Herbal teas are becoming popular among food lovers. Many of them are caffeine-free and have interesting flavors that are a great deviation from the usual Camellia sinensis teas.
You can infuse different herbs and spices to make delicious and refreshing teas. Some of the most well-known examples are ginger tea, tulsi tea, and floral brews like jasmine tea and hibiscus tea.
You can also make delicious tea using lesser-known herbs, such as organic saw palmetto. If you’re not familiar with this herb, read on.
What Is Saw Palmetto?
Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens
) is considered an herb, although it is actually a member of the palm family of plants. It has been widely used as a medicinal plant for hundreds of years. You will see this shrub growing throughout South Carolina and Florida, across the Gulf, and even into Texas. Natives along the Southeast Coast are fans of saw palmetto berries, which they use as a food source.
Saw palmetto is called by different names, such as the Dwarf palmetto, Sabal, Cabbage palm, Pan palm, and Palmetto Scrub. This fan palm has saw-toothed fronds that fan out from thorny stems.
A saw palmetto shrub can grow up to 10 feet high. It produces bunches of deep purple or black berries from October to December. This plant is rich in flavonoids, fatty acids, and plant sterols.
A Simple Saw Palmetto Tea Recipe
Although most natives consume saw palmetto berries as is, some prefer to use it to brew tea. EHow contributor Lisa Parris writes a simpleguide
on how to create your own saw palmetto tea.
· Saw palmetto berries
· Purified water
· Vanilla or almond extract
· Spices (cardamom, allspice, ginger, and cinnamon are great options)
· Non-aluminum pan with lid
- Get one-fourth cup of fresh saw palmetto berries and put it into a small, non-aluminum pan with a lid. If you only have dried saw palmetto berries, use two teaspoons.
- Add two cups of boiling water to the berries and stir well. Cover the pan and let the mixture stand for 15 minutes.
- Add one tablespoon of honey and one-fourth teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract. For a bit of sweetness, add a pinch of stevia. This will make the brew more palatable.
- Use the strainer to strain the tea. Transfer it into a cup and drink.
- You can reserve the berries and reuse them for a second batch.
Another way of brewing saw palmetto tea is by simply dunking the berries in cold water, bringing the water to a boil over low heat, and then covering and simmering for 30 minutes. This method helps draw out more useful compounds from the berries. Let the tea cool for several hours before straining and drinking it. However, you cannot reuse the berries.
If you want to prepare large servings of saw palmetto tea:
- Measure half a cup of saw palmetto berries and put them in a pan. You can include any spices or natural sweeteners you want.
- Cover the berries with four cups of water (the ideal ratio is two cups of water for every one-fourth cup of berries) and let them soak for two hours.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, and let simmer for 10 minutes.
- Leave the berries overnight to cool. In the morning, simply strain the tea and drink.
Saw palmetto tea has a unique flavor that you will appreciate. Experiment and try mixing it with other brews and flavors. Do not add excessive amounts of sugar to your tea, though. Sugar, and even natural sweeteners like raw honey, may be detrimental to your health if consumed in excess.
About the Author
Elaine Rosales is a writer for Mercola.com
. She is writing a report on useful but lesser-known natural herbs such as organic saw palmetto
and tulsi tea, as well as their potential benefits and uses in the kitchen. She hopes that her research will be a useful guide for people who want to switch to a holistic lifestyle.