l Navajo tea, hopi tea, green tread, cota, te de l
One of the many wild plants that is indicative of this region. Not a traditional tea as in a Camellia sinensis, but rather a tea of a dried plant. It has been used by many native tribes in the four corners area simply dried and steeped in hot water, sometimes toasted before steeping. Like many other wild plants used by near by tribes, Indian tea does have some medicinal purposes. It is a mild diuretic, a diuretic helps rid your body of salt and water and it is known as a folk medicine for arthritis, kidney, and blood complaints. Also used for indigestion, but mostly drank for it's unique flavor that closely resembles commercial tea sometimes hot or iced.
Usually a very difficult plant to identify until it starts to flower, Indian tea blooms July to September along with many of the other yellow flowers including the sage brush. Recently we went out to gather some before it was all gone to dry it out to use through out the cold months for our dinners. We eventually found a patch that was in it's last bloom. We pulled over and before we picked any I snapped a poloroid of the plant, in one way a reminder and in another way paying respect to the plant before we gathered it. As we picked this plant we reminisced about how we were in the same spot doing the same thing our ancestors had once done. Obviously not exactly, neither of us had made our own shoes or ridden there on horse back, but it was soothing to know that mother earth continues to provide for us. It was nice to carry on this tradition in one way or another, and to be able to share with others.