12 Wild Teas You Can Forage For Guide

Wild teas foraging guide

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There is nothing more soothing than sitting back to relax with a warm cup of tea. But you don’t always have to go for the traditional kind. Waiting in local woodlands and outdoor spaces are plenty of wild teas that can make your tea time much more exciting.

1. Rosehip Tea

Rosehip tea foraging

One of the greatest things about rosehip tea is that it is bursting with vitamin C. Not only this, but it has a wealth of health benefits including being an anti-inflammatory and potentially reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes. If you’re looking to lose weight, rosehip has a type of antioxidant that could help to burn fat.

When foraging for rosehips, you will need to pick the fruit which contains lots of little seeds. These normally begin to fruit in the late summer, but you can collect them through into early fall.

They’re common in northern parts of the USA and up into Canada but can be largely found across the entire country, particularly in coastal areas and clearings. Just be sure to wear some protective gloves as the bushes can be thorny.

How to Prepare Rosehip Tea?

To make a batch of rosehip tea, you will need to gather at least one or two cups of seed pods. Make sure that you thoroughly clean and dry the rose hips before making your tea and when you’re ready, it’s simply a case of steeping them in boiling water for up to 30 minutes.

If you’re in a rush, you can steep for as little as 15 minutes but the flavor won’t be as intense. You can either place them in the water whole or mash them up but if you choose the latter, just remember to remove any pulp before drinking.

The flavor of rosehips is sweet and slightly citrusy, but if you want to remove the tang, then you can try sweetening the tea with a little honey.

2. Spruce or Pine Needle Tea

Spruce tea foraging

Fresh, earthy, and herbal, spruce or pine needle tea is an uplifting drink that can be enjoyed for the sake of it or it makes an amazing remedy for the common cold! That’s because pine needles will give your immune system a boost owing to the fact that they’re packed with vitamin C!

When collecting pine needles, we’d recommend going for the younger, smaller ones as these will be much more fragrant and flavorful. New growth occurs in early spring, and the young needles are easy to spot since they’re typically lighter in color and grow at the ends of the branches.


Do keep in mind that there are a lot of different varieties of pine trees, but not all are edible. The Norfolk Island pine, Yew, and Ponderosa pine are all toxic to humans, so be sure you know what you are picking before consuming anything.

How to Prepare Pine Needle Tea?

Making pine needle tea is one of the quickest and easiest natural types of tea. It involves steeping the pine needles in boiling water for just ten minutes. That said, you can also steep them overnight using cold water if you want to make sure that any tannins are removed.

Before adding the pine needles to the water, we would recommend cutting them up into smaller pieces as this will help to release the flavor.

3. Lavender Tea

Lavender tea foraging

Lavender is abundant all over the world and is a highly fragrant plant with a rich, earthy taste that has a fresh hit since this is part of the mint family. There are 39 species of lavender, but it’s widely accepted that English lavender is best when it comes to brewing tea.

You can forage lavender but it is also more than possible to grow your own plants so that you have a continuous supply. When you are ready to harvest your lavender, you’ll need to take the flowers which can either be used right away or dried out so you can use them down the line. If you’re doing this, make sure to tie bunches of lavender together and keep them in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place.

When growing lavender, be sure to give it plenty of natural sunlight and try not to overwater as these plants do not like wet soil.

The wonderful thing about lavender is that it has a whole range of health benefits, including improving your sleep and relieving stress. Moreover, lavender is known to improve your skin with its excellent antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

How to Prepare Lavender Tea?

The best way to make lavender tea is by adding your harvest to a teabag. You can purchase empty tea bags online from places like Amazon.

You’ll need to use up to three flower heads and perhaps a couple of leaves for each cup of tea. Although if you have previously dried the lavender, measure out a teaspoon per cup. Now, add some hot water and allow the tea to infuse for up to three minutes.

4. Dandelion Tea

Dandelion tea

Dandelions can be found in abundance all over the United States, so they’re the perfect food for foraging. The leaves are deep green and spiky, while the flowering part of the plant has a bright yellow hue, so they’re hard to miss.

You will find dandelions on every continent in the world, and they can be as close as your own backyard. That said, you’ll also find them growing in parks, pastures, and meadows, so they’re not hard to come by. Picking them is safe and easy since there are no thorny or prickly parts to be wary of.

