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Mr. Smarty Plants - Use of cenizo (Leucophyllum frutescens) for tea

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Monday - February 20, 2006

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Edible Plants, Medicinal Plants, Shrubs
Title: Use of cenizo (Leucophyllum frutescens) for tea
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Back in the 50's when I spent the summers with my grandmother south of Hondo, Texas, she use to pick leaves from the cenizo (purple sage) bushes, dry them and then brew them for tea. I asked one of my aunts about it and she can not remember that. Can you use the cenizo (purple sage) leaves as a tea? I know I use to drink the tea. Please let me know.

ANSWER:

Yes, the leaves of Cenizo, or purple sage (Leucophyllum frutescens) can be used for making tea. Christina Mild in Rio Delta Wild, an extensive article about cenizo, describes the use of tea made from its leaves for medicinal purposes in treating congestion, coughing, chilis and fever of the common cold. Also, the ethnobotanist, Benito Trevino, (in an interview by the Texas Legacy Project sponsored by the Conservation History Association of Texas) talks about using cenizo tea with sugar or honey added to treat symptoms of a cold. He also talks about the use of many other plants of the Texas Rio Grande Valley.

 

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