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"Sweet goldenrod, sometimes called blue mountain tea, has a rich history. Long before the arrival of Europeans, the Native Americans so appreciated its taste that they flavored other medicinals with it. After the Boston Tea Party in 1773, patriotic colonists devised a substitute for China tea called Liberty Tea, made from equal parts of sweet goldenrod, betony, red clover, and New Jersey tea (Ceanothus americanus). Later, sweet goldenrod became a cash crop in the United States; it was even exported to China, where it sold at high prices as a tea substitute. "To make tea from sweet goldenrod, harvest the plants just before they come into bloom, usually in August. If you wait too long, the leaves may have a slightly acrid or bitter taste. You may strip the leaves from the stems and place them on trays in a single layer or dry the stalks upside down in bundles and strip off the dried leaves. Provide good air circulation and avoid direct sunlight. When the leaves are thoroughly crisp, store them in jars with tight-fitting lids, out of the sun. "Use a teaspoonful of the dried herb to a cup of boiling water and steep five minutes or to taste. A half-and-half mixture of sweet goldenrod and peppermint makes an unusual, sweet beverage." * Excerpted from an article by Jill Jepson in The Herb Companion * Volume 5, Number 6, August/September 1993 * Typed for you by Karen Mintzias
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