What’s great about dandelions is that they are incredibly good for you and have a wide range of health benefits. They’re said to reduce inflammation and are also ideal as a natural treatment for UTIs. Since they’re packed with potassium, dandelions are also excellent for anyone suffering from high blood pressure.

How to Prepare Dandelion Tea?

The roots of the dandelion are used to make tea, well, coffee if you want to be technical, but in any case, they’re ideal for a natural hot drink.

You will need around 30 dandelion roots which you will then need to chop into small pieces and roast. Don’t forget to clean them first as they’ll be very dirty. These roots can then be added to hot water and steeped for around five minutes. What’s great is that you’ll have a coffee-like drink without all that caffeine!

5. Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea

Most people are familiar with the notion that chamomile tea is perfect for relaxing and winding down. It is often used to aid sleep and has been used for so long that it is considered one of the most ancient herbal remedies. But relaxation is not the only benefit of this miracle plant.

Chamomile has been shown to reduce the pain of menstrual cramps and also has some wonderful anti-inflammatory properties. As well as this, there has been evidence to suggest that chamomile may be effective in reducing the risks of certain types of cancer as it is able to target and eradicate cancer cells.

Chamomile is a garden plant that has flowers very similar in appearance to small daisies. You can harvest and eat both the flowers and the leaves as well as using them to make tea. Do keep in mind that people with ragweed allergies should avoid using chamomile as it will create a similar allergic reaction.

This plant is normally harvested during the summer months. That said, they’re pretty hardy, so you may be able to pick them through the winter in some cases.

How to Prepare Chamomile Tea?

You will need to crush your chamomile flowers in order to make tea. Per serving, we would suggest using two to three tablespoons of these crushed flowers in 230ml of slightly cooled, boiled water.

Depending on how intense you would like the flavor, you should leave the tea to steep for as little as five minutes or as long as ten minutes. It is perfectly acceptable to mix in a little honey to taste.

6. Blackberry Leaf Tea

Blackberry leaf tea

Blackberry leaf from the bramble plant is ideal for making tea, although most people will be used to foraging for the delicious berries that come out in late summer and early fall. The leaves can also be used to make vinegar if you have enough left over after making your delicious beverage.

Not only does this make a tasty drink, but blackberry leaves have a variety of health benefits, including excellent anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, they’re incredibly antioxidant and are packed with vitamin C, which can help boost the immune system, among other things.

Thanks to the tannins in the leaves, this type of tea is also suitable for soothing digestive conditions such as diarrhea.

When collecting blackberry leaves, it is wise to choose the tender leaves that are yet to become thick and bristly on the underside.

How to Prepare Blackberry Leaf Tea?

You can make blackberry leaf tea with either fresh or dried leaves. Regardless of which you use, you will need around two or three teaspoons per serving for the best results.

This particular type of wild tea needs a slightly longer steeping time than many others. Most foragers would suggest leaving the tea for at least ten minutes, pushing that time up to fifteen for a richer taste.

7. Nettle Tea

Nettle tea

One of the best things about nettles is that they are super rich in iron. In fact, they have four times more iron than spinach as well as a whole host of other essential nutrients. With all of the vitamins and minerals, it’s no wonder that nettle tea has so many wonderful health benefits including being a natural antihistamine!

If you are fasting, then nettle tea is a great way to cleanse the body and acts as a tonic. What’s great is that they are in abundance almost everywhere and can be found growing in open areas, along roadsides, and around bodies of water. Just make sure to wash the leaves well after foraging.

When collecting nettle leaves, it’s always best to go for the young, fresh leaves, but you’ll need to gather quite a few, so take a couple of bags with you. Also, remember that nettles will sting, so you’ll need a protective pair of gloves to keep your hands safe.

How to Prepare Nettle Leaf Tea?

Nettle tea goes very well with mint so you may wish to infuse the two together. In any case, you will need to wash and dry the leaves before making your tea. Lay them on a clean, dry towel overnight, and then repeat the process.

Once they are dry, press the leaves through a sieve to get them as crumbled and crushed as possible. You can keep these dried leaves for up to 12 months, and when you’re ready, simply add a couple of teaspoons to hot water and allow to steep for up to ten minutes.

