How to Make Sassafras Tea from your Sassafras Tree
Sassafras tea tastes good there is no doubt about that. It was the favored drink for the young, especially until colas came along. That does not mean you should over do it through. Sassafras tea like most herbal teas should be consumed in moderation.
Find the root system on your Sassafras tree. So as not to disturb or shock the roots take from the tip most point. Try to make a clean diagonal cut and not to take too much root from one side of the tree.
Step 1 - Cut the Roots
You should never take the roots from someone else’s tree without their permission of course. You will need to dig or pull the roots up and cut them. The roots should be pulpy and fairly easy to cut.
Step 2 - Wash the Roots
As soon as you have the root inside wash it carefully in warm water. Cut the root into small sized pieces, 2 to 3 inches long should work well.
Step 3 - Dry the Roots
Find a cool, dark, but arid spot for the roots to dry. Don’t place them in a window as the sun exposure will make the root tasteless. Allow them to dry for a week at least. Check on them frequently during this time to make sure there is no mottling. It is important that they be kept dry, since they can rot easily.
Step 4 - Pare the Roots
Using a small paring type knife strip the bark or skin from the roots cutting down into the woody part of the root since this is where the tree sap is stored for the winter months. This cutting should be not be too difficult if the knife is sharp, but if you experience trouble place them on a cutting boarding and cut them as you would a potato.
Step 5 - Refrigerate
Take these strips and put them in an airtight plastic bag. You can then refrigerate these until ready for use.
Step 6 - Make the Tea
When you are ready to enjoy your tea bring a quart of water to boil. Boil about 2 to 4 ounces of the roots in the water for around 20 minutes. Allow the roots to steep until the water cools down.
Step 7 - Season to Taste
Add sugar to taste. As a rule you will probably use the same amount of sugar or sugar substitute as you would in ice tea.
If you prefer to make enough to enjoy for awhile then steep for a longer period then add the tea to a gallon container of water.
It should be remembered that Sassafras trees and teas contain safrole. This is a slightly yellow oily liquid that is often extracted commercial from the Sassafras tree for such uses as camphor oil and natural pesticides.
You would have to drink gallons of Sassafras tea to get enough safrole to cause you health problems, but it is usually best to be safer than sorry and watch the intake of this fantastic tasting tea.