Did you know that you have all the ingredients to make an amazing tea right in your own backyard? In Northwestern Ontario, cedar trees are very common and are known as the “tree of life.” This tea has a pleasantly sweet and earthy flavor. We hope you try this healing and calming tea!
Cedar is commonly used in teas as an anti-inflammatory and can help with respiratory organs. It can help with bronchitis, pneumonia, and rheumatoid arthritis. It can also be used as a smudge to remove negative energies or boiled in water to purify a space. Anishinaabe people place cedar boughs above doors and windows as a form of protection.
When picking cedar you must show your respect to the plant and nature. Always offer tobacco, preferably in cloth, when picking cedar or any other medicines as a sign of respect. Try collecting from different plants and leave space for regrowth to avoid killing it. Avoid young trees and plants and only take what you need. Ensure the plant is able to regrow and replenish itself.
- Gather all the amount of cedar you would like to use (usually four sprigs is enough).
- Fill a medium pot with water and bring to a boil (roughly 6 cups). One-pot can yield upward of 3 cups of tea. Rainwater, lake water, or any water from nature is best.
- Once your water comes to a boil, lay your cedar on top.
- Let boil for at least ten minutes.
- Remove from heat once the water is tinted green.
- Drink and enjoy.
- Optional: Add natural honey
- Any additional tea can be stored in the fridge to drink at a later time!
- Used cedar should be placed back into nature.
Cedar has many medicinal uses, but we recommend offering tobacco and gifts to an elder to learn their knowledge. Cedar is such a beautiful and historic part of nature. Nature does an excellent job at healing and protecting us. Maybe cedar tea will become your new favorite natural remedy. If are you currently enrolled in SGEI and ever have any questions and want to learn more about traditional medicines and practices; SGEI’s Cultural Lead is here for you.
*Disclaimer- If you are pregnant or suspect you might be pregnant please consult an elder or physician before ingesting any traditional or natural medicines.