8. Mint Tea

Mint tea foraging

Mint is a garden plant that you can grow in a container, or of course, you can find it in the wild, particularly in moist areas. It can be found across the United States and is usually located where there is at least partial sun. Typically, you will get the best mint leaves during winter, but it may still be possible to get a small harvest in the summer months.

The mint plant can be harvested for both its leaves and stems when it comes to making tea, and with a fresh, uplifting flavor, it’s ideal for reducing pain and treating the common cold, among other things. Moreover, mint has been used for centuries as a digestive aid, especially where relieving nausea and vomiting is concerned.

How to Prepare Mint Tea?

One of the great things about making mint tea is that there is almost no preparation required. The leaves can be added to your hot water whole as long as you are careful to remove any woody parts.

You can then leave the leaves to steep for five minutes. If you want a more intense flavor, then it is possible to increase the steeping time.

9. Elderflower Tea

Elderflower tea

Elderflower tea is wonderful because you have so many options of how to make it. You can brew a cup using the flowers, or you might choose to infuse the berries. If you don’t want to make your tea right away, it is also possible to dry the flowers and use them at a later date, so it’s very versatile. But most commonly, people will use the flowers.

One of the main health benefits of this wild tea is that it is perfect for soothing the symptoms of colds and flu. This is likely due to the high levels of vitamin C in this plant which boosts the immune system.

You will quite often find elderflower bushes and trees growing along the sides of roads but it is possible to grow them in your garden as well. Keep in mind that the branches and twigs are mildly toxic, so these should never be used to make elderflower tea.

How to Prepare Elderflower Tea?

Elderflower tea is beautifully delicate and aromatic, and it’s easy to make. You will need a couple of handfuls of the flowers, which should be fully removed from the stems.

You should then take some hot, not boiling, water and pour this over the flowers in a mason jar or teapot. You’ll need to leave this one for around ten minutes to get the most out of the flavor.

10. Birch Tea

Birch tea foraging

If you are going foraging during fall or winter then birch should be on the top of your list. What is most interesting about this type of wild tea is that, unlike others that make use of the leaves and flowers, birch tea requires the use of the twigs.

Harvesting birch for tea is easy; simply clip some of the twigs and chop them up into smaller pieces ready for brewing. You will find these trees growing in forest environments, and they tend to prefer places in partial shade.

This is a classic winter tea with a strong taste of wintergreen that many people find soothing and comforting. However, it’s also an excellent anti-inflammatory and has often been favored as a natural treatment for arthritis and joint pain.

How to Prepare Birch Tea?

You can use hot water from the kettle to make birch tea, but for a more rustic experience, why not try brewing it on the stove top?

To do this, you’ll need to take your chopped twigs; around a quart will be enough and pop these into a pan along with some hot water. Turn off the heat and leave the twigs to steep as the water cools. You will now need to remove the twigs and reheat the water. A great way to drink this type of tea is to add a little milk and honey.

11. Raspberry Leaf Tea

Raspberry leaf tea

You will find raspberries growing in many places across the US, particularly in zones 2 to 7. While a lot of people harvest the fruits, many people are unaware that the leaves can be used to make a delicious cup of tea.

There are so many positive benefits to drinking raspberry leaf tea, and it’s been used for thousands of years by Native Americans to calm digestive conditions such as diarrhea. What’s more, it has long been used in female health, particularly to soothe menstrual pain and pain during childbirth, this is owing to the high levels of iron in the leaves.

One of the best things about collecting raspberry leaves is that they can be harvested pretty much all year round. However, it is best to collect them mid-morning before the plant begins to bloom. Just keep in mind that these are thorn plants, so you will need hand and arm protection.

How to Prepare Raspberry Leaf Tea?

The best way to prepare raspberry leaves is to dry them out. Once you have done this, you can then grind them down and store them ready for use.

As with other types of wild tea, you’ll want to add hot, not boiling water to the leaves. Then allow them to steep for about five minutes. You can leave them a little longer if you want a stronger flavor. Raspberry leaf goes very well with things like cloves and nettles, or you can drink the tea on its own.

