photo by Mette Nielsen
Cedar is a sacred tree and, like sweetgrass and tobacco, is part of many ceremonies. It’s used to purify homes, in sweat-lodge ceremonies, and as a medicine. The tea of simmered branches is used to treat fevers and rheumatic complaints, chest colds, and flu. This brew is delicious warm or cold and is simple to make.
2 cups fresh, foraged green cedar boughs (choose only wood intended for use with food, such as boughs for smoking; most wood at lumber stores is chemically treated)
4 cups water
maple syrup to taste
Simmer fresh cedar boughs in boiling water for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on desired strength. Strain off the cedar and sweeten with maple syrup, to taste.