Saturday, June 10, 2017

Sassafras tea and blackberries

Real sassafras tea has fallen out of favor with the FDA because it contains safrole, which is a potential carcinogen.  Of course, you can probably find people who claim their grandparents used it with no ill effect, so I guess you have to chose whom you want to believe.  Anyway, it seems to me if it is used in moderation as a spring tonic, it might be okay (but who really knows).
The first sassafras tea I ever tried was some my older brother made.  I think he was probably in high school and had come across Euell Gibbons' book, Stalking the Wild Asparagus.  I think my brother experimented with several things from that book.
I made a little sassafras tea this evening and drank a cup with supper.
I boiled some fresh roots from some small suckers.  (This is what they looked like after boiling.) 

I added about a quart of cold water, boiled it for about 10 minutes, then let it steep on the stove eye for another 10 minutes or so.  I strained it through a closely woven cotton dish towel into a quart jar that had about 1/4 c. sugar in it.
One of the side effects of sassafras is sweating.  I went out and picked a few blackberries in the backyard this evening, and even though the blackberries were already in the evening shade, boy did I sweat!  Of course, that is not unusual for me even when I haven't had sassafras tea, so no conclusive evidence there.
Here are the blackberries--hopefully enough to make a pie.
Will the antioxidants in the berries offset the safrole in the tea?

1 comment:

  1. I certainly did not know about the Sassafras danger possibilities. I probably don't average over a cup or glass in five years over my life. I once made a pot in a helmet for some of the troops in the field at Lejeune. Sherry & I still cannot pass a blackberry patch without a snack. My favorite pie was mama's Blackberry.