So today I decided to experiment with this, as part of my learning plant foraging; I had my camper parked up next to a bog which was surrounded by conifer forests, and the place was covered in yellow gorse flowers. This recipe makes for a beautifully aromatic tea, which is also beneficial to your health !
First, gather conifer needles by stripping young, fresh and cleans ones off the ends of low branches. I recommend fir or pine needles, as I find their aroma to be the most pleasing; but you can also use spruce for this. Make sure you gather only away from any main roads, as you don’t want the deposits from exhaust gases in your tea. For one cup of tea, a heaped teaspoon ( or slightly more, according to taste ) of needles should be sufficient.
Next, gather an equal amount ( a heaped tea spoon ) of yellow flowers off gorse bushes. Be very careful when you do this, as the needles of these bushes are very sharp ! Sturdy gloves are definitely recommended here. Do not use the needles or any other part of the plant, just the flowers, which blossom pretty much all year round here where I am in Ireland.
To prepare the tea, either chop or crush the conifer needles – you will immediate get that wonderful “Christmas tree smell” which we all love ! Leave the gorse flowers as they are, put both into a tea mug, and pour over hot but not boiling water. Cover, let stand for about 10min, then strain off. Now sit back and enjoy 🙂
This tea has a wonderfully lemony flavour, and is loaded with vitamin C and other goodies, so on top of being delicious, it is also good for your health, and will help ward off infections. And best of all – it’s free 🙂
Warning : It is best practice not to exceed the stated dose, and not to drink more than one cup of this per day. The oils in the conifer needles in particular are very powerful, and can act as an irritant to stomach and kidneys if overdosed. Also, do not drink this when pregnant, as a general precaution. Always consult a trained herbalist or medical professional if you are unsure.