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Second spring is here, but winter will continue.

I'm talking drinks and syrups. All those wonderful concoctions you can make and

have for spring tonics and winter recovery.

We eat rich, wonderful and delicious food in the winter. Oh, how we love the focus around food and drinks! There are two nutrients humans need that require a great amount of work to earn: sugar, anything sweet and fat. It is no wonder we want those first! So, after a winter of hiding out from the cold, all the hard work, combined with the great number of Yule celebrations, it’s not surprising we feel sluggish, like the filter (liver) and carburetor (lungs, blood, veins, arteries,) aren’t running right. I love tea, bitters and spring plants to kick start everything and help get rid of that sluggish feeling.


First there is burdock, lovely burdock. She grows just about everywhere. I prefer the second-year roots dug up in the spring. Peeling the outside removes the bitterest part but I actually like the twang it gives. The first-year roots are easier to dig up, but much less bitter, and smaller and maybe less medicinal. Dig up

burdock, clean and rinse the roots off, slice like a carrot and use in any recipe

you wish. I love burdock roots in stir-fry, in soup or with your broth veggies. You can also make a really wonderful burdock root tea (recipe below) and drink to your health. You can also eat the leaves in a cooked salad, for instance.


Do you remember the sheer joy of dandelion flowers? I do. I love how soft the petals are, the perfect green of the leaves and stem and the bright yellow against the grass, like some happiness and oddities showing up. Dandelion roots, much like burdock roots, are also fantastic in stir fry and tea, but let me tell you about dandelion roots as a slightly roasted morning drink. I hesitate to call it a coffee substitute, because it isn’t, and that is unfair to both dandelion and coffee. To make a tea, find your dandelions, dig them up (don’t throw away the leaves or flowers!), chop up the roots and cook in a cast iron pan until they are slightly roasted. Steep the roasted roots and make as you would coffee. You can use the dandelion leaves and flowers in other foods. Put the flowers in muffins and leaves in salads. Both of those are super easy additions to your standard muffin or salad recipe.


If I could get everyone to do only a couple of things, the top of that list would be to drink and eat nettles every day. I like infusing dried nettles in a quart of water overnight, straining and reserving the liquid and drinking it over the day. It is among my favorite drinks and I can really feel the difference when I have nettles. I put about a quarter cup of dried nettles in a quart (large) mason jar, fill it up with water and let it set 4-8 hours. I usually do this overnight, strain and reserve and sip on the nettles water while waiting for my coffee to get done. There are many more things you can do with nettles, but they do need to be either dried or cooked or you will really understand why their name is Stinging Nettles.



1 teaspoon dried burdock root

1 teaspoon dried dandelion root

2 dried red clover flowers

Dried peppermint leaves to taste

4 cups hot water

Steep and strain to make tea.


1⁄4 cup or so dried nettles

5 cups hot water

A squirt of lemon juice

Similarly sized squirt of honey or maple syrup

Make a tea as described above, let cool and strain, reserving liquid and adding lemon and honey or maple syrup. Drink the YUM!



1 1⁄2 oz. raspberry leaves (You can grow these assuming you’re in the right area.)

1 oz. dried nettles. These can grow anywhere.

1⁄2 oz. Rosehips,

Yep, the ones off your non-sprayed rose bushes, picked at the end of the season, after the first frost.

1⁄2 oz. Hibiscus flowers—make sure you get the edible ones.

1⁄2 oz. dried orange peel. I save my orange peels and dry them myself.

4 cups hot water

Steep and strain to make tea.

You can change things around with any of these recipes as your taste buds, how much you want to grow yourself or not, time and other circumstances dictate.

One of the things I like best about these recipes is that you can grow and harvest the ingredients as well as blend them yourself. They are perfect for gifts. I hope you really groove and get into making your own teas and drinks with recipes you have invented.

As always, with love, maya


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