strain.

Sunflower- Helianthus spp.: Roast hulls and seeds, then grind. Brew as you would coffee.

Sweet Fern- Comptonia peregrina: Use the leaves to make a delicious tea. Cut up a 10-inch piece of branch in 2 quarts of boiling water, cover and steep 20 minute.

Sweet Vernal Grass- Anthoxanthum odoratum: Harvest leaves in spring and dry for later use. Pour boiling water over 1 teaspoon, steep, covered for 10 minutes.

Wild Chamomile- Matricaria chamomilla: Steep fresh or dried blossoms in 1 cup boiling water for 5 minutes. A strong infusion can be used as an external ear rinse, and can be used to relieve earaches and can also be used as a shampoo and hair rinse. To make a strong infusion, place 1 tablespoon in 1 cup water and steep 20 minutes.

Matricaria matricariodes: See Wild Chamomile

Wild Sarsaparilla- Aralia nudicaulis and spp.: Dry roots and grind. Put 1 teaspoon in 1 cup of boiling water, cover and steep for 30 minutes.

Witch Hazel- Hamamelis virginiana: Steep 5 fresh leaves or 2 teaspoons dried, in 2 cups boiling water, covered, for 5 minutes.

Aquène (Peace),
WaûtuckquesSóchepo (SnowRabbit)

Ahque Wunantash Paskoogan / Pio nabo nequt / Nees muttanonganog kah nequt (Do Not Thou Forget 9/11/2001)

Boonies, SD(Zone 4b)

Holy Buckets, that's a lot of teas!!! You must have had to crack your knuckles before you started typing!!! ;)
Can I come over and pick your brain for a few weeks?? I don't even know what some of that stuff is......but they sound like they would be pretty good.
Dobrou noc
Good night in Czech

Halifax, MA(Zone 6a)

Wunne Mohtompan (Good Morning) Ruth,

No, I did not need to crack my knuckles before... lol. Most of the plants are easy to get from holistic websites. I know Azure Green has many of them. As many can be used as incense and for teas.

Aquène (Peace),
WaûtuckquesSóchepo (SnowRabbit)

Ahque Wunantash Paskoogan / Pio nabo nequt / Nees muttanonganog kah nequt (Do Not Thou Forget 9/11/2001)

Boonies, SD(Zone 4b)

Thank you Snow Rabbit!! I'll have to find some and try them.

Halifax, MA(Zone 6a)

Koonepeam(You are welcome).

Aquène (Peace),
WaûtuckquesSóchepo (SnowRabbit)

Ahque Wunantash Paskoogan / Pio nabo nequt / Nees muttanonganog kah nequt (Do Not Thou Forget 9/11/2001)

Altus, OK(Zone 7a)

Vitex Tea

I have this tree. Supposedly the vitex tea was an aid to curb sexual appetites among priests.

Its alternate name is Chaste Tree.

Thumbnail by Delightful_Dawn
Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

This is an interesting thread!

Thank You, happy_girl, for starting it and Thank You Delightful_Dawn for "Bumping" it!!

In case anyone else is still interested in it, I have another tea to add (Pine Needle)...along with a story.

Many, many years ago (yes, I'm old) a group of us drove into the wilderness for the day in Northern California. We were going to see if a cabin a friend used to own was still there. The asphalt road became a dirt road, then gravel, then rock. When we were almost there we blew out a tire on a sharp rock. That's when our friend realized he forgot to bring a spare tire!!

By then it was late afternoon so we prepared to spend the night. We portioned out our lunch and snacks and tried to make them last till morning. Fortunately we had plenty of water.

We were surrounded by pine forest and several of us remembered seeing in wilderness survival books that Pine Needles were packed with Vitamin C and made a good tea. We made a fire to stay warm and used some of the gear we had to heat water for our Pine Needle tea which we drank lots all evening and most of the next day. It didn't even taste bad.

The upshot was that the one friend that knew his way out, left early morning with one of the other guys and walked to a town to get a tire. The rest of us pretty much lived on Pine Needle tea until they got back.

Here's a simple recipe from "Wikihow", but there are probably tons more online. (I even found a YouTube video.)

