Cold-Infused Peach Leaf and Rose Tea

There are few things I enjoy more than bonding with fellow plant nerds. This is why I've particularly enjoyed my friendships with herbalists over the last few years. When I first met them, I had a that "you put peanut butter in my chocolate" feeling. I foraged for plants, but knew little about how to use them medicinally. Before that time, it had never occurred to me that I could use the same plants I wildcrafted regularly as a part of my medicine chest.

Better late than never. Right?

What's more, I've learned to utilize some plants that aren't traditionally regarded as sources of food. Take for example, peach parts other than fruit. Did you know that peach pits can be infused into brandy to make one of the most delicious beverages medicines to ever pass your lips?

It turns out that use can also use peach leaves to make tea. I started out doing this as medicine. This summer, out of nowhere, I've become prone to getting nauseated when temperatures get above 90˚. Peach is an excellent remedy for nausea brought about by heat. But why am I telling you about this? I'm telling you because it is an exceptionally delicious tea that I can recommend on taste alone.

Even better, peach leaf tea can be brewed in cold water. You don't even need to heat up the house to make it! Win win. Peach leaf tea brews to be nearly clear, and is incredibly light in flavor, with the barest hint of peach and almond.

Before moving on to the recipe, I'd like to recommend that you read more about peach from herbalists I trust. Kiva Rose has written several good articles about peach - Persica, and Peach Leaf Tea. You might also enjoy what Rebecca Altman has written about peaches. They both address any fears you may have about ingesting an infusion made from peach leaves. Also, if you get the chance, read what Matthew Wood has to say about the use of peach in digestive ailments, inflammation, and allergies in The Practice of Traditional Western Herbalism, or on his website. Here's a quote from his book, "Prunus persica is also beneficial in food allergies... Peach is a superlative remedy for the irritative tissue state, especially for heat and irritation in people with sensitive skin and tissues."

Given the report that just came out about the high levels of pesticides found in Celestial Seasonings tea (and surely you know this must also hold true for other commercial tea makers), it's good to have a few homemade tea blends under your belt. I've got a few other teas that I forage and really enjoy - strawberry leaf (also cooling) and cota teas, this nettle blend that I enjoy drinking warm, and this wild pestle tea, which is made extra rich by the addition of pounded seeds.

Cold-Infused Peach Leaf and Rose Tea*

8-16 fresh** peach leaves
2-3 fresh** wild rose heads (optional)
1 quart cold water

1.  Use scissors to snip the peach leaves into a quart jar. Throw in the roses whole.

2.  Cover the plant material with cold water.  Cap the jar with a lid.

3.  Let the peach and rose infuse into the water in a refrigerator for 12 hours. Strain out the plant bits, and serve the resulting tea over ice.

*technically a tisane, but let's not split hairs here
**dried peach leaves and roses may also be used

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