Tuesday, November 1, 2016
This distinctively looking shrub is commonly called, "Mormon Tea." It was used by the early pioneers to brew a strong concoction used for medicinal purposes. This and similar plants are all part of the genus of Ephedra and is found around the world. There are several different species that are common in the Arizona and Utah. The plants have been used for thousands of years to treat asthma, hay fever, and congestion from colds. The alkaloids ephedrine and pseudoephedrine are active constituents of the plant's chemical makeup. I have never tasted a "tea" made from the plant, but I understand that it is very bitter.