Canku Ota


(Many Paths)


An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


March 24, 2001 - Issue 32



Homemade Cherokee Teas


I've heard rumors that spring is on the way and that some folks can even see the ground!! For those of you who can get out and gather your own ingredients....ENJOY!!!!


Oo-Wa-Ga Old (Field Apricot Drink)

Gather old field apricots
(field apricots are the fruit of the passion flower)

Hull out the seed and pulp, and put on to boil, discarding skins. Add a tiny bit of soda to make the seeds separate from the pulp. Squash out the pulp, straining the mixture through a cloth. Drink hot.

Ga-Na-S-Da-Tsi (Sassafras Tea)

Red Sassafras roots

To make a tea, boil a few pieces of the root in water until it is the desired strength. Sweeten with honey if desired. Serve hot or cold.

Note: Gather and wash the roots of the red sassafras. Do this in the spring before the sap begins to rise. Store for future use. Some natural food stores carry sassafrass root in a dried form. It will resemble wood chips (the kind used when barbequeing). The "store bought" variety work just as well. Sassafras tea tastes like watered down rootbeer and is really very good.

Oo-Ni-Na-Su-Ga Oo-Ga-Ma (Possum Grape Drink)

Possum grapes, dried
Corn meal

Shell off the grapes from the stems, wash, and stew them in water. When they are done, mash in the water they were cooked in. Let this sit until the seed settle, then strain, reserving liquid. Put the juice back on the fire and and bring to a boil. Add a little cornmeal to thicken the juice. Continue cooking until the meal is done. Remove from the fire and drink hot or cold.

"Possum Grapes" are probably wild muscadines. Muscadines are similar to a concord. Muscadine vines may be purchased from various growers.

Peppermint Tea

Peppermint stalks

Gather peppermint (the kind that grows along the creeks or streams). Crush the leaves and pour boiling water over them. Strain the liquid and serve hot. May be sweetened with honey if desired.



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