What do you think about when you hear the words New Jersey Tea? Most probably think about some tea that you can buy in the US state New Jersey, while others might think that this tea is something imported from New Jersey, USA. Well both of those answers are actually wrong. New Jersey Tea is a shrub, small in stature but with a very big history. It is herbaceous, which means it is an herb and has been used as a medicinal herb for centuries. The main picture in the article is a picture of a wild New Jersey Tea plant, it only grows about 18-42 inches high but it's roots are extremely strong and grow deep allowing this plant to usually survive wildfires when everything else dies out.
In the late spring to early summer this herb flowers into a small tight cluster of white flowers on top of it with the cluster resembling an oval like shape. The plants leaves have three prominent veins in them from which many more veins run. An herbal medicine can be made from the plants roots, leaves and root bark. In order to make New Jersey Herbal Tea, you would gather the leaves and or the root and allow them to dry completely out. Just like regular black tea leaves are. Once they have dried you can reconstitute them in hot water for an herbal beverage that tastes a bit like Oriental tea. The health benefits of this herb are quite interesting.
But it is best known for it's ability to cure any ailment that has to do with the spleen. It has been shown to lower blood pressure, is used as a homeopathic remedy for fever, indigestion, colds, jaundice, lack of menstrual cycle, cough, spasms, bleeding, gonorrhea, syphilis, chills, asthma, bronchitis and other conditions. Its botanical name is Ceanothus Americanus and it possesses several therapeutic properties, including expectorant, astringent and anti-spasmodic. Basically, Ceanothus is a remedy for health conditions related to the liver and spleen as well as treating chronic bronchitis. Now as for the herbs history, well the name New Jersey Tea dates clear back to the Revolutionary War days when the tea that was being imported was to expensive.
People would use this tea as a replacement, hence the name. Right now if you live near an area that is wooded with some grown up areas just outside the actual forest area you can walk through and probably find this herb growing. Out on our homestead the tea plant is flowering but the lack of rain has made the flowers dry up early and start to fall off. It is imperative that you learn to look at the plants leaves and find the three main veins as this is a very good way to tell if you have New Jersey Tea or not. There are no side effects to using this herb but if you are pregnant or nursing you may want to wait till after just to be safe, all natural medicines have much left to be discovered and we do not know everything about this plant.