Take a walk through the recent conflagration, look at the place where dead wood was burned for a long time, and tall tall slender grass with a straight, narrow leaves and cheerful heads of multiple flowers collected in loose panicles of clear pink will immediately catch your eye. Before you is a mysterious wild plant - Blooming Sallythat from the XII century the great glory brought ancient Russia and to this day is in the forefront of herbs, healing, healthy babies and old people.Koporye tea, Ivan tea, fireweed
Ivan tea - perennial herbaceous plants growing in large curtains over all the inconveniences and wastelands, along the railways, in forest clearings. Where Ivan tea grows, there is no place for other weed herbs. He is the first and only ennobled place of terrible conflagration.
A little more history of Ivan tea
You may find these lines strange, dear reader, but for the first time tea (as a drink) was brought to Europe not from China, but from Russia. Ivan tea is registered in the chronicles of the XII century under the name "Koporye tea" in the area of Koporye, populated by Alexander Nevsky. At that time, under the name "Russian tea", its deliveries to England and Denmark totaled thousands of pounds, smuggled into France and Prussia. In the 19th century, the export of this wonderful tea plant took an honorable 2nd place.
"Russian tea" was not just a drink to quench thirst, it was a true healer of health, for which it was valued throughout Europe, which preferred teas from other countries to it. Today, "Russian tea" is a rarity.
During the Great Patriotic War, Hitler issued a strange order, the meaning of which was to temporarily suspend the attack on Leningrad, outlined according to the plan of Barbarossa (historical fact). It was necessary to occupy Koporye and destroy the secret object of the Russians, codenamed "river of life." The secret object that caused the tantrum of the "great conqueror" was an experimental biochemical laboratory for the study and restoration of Russian ancient recipes for making tea drinks with unique properties.
The drink increased the stamina of Russian fighters several times, maintained health, accelerated the healing of wounds received in battles.Ivan tea, Koporye tea.
According to ancient belief, Ivan tea not only cleanses the body, but also clears the mind, strengthens the spirit, and returns health.
What is Ivan tea?
Narrow-leaved fireweed (Chamerion angustifolium), better known as Blooming Sally - herbaceous perennial plant, 70-200 cm high. The stalk is straight juicy, green. The leaves are narrow, oblong-elongated, with a pointed apex, with the next arrangement on the stem, almost sessile. The flowers of pink-raspberry-colored Ivan tea are collected in a brush on a high peduncle of the central stem. Blooming Cyprus narrow-leaved from the second half of June to the 3rd decade of August.
The fruit is an elongated box with small seeds adapted for long-distance wind transfer. Seeds of willow-tea ripen in July-August. The underground part is represented by rhizome, which can reach up to 100 cm in length. Ivan tea forms numerous processes that occupy large areas. Narrow-leaved fireweed is distributed practically throughout the territory of the Russian Federation.
How is Ivan tea useful?
- Ivan tea is also popularly called male grass. No therapeutic drug can be compared with it in terms of positive effect in the prevention and treatment of prostatitis and prostate adenoma.
- Ivan tea is the strongest anti-inflammatory drug recognized by the official pharmacopeia.
- Good wound healing and hemostatic agent.
- Tea and decoctions of herbs in a mixture with oregano have a calming effect on the nervous system, relieve headaches, and provide a good restful sleep.
- Decoctions of willow tea are used to treat the gastrointestinal tract with high acidity.
- Infusions of Ivan tea are used for dysbiosis, with the goal of normalizing the intestinal flora. Recognized effective remedy for iron deficiency anemia.
- Strengthen the body's stamina, increase immunity, which helps to resist oncology.
From the stems of Cyprus, fiber is obtained, which is filled with mattresses and pillows (the famous ecological cypriot down jackets).
In addition, all parts of the plant are used for food. Fresh rhizomes of willow-tea and young shoots are used in salads, and the leaves are used to make the famous "Russian tea" that does not contain puric acids, caffeine and other body pollutants.Collection of fireweed, Ivan tea.
Biochemical composition of "Russian tea"
The taste of Russian tea is slightly tart, the aroma is floral and herbal. Its regular use is not addictive and significantly improves health. Fermented willow tea contains vitamin C and group B in its composition (1,2,3,5,6,9). More than 12 micro and macro elements, including calcium, potassium, sodium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, molybdenum, copper, manganese, zinc, nickel, boron, titanium, cobalt, lithium.
The tea contains bioflavonoids that regulate the action of enzymes, mucus, proteins, organic acids, tannins and other compounds. The unique composition of willow tea determines its beneficial and healing properties.Twisted leaves of Ivan tea.
How to collect and dry Ivan tea?
Like other wild herbs, fireweed belongs to medicinal herbs. From the above it is clear what an extensive list of useful medicinal properties this plant has. To preserve these properties, it is necessary to properly harvest the raw materials of Ivan-tea.
- You can’t collect ivan-tea growing along roads, railways and in other places where cities and villages are active.
- Acceptable gathering places are far from megacities and industrial areas, livestock farms. As a rule, these are forest hills, edges, open spaces along rivers.
- The leaves and flowers of Cyprus narrow-leaved are collected in June-July - the period of mass flowering of plants.
