Despite its common name as cowboy cologne, California Sagebrush (Artemisia californica) is used by Native Americans predominantly as a woman’s plant. This evergreen shrub, found in the foothills of California’s coastal sage scrub plant community, is abundant and wonderfully aromatic. Its dried out silver-green leaves are narrow and cluster in bunches. I have really come to crave the flavor of this tea.
Cecilia Garcia, a Chumash healer, and Dr. James Adams, Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Southern California, teamed up to write a recently published book Healing with Medicinal Plants of the West. They say that the tea can be drunk safely, in moderation, and that it will bring back pleasant memories.
Many female friends tell me they have irregular menses. There is a wide body of reports from the scientific community regarding the disruption of women’s menstruation cycles due to pesticides, hormones, and various chemical pollutants found in food. Click here to view research published in the American Journal of Epidemiology on this topic. Follow the recipe below every month, and drink one cup 3 times/day during the 4 days before your period begins.
California Sagebrush Tea
12 cups water
2 Tbsp dried California sagebrush (loosely packed)
Bring water to a boil and remove from heat. Add sagebrush and let steep for at least 4 hours. It’s best to let it steep overnight, strain out the sagebrush, and refrigerate the remaining amount.
The lines between food and medicine are oftentimes blurred. I believe this is why the term Food is Medicine is so universal among cultures. I look forward to using California Sagebrush as a seasoning in roasts and other foods that would compliment its strong flavor.