Foraging for Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) – A Favorite Winter Forest Tea

wintergreen

Here’s a short video I took foraging in a park in New Jersey. This area I was walking is located at the tip of the Pine Barrens; there is sandy acidic soil and a heath forest including rhododendron and blueberries, oaks, sassafras, etc. That means you can find wintergreen growing wherever you find that habitat.

The berries make a great snack, and the leaves make a wonderful tea, but should be harvested with respect to sustaining the plants life. After harvesting 1-2 leaves of each plant, I usually break the leaves up, maybe 6 to a cup, and simmer with a lid on for 10 minutes. After that if you want to increase the delicate but healing flavor you can take the leaves out and make a decoction.

This plant makes an incredibly delicious, refreshing, and medicinal tea which is anti-inflammatory as well as cleansing for the blood. It can also be found in mid winter when not much else can be found.


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About Dan

Dan De Lion is an earth herbalist, forager, musician, and teacher. He teaches through Return to Nature, providing classes, lectures, and seminars on wild food foraging, mushroom identification, herbal medicine making, as well as primitive and survival skills with a focus on wild foods and forest medicines. He also incorporates the philosophies of yoga, alchemy, meditation, and mysticism into his classes, lectures, and seminars and brings a deep rooted indigenous medicine perspective of practicing intuition with plants, in a systematic and earth-based way – Check out more at www.returntonature.us.
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