Journal

Foraging in the forest and making dried heather tea

Since moving up north I’ve spent more time out in nature and I feel a stronger connection to it now than ever before. I love to venture out to relax, explore and do photography. I also feel a growing interest for foraging. I love learning about what’s available out there and how to use it. 

Foraging is a skill forgotten by most of us, as we’ve moved in to a digital era we have lost our connection with nature. I want to find that connection again, make it stronger. I also hope to inspire you to do the same. I recently learned that one of the plants I often stop to take pictures of is not just pretty, but actually edible: heather!

Dried heather tea is something a lot of people make so when I was out picking blueberries the other day I decided to gather some heather as well, to bring home and dry to make wild heather tea. 

Wild foraging - dried heather tea

When being out foraging in nature, remember to leave everything better than you found it. Don’t leave trash around, and if you happen to find traces of others – bring it home with you. Gather with care too, never take to much from one spot or plant!

Heather has been used for many things throught the years. The roots were used to make baskets and the green shoots gave a beautiful yellow color to fabric and yarn. The sticks were used to make brooms. Poor people who did not have any straw used heather for their pillows and mattresses.

– source, Dags att plocka
Wild foraging - dried heather tea

Dried heather tea

As an advocate for slow living and trying to break free from the norms of working too much, I feel walking in the forest foraging berries and plants is a nice contrast to it all. Then you get to come home and sit on the porch, your balcony or by the kitchen table with a cup of coffee (or other preferred beverage) preparing what you’ve gathered.

These days heather is mostly used as tea, and it is said to be good for your kidneys, help with urinary tract infections and it has a soothing, calming effect.

What to use

You can use both fresh and dried parts and both the leaves, flowers and stalks. The dried flowers keep their color nicely and it looks beautiful in tea. I hung my heather in bouquets and after a few days they felt dry enough. I took off all the flowers and leaves and placed in a jar and just having it displayed on a shelf is beautiful. It’s good to try and store it dark though as sunlight will make it loose it’s color over time.

As always, seeing what I’ve gathered outdoors make me feel richer than ever. 

preparing to dry wild heather
hang drying wild heather
dried heather in a jar

Putting flavours into words is difficult for me, but I’d say the tea tastes floral and sweet. I like it and since I often have a hard time falling asleep I plan to try making this tea a part of my evening routine while winding down with a book or some writing.

Hopefully it will help me sleep better, either way enjoying a cup of wild heather tea is a lovely, calming experience that I enjoy very much. It feels very special and tastes better when I know where it came from, and that I gathered and made it myself.

Have you made tea from plants or herbs gathered in nature? I’d love to hear about it!

enjoying wild heather tea

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About Author

Rania Rönntoft lives in Sundsvall where she works as a photographer, content creator and jewellery designer. She loves exploring craft beer and is passionate about nature tourism, slow living and close by adventures.

9 Comments

  • Helena
    14 September, 2016 at 11:00

    Så vackra bilder!! Och örtte på ljung, det måste jag bara prova. Tack för inspo!

    Reply
    • Rania Rönntoft
      14 September, 2016 at 15:03

      Tack så mycket Helena! Det tycker jag absolut du ska göra – så lite så, kul att du blev inspirerad att testa, hoppas du tycker om det!

      Reply
  • Kate
    14 September, 2016 at 21:02

    Underbara foton…. och detta måste jag bara testa! Måste även kika in på sidorna Du tipsar om…
    Onsdagskram från Kate

    Reply
    • Rania Rönntoft
      15 September, 2016 at 07:25

      Tack! Ja gör det, hoppas du tycker om det! Kram

      Reply
  • Jenny
    20 September, 2016 at 15:17

    Hej Rania, tyckte du det hjälpte? Igår testade jag en kombination av ljung och lavendel. Och en liten klick honung. Tyckte faktiskt att det stillade sinnet. Har även testat lavendel, johannesört och en påse an Friggs Kvällsro och det funkar också. Fast man får ju vara försiktig med Johannesörten i och med att den kan försämra verkan av exemplevis p-piller. :)

    I övrigt, katterna är ju bara helt underbara! Vilka godingar. :)
    Kram!

    Reply
    • Rania Rönntoft
      20 September, 2016 at 17:35

      Hej Jenny! Jag har inte testat så många gånger än och en kopp té på kvällen är ju i sig ganska lugnande men jag tror nog jag tycker att det gjorde mig lite mer lugn / vilsam faktiskt. Lavendel ska väl ha liknande effekt va? Låter som en härlig kombination! Det där visste jag inte om johannesört – man lär sig nya saker hela tiden!

      Hihi ja de är helt fantastiska <3 Kram

      Reply
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