- Gathering is carried out in the morning, immediately after the morning dew, in places remote from dust, dirt and fields where chemical treatments can be applied.
- In hot, dry weather, flower-grass gathering is carried out in the evening hours, not earlier than 4-5 pm. Otherwise, the collected raw Ivan-tea will “burn” in baskets even when harvested.
- Leaves of willow-tea should be collected from the upper 2/3 of the stem, carefully inspecting each so that there are no pests or their egg laying on the back of the leaf plate.
- If the raw materials are intended for decoctions and tinctures, houses are immediately scattered in a dry, well-ventilated room with a thin layer. Harvested willow-tea leaves are mixed 2-3 times a day, especially at the beginning, when they are raw. Otherwise, the leaves can lock up and lose part of their unique healing properties, and acquire an unpleasant putrefactive odor.
- Pink-red panicles of willow-tea inflorescences are cut off and loosely laid in baskets, and the houses are tied in small bundles and dried in a dry room in a small draft. It can be finely chopped and dried in the oven (no more than +45 - + 50ºС) or in a draft in a dry room.
- Well-dried leaves and flowers of Ivan-tea are stored in tightly closed containers or paper bags without moisture.
How to ferment Ivan tea?
Tea leaves are collected according to the same rules as for the preparation of decoctions and tinctures. But there is one feature. In order for tea to be tasty and aromatic, it is necessary to collect only young leaves of Ivan-tea, which contain tannins 20-30% more than in old ones. These tannins give tea its individual taste and aroma. You can collect leaflets all summer, but spring fees provide more tender raw materials that are easier to ferment.
Having brought home Ivan tea, we immediately proceed to its fermentation. Without this process, brewing from a dried leaf of Cyprus will resemble ordinary grass and do not have the expected aroma and taste.
Fermentation is the extraction and conversion of insoluble chemical compounds contained in plant materials into accessible easily digestible forms. In the fermentation process, those compounds are also released that give the tea an individual, refined aroma.
The preparation of tea raw materials consists of several stages:
1 - wilting leaves of Ivan tea
In a clean, dry room, without access to sunlight, pour the raw materials from a clean fabric made of natural material. With clean hands (without extraneous odors), evenly spread fresh leaves with a 3-5 cm layer over the entire surface of the material. So that the leaves fade, rather than dry out, constantly turn them up. The process takes 12-13 hours at a room temperature of + 20- + 24ºС and air humidity within 70%. The end of withering is determined in the following ways:
- If, when folding the leaf blade in half, the crunch of the central vein is heard with a slight pressure, then the leaf is still fresh.
- You can just squeeze the leaves into a lump. If it does not turn around when opening a handful, then the withering is over. Getting to the 2nd stage.
2 - twisting of raw materials
We put in a stack of 10-15 leaves and form sausages from them. Moreover, we twist the sausage between the palms until moisture or juice is squeezed out. The thinner the sausage rolls, the better the twisting.Preparation of leaves for fermentation.
3 - fermentation of raw materials
We twist the sausages tightly into a three-liter glass bottle and cover with a damp cloth. We place in a warm place (+ 18 ... +19 ºС). You can put the prepared raw materials in a food-grade plastic container or an enameled container. Sprinkle a little with water (if the material is dry), press down with a clean, not heavy oppression (you can smooth stones), cover with a lid or a damp cloth and leave for fermentation. If the temperature in the house is less than +18 ° С, wrap the container with a warm blanket. Fermentation lasts from 5 to 36 hours. The end of fermentation is determined by a strong pleasant aroma and a change (insignificant) in the color of the rolls.
You can ferment raw materials without the formation of sausages. It’s just good to rub it with your hands until the juice appears, pour into a container, drown well. After the fermentation process, blind a square or circle (if desired). Put on parchment in a dryer. It turns out loose tea.
Drying fermented raw materials of Ivan tea
4 - preparation for drying
We remove the fermented raw materials from the tank and cut across into separate thin slices (2-3 mm).
5 - drying of fermented raw materials
Loose the raw material cut into slices, spread it in a thin layer on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and send it to the dryer with a temperature not exceeding + 80 ... +90 ºС for 1.0-2.0 hours. Then the temperature in the dryer is reduced to + 45 ... +50 ºС and dried until the brittle tea leaves. The entire drying process is carried out with the dryer door ajar. We mix the raw materials periodically for uniform drying. The color of the dried mass of willow tea from light brown to black. The aroma is pleasant floral. Pour dry raw materials into a fabric bag (not from synthetics). We dry in the room until the residual moisture disappears. It should be easily crumbling dry mass.
Storage of Fermented Ivan Tea
Dry tea is packed in paper bags, metal boxes, glass jars. Close tightly against moisture. Store both loose and loose tea in a dark, dry place. Start using no earlier than in a month. The longer Ivan-tea is stored, the more fragrant its bouquet.
Ivan tea needs to be brewed in a hot teapot. You can brew up to 4 times at the rate of 1-2 tablespoons (for an amateur) per 250 g of boiling water, insisting 10-15 minutes. Drink without diluting with boiling water.