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Favorite plants for tea to gather (in wintertime).

 
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Hi. I'm here in nothwest WA for the winter (im from the northeast originally) and would really love to stock up on some nice plants for hot beverages. Obviously things are limited this time of year (other than conifer leaves). But any roots, bark, lichen etc that you love, I'd love to hear about it.
 
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One of my favorite medicinal tea ingredient is Oregon Grape - here west of Cascades it's usually Mahonia aquilfolia. Though it's quite bitter. Not typically used for it's flavor, but it's powerful anti-microbial action.

 
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Hi Zurcian, the Pacific Northwest is a great place to land for the winter, I hope you enjoy your time here. I really enjoy dandelion dandelion root; it's abundant, easy to identify and it's the perfect time to harvest as it's higher in inulin. I like to chop, and dry or roast it. Roasted, I drink it by itself but unroasted I tend to add other ingredients.

Screenshot-2020-11-13-at-10.52.42-PM.png
digging dandelions in the fall on an organic farm
digging dandelions in the fall on an organic farm
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soaked and sprayed, cleaned up dandelions
soaked and sprayed, cleaned up dandelions
 
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If there are any birch trees in the forests you could look for chaga fungus. Winter is my favorite time of year to look for and harvest chaga.
20190112_161808.jpg
Chaga on a birch tree
Chaga on a birch tree
 
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There's probably still mint around. I'm in a colder climate than you and my peppermint, lemon balm, and bergamot (monarda) are still going.

Strawberry leaves will still be around, possibly raspberry and blackberry, too.

Sage and thyme probably haven't died back yet.

I really like Ceanothus velutinus, which is evergreen. The older leaves are the most flavourful for tea, so this is a perfect time to harvest.
 
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Wow these are all awesome responses, thank you! Excited to know that chaga has a home over here too.

Jocelyn, do you make tea with the whole roots of Oregon grape?
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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zurcian braun wrote:Wow these are all awesome responses, thank you! Excited to know that chaga has a home over here too.

Jocelyn, do you make tea with the whole roots of Oregon grape?



Yes, unpeeled, dried root pieces. Though usually never on its own. I'll make an immune support herbal tea blend with things like elderberries, rose hips, feverfew, ginger, lemon, mullein, along *with* the Oregon grape. The other items help hide its not so great flavor.

Rose hips! Those are hard to forage for here because they tend to turn to mush, but they are one of my all time favorite tea components as well.

Yarrow is a great antimicrobial, too, though it might taste even worse in tea than Oregon grape. YMMV.

I agree that roasted dandelion root on its own is rather awesome! Sometimes I'll add some hazelnut or toffee flavored stevia to roasted dandelion root tea and it tastes like a caramel tea - a fun treat!


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