12. Red Clover Tea

Red clover tea

Red clover actually belongs to the same family as beans and is classed as a legume, despite its strikingly different appearance to many of its cousins. The red clover can be eaten raw or cooked and can also be used to brew wild tea. It has a distinct vanilla taste, and many camp leaders around America encourage kids to take their first taste early on.

When it comes to making red clover tea, you’ll need to gather those beautiful purplish flowers, and you’ll need quite a few for a single cup, so don’t be shy when foraging for this ingredient. That said, it is also possible to make tea using the leaves, so this is one of the more versatile plants.

What’s great about red clover is that it has a wide range of health benefits. For example, there have been studies that have shown that red clover may be able to balance hormones, especially for women going through menopause. Moreover, it’s a natural sedative, so makes a great evening beverage, and with its purifying properties, it’s often used as a natural remedy for colds and flu. 

How to Prepare Red Clover Leaf Tea?

Making red clover tea is incredibly simple. You will need two to three teaspoons of flowers according to your taste. These should be steeped in hot water for around 15 minutes, although you can leave them longer for a more intense taste.

While red clover is naturally sweet and floral tasting, many people like to add a dash of honey to the tea to further sweeten it.

Tips for Foraging & Preparing Wild Teas

Preparing wild teas guide

It’s evident that there are a lot of plants that can be used to make wild teas. However, before you head out foraging, you need to be prepared. Even after collecting your harvest, there are a few things to keep in mind for the safest and most enjoyable experience.

1. Always Check That You Have Permission First Before Foraging

Foraging in itself is not illegal but if you end up on private property, it could technically be classed as theft. The last thing you want is to land yourself in any type of trouble so before taking any plants, make sure that you have express permission from the landowner.

2. Drying Is a Great Way of Preserving & Enhancing Flavors

Some plants are only available at certain times of the year, so you may want to make the most of this and gather a sizable harvest. But the problem with this is that you may have far more than you need, but there are ways to preserve what you have collected for use at a later date.

One of the best options when it comes to preserving plants is to dry them out. You can air dry them by leaving them in a cool, dry place with good ventilation. However, there are also many food dehydrators on the market that are very effective and fast.

OSTBA Food Dehydrator with Adjustable Temperature & Timer Controls

This 5-tray stackable food dehydrator features adjustable temperature and timer controls, allowing you to get consistent results when drying herbs for use in wild teas.

It is important to keep in mind that you can go too far and over-dry your plants. When you do this, they will begin to lose flavor. While you’ll still be able to use them in teas, you won’t get as much enjoyment out of them.

When you have dried out your plants, be sure to keep them in an airtight container to preserve them. In most cases, they can then be used as far ahead as 12 months.

3. Always Wash Before Use

While nature might look pretty inoffensive, there are things out there that can affect the quality of your harvest. Things like insects and other wildlife may have left their mark on the plant, and some bugs may even be left behind.

Moreover, plants could have been sprayed with chemicals. This is the case even if they aren’t on farmland as chemicals sprayed nearby could carry over. For this reason, it’s important to always wash your plants before using them.

4. Tearing Leaves Can Help to Release Oils

You can simply add leaves to your tea without doing anything to them, and you will have a delicate flavor. But for the most part, you’ll find it to be extremely mild and in some cases, rather dull. However, if you want something a little more potent than tearing the leaves will release the natural oils inside which contain a lot of flavor.

5. Avoid Using Boiling Water

Most of us are aware that making coffee with boiling water can affect the taste and quality. This is because coffee is a natural ingredient, so it will come as no surprise that other plants behave in the same way.

When you are making wild teas, be sure to keep the water hot but not boiling. Around 93ºC is ideal. Not only will the taste be affected when using boiling water, but many of the nutrients will be lost, and since one of the best things about natural teas is how good they are for you, this is the last thing you’ll want to do.

Some kettles have a temperature control function. If yours does, then make use of it. Otherwise, you can boil your kettle and then allow the water to cool for a few minutes before adding your ingredients.

6. Leave the Water to Steep for at Least 5 Minutes

The longer you leave your wild tea to steep, the more flavorful it will become. We know you’re probably eager to taste it, but you should wait at least five minutes before drinking. If you can leave it longer, great!

That said, there are some plants whose flavor is so strong that five minutes will be more than enough. But of course, much of it comes down to personal preference.

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