Many wild plants are not edible because they are too woody or fibrous to digest properly, but steeping them in hot water releases valuable nutrients. On last week’s wilderness adventure we found some great wild plants that we could “drink” even though we couldn’t eat them. I noticed a definite difference in my energy level after consuming one or two cups of the brew we made.
I believe I already mentioned in an earlier post that we found wild citrus trees, including lemon, near our camp. Lemon juice is high in electrolytes, is a natural refrigerant and helps reduce thirst. The essential oils in the peels are a good digestive aid. I squeezed the juice and added the peel and rinds of one very large lemon to our brew.
Even though it is winter, we managed to find enough black raspberry vines to add about a cup of leaves to the pot. A close relative of the red raspberry plant, it is high in vitamins and minerals. It cleanses and alkalizes the blood and is a good stomach tonic.
Last we found some dry goldenrod and a few wild violets and their leaves. Goldenrod is antibacterial, fungicidal, worm expellant, and used for fevers and snakebites; not a bad idea to have in a survival setting.
Over some hot coals I brought my pot of canal water to a boil, removed it from the heat, and added all the above ingredients to steep for about 15 minutes. It was very pleasant to taste, and gave a good energy boost.