Bergamot, or “beebalm" tea, was used by Native Americans to ward off colds and sore throats. Six leaves of this hardy, invasive member of the mint family can be steeped in a cup of boiled water for 15 minutes as an antiseptic tea. The leaves blossoms, and stem can be brewed to smooth an inflamed throat. American colonists traded their English black tea for Oswego (bergamot) tea during the Boston Tea Party.
Rose Hip Syrup:
Rose hips were eaten raw when food was scarce and made into a delicious tea or syrup when the harvest was bountiful. The dried fruit of several species of old roses, rose hips can be taken during flu and cold season as a preventative. They are rich in vitamin C and have diuretic properties. The seeds contain vitamin E. Serve this syrup over ice cream and puddings.
½ cup crushed mint (wintergreen is best)
3 cups crushed, dried rose hips
4 tablespoons natural sugar
2 tablespoon honey
Boil 5 cups of water, add rose hips and remove from heat.
Steep 20 minutes and strain, reserving fluid.
Boil the strained pulp again in 2 cups of water.
Remove from stove; steep 10 minutes more.
Strain and combine with the first liquid.
Boil until reduced to half its volume; add sugar and boil 5 more minutes.
Remove from stove.
Add honey as syrup cools.
Store in glass containers and refrigerate.
Good for 3 months. Use in moderation: a tablespoon on cold, winter evenings.