Spring Teas – Olive Leaf
Enjoy olive leaf tea, with its mild green tea flavor rooted in antiquity. So esteemed was the olive tree, it was a symbol of peace, prosperity, fertility and rebirth. All parts of the tree were purposeful: the oil for everything from ceremonial anointing oil to fuel for lamps; the wood for building temples; and the leaves as a medicinal drink used for treating malaria in the 1800s to lowering blood sugar. Today, we drink the tea knowing it is flavorful and rich in nutrients and antioxidants. To make olive leaf tea, steep as you would any tea, using a sweetener to dispel any bitterness or mix with other botanicals to taste.
“…the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.
“…But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.” Psalm 52:8
“…And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf plucked off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth. Genesis 8:11
The land of Israel was “a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey.” Deut 8:8.
A Bit of History
The licorice plant arrived in North America with the British in the 1600s. Native Americans quickly adopted the licorice plant as did the enslaved African Americans. Roots and barks have always been used as toothbrushes, remedies, tea, and spice, and the licorice root was one of them. In the mid-1800s, at the start of today’s candy industry, the licorice root became a penny candy, and the extract was used to flavor sweets. Licorice eventually played a leading role in one of the nation’s top soda flavors: root beer.