Ironweed leaves and the root of the plant have both been used to make medicinal teas for centuries. While many homesteaders, farmers, and ranchers have long viewed ironweed as a pesky plant that pops up in pastures, its natural healing benefits could far outweigh the negative aspects long associated with its appearance.
Medicinal ironweed tea brewed with dried leaves is most frequently used to treat monthly menstrual cramps, hemorrhaging, post childbirth bleeding and pain, as well as general digestive issues.
The ironweed tea brewed from the root of the wild plant has been used to treat fever, ulcers, gout, kidney stones, and loose teeth.
Ironweed Tea Recipe
- 2 parts ironweed leaves or roots dried
- 8 parts water
- Combine eight parts water to 2 parts dried and crushed ironweed leaves or roots.
- Boil the water and ironweed plant matter together, stirring constantly until only one-fourth of the water has not boiled away.
- Remove the ironweed tea from the stove, strain it, and allow to cool enough to sip.
- You can use fresh leaves and roots instead of dried to make the medicinal tea, but they tend to get soggy and take longer to brew.
- Some folks mix both the root and the leaves together to make the tea to garner the benefits of both parts of the plant at the same time.
- To improve on the taste of the tea and to garner more natural healing power, some folks add in up to 1 teaspoon of either honey, ginger, or a combination of both.
- The common dosage of ironweed tea for adults is up to two standard coffee cups per day for up to three days.
- You can also use these same brewing steps to make an ironweed tincture; simply pour the mixture in a Mason jar and place it in a cool, dark place. Shake the jar daily for four to six weeks, then strain away all of the natural matter. Store the tincture in a cool dark place in an airtight container.
Never forage ironweed or any other plant from an area that has been sprayed or treated with chemical weed killers. Always leave some of the plants you are foraging in the patch you find or cultivated growing area so they come back up again next year.
You can read more about foraging, growing and preserving ironweed in my other article.
Tara Dodrill is a homesteading and survival journalist and author. She lives on a small ranch with her family in Appalachia. She has been both a host and frequent guest on preparedness radio shows. In addition to the publication of her first book, ‘Power Grid Down: How to Prepare, Survive, and Thrive after the Lights go Out’, Dodrill also travels to offer prepping tips and hands-on training and survival camps and expos.