Edited: Coincidentally, I just discovered a DG article from 2011 by Bev Walker (Sundownr) on the benefits of Pine Needle Tea.

This message was edited Oct 5, 2013 1:42 PM

Chamomile tea , delicious and give your body much benefits , can help to Sleeping if you have the problems in sleeping with natural way you can Prepare a cup of chamomile tea thats very helpful .

Chamomile tea benefits - Historical herb with helpful benefits .

Altus, OK(Zone 7a)

Willow bark tea for pain relief.

Willow tea is also good as a rooting hormone.

Notice the method of making the tea is different.

Altus, OK(Zone 7a)


Crepe myrtle is used widely for tea because of the high zinc and magnesium content. It is used for a lot of other beneficial reasons but that jumped out at me.

I'm going to have to try it and see how it tastes!

Altus, OK(Zone 7a)

Bingo! Since I'm having so much luck with the trees in my yard I checked on the Lantana.

Yep, people make tea from Lantana leaves. There are lots of cautions on the green berries.

Halifax, MA(Zone 6a)

Quote from 1_Lucky_Texan :
Sassafras root?

(I also want to know if anyone here has popped Amaranth. They say it's the only other seed that 'pops' like popcorn. Wonder if it tastes OK?)

This message was edited Sep 5, 2011 4:25 PM

Sorghum pops like popcorn.

Altus, OK(Zone 7a)

Gag. Forget the Lantana tea. I plucked some ripe berries and ate them. Nice. Then I made the mistake of harvesting a handful and placed them in the fridge. You know. It is really hard to harvest tiny berries and not eventually get a piece of the leaf amongst them. GAG. The web says the leaves put off an odor of cat urine when crushed. Well. I think I know what cat urine tastes like now. Yuck. If that is what a tiny piece of leaf does to some perfectly good tasting berries you can BELIEVE I will not experiment to find out what the tea tastes like. (shudder)

I grabbed some of my weeping willow's tender twigs and made willow tea. I made it for some cuttings I was trying to root but I did take a taste of the tea. Not pleasant but could be made tolerable with some honey.

Note to people using willow tea for rooting hormone. If you plan on putting it in a glass container and watching your cuttings sprout roots you will probably be disappointed. I enjoy watching the cuttings in crystal clear water. The tea makes the water an unpleasant brown shade (duh, like tea, you know) and it has a oily look to it. If you leave the willow tea in the glass for days you will see mold develop. Yuck.

I haven't tried the crepe myrtle tea yet. Kinda bummed at my results so far.

Halifax, MA(Zone 6a)

I hope it works out for you.

Redondo Beach, CA(Zone 10b)

I want to thank everyone thst replied to this thread. I haven't been on the site in a few years.

I had Uterine CarcinoSarcoma in 2015 and had radiation, then in 2016 I had chemo from January through August.

My Mom died in 2017 and my Dad died in July of 2018 followed by my husband of 31 years the next month.

Life has drastically changed and I haven't been too involved in gardening ...or much for that matter. Life now consists of weekly doctor appointments. Thank God for my 2 Toy Fox Terriers. They miss him too so we comfort one another.

Halifax, MA(Zone 6a)

happy_girl, I'm so sorry for your illness and losses. I hope all goes well for you in the future.

Boonies, SD(Zone 4b)

Sending hugs, happy_girl. Is there a support group that you could get involved in? I can't imagine the grief you are feeling. Hang in there.

Arlington, TX(Zone 8a)

Despite having 'vomit' in its species name, Yaupon Holly can evidently make a palatable caffeinated tea;

New York City, NY

Thank you ! I'll have to find some and try them.

New York City, NY

I really like to add different herbs to my tea. From what I've tried I like hibiscus, thyme, currant and raspberry leaves (giving a delightful aroma), mint, melissa, jasmine, linden blossom. And I also really like making iced tea in summer. I even bought a special device to make iced tea. And here's a quick review of the best iced tea makers:

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Chamomile, roses, hibiscus, and linden are just a few of the floral varieties that can be used to make tea. Any edible flower can be used to brew a tea, however not all edible flowers taste well! Use only healthy flowers that are free of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides to prepare your own floral tea. Rose Subscription

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