As the nights grow cooler, the chill tiptoes into the corners of the dusks and dawns.
As the days creep shorter, wild plants are changing, too. Sumac the crown jewel of wild plants has had a particularly good year, a great reason to include this excellent harvest in our winter tea, Spicy Earl.
The fruit yields a fine claret-colored spice and flavor that is deliciously tart and clean tasting. Plus sumac fruits are high in vitamin C, A ,and antioxidants.
As a wild plant one man’s pest is another man’s pearl. Dandelion root and flowers may be considered pesky weeds. Nettles may seem like the most unlikely side dish. The sumac bush may look like just another roadside shrub. To the resourceful, all of these plants are both food and medicine.
Cooks from many countries, including Turkey, Italy, and Israel, have revered sumac berries (Rhus spp.) for more than a thousand years. And yet, the fruits are hardly something to make a meal or snack of; they are smaller than gooseberries. What sumac berries have going for them is a brilliant brick-to purple-burgundy color, a tart and tangy taste, and a bushel full of therapeutic applications.Sumac leaves and berries are classified as astringent and cooling. Certain Native American and Canadian Indian tribes used sumac to treat bladder, digestive, reproductive, and respiratory ailments; infections; injuries; stomach aches; arrow wounds; and more.
The Chippewa Indians of North America made a decoction of sumac flowers to treat gas, indigestion, and other digestive upsets.
Early pioneers used the berries to reduce fevers, and they steeped and strained the berries and thickened the mixture with honey to yield a soothing cough syrup. Some transformed the berries into wine.
The Iroquois used sumac as a, diuretic, expectorant, liver aid, and in countless other applications. The powdered bark and dried berries were allegedly combined with tobacco and smoked during peace pipe ceremonies.
Hey, we’re not suggesting you to smoke it , but why not stick the kettle on and enjoy this wild ingredient in your home brew. We’d love love to hear what you think of our beautiful blend of Earl Grey, warming notes of cinnamon and cloves, sumac berries and orange peel!!