Besides milk and water, practically every beverage consumed world wide is produced from plants. They add flavour, colour and texture to drinks, and often provide nutritional value. And, as most people are aware, many plants have the fermentable properties which allow alcohol to be made. There are many different ways to drink plants, and here are some of them.

Herbal teas are usually made by steeping 1 teaspoon of dried herb in 1 cup of boiling water for about 5 - 10 minutes. There are many, many herbs which can be made into a tea. Some of the less common ones are:

  • alfalfa tea - appetite stimulant
  • birch bark tea - identical in flavour to wintergreen
  • clover blossom tea - delicate flavour, may be used daily
  • horehound tea - simmer for 20 mins, used as a cough remedy
  • bee balm tea - sleep inducing
  • lime flower tea - soothes nerves, aids digestion.

Coffee substitutes can be roasted and used in place of coffee beans. These are useful for people whose diets do not allow caffeine. Some examples are asparagus seeds, carrots, chicory root, cleavers fruit, dandelion root, English oak acorns, figs, hawthorn seeds, milk thistle seeds, rowan fruit, soybeans and witch grass root.

Juices are most commonly extracted from fruit, but can also be taken from the leafy part of a plant. This is done either by pressing the leaves, or more effectively, using a juicer or blender. The juice should be consumed immediately, and can be blended according to taste or desired medicinal effect. Some of the less common plants used for juice are cabbage, dandelion, garlic, green peppers, potatoes, watercress and wild clover.

Alcohol can be fermented by almost anything which contains sugars or starch. Often, this will produce a foul tasting liquid, which fortunately, can be improved by the addition of various plants. Some plants used in producing alcoholic beverages are: black birch sap, buck bean, ground ivy, quassia wood, sweet flag root, and wafer ash fruit. For making or flavouring beer; bilberries, cherries, dandelion flowers, figs, garden rhubarb, rose hips and white birch sap. For making wine; basil, burnet saxifrage, rosemary, sage and woodruff. For flavouring wine; and caraway, carrot seed oil, garden violet flowers, maidenhair, myrrh, potatoes and wormwood.

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