Last Updated on August 12, 2023
Do you like herbal tea? You can expand your options for delicious herbal teas with easily foraged (and medicinal) wild plants like goldenrod. This easy goldenrod tea recipe is rich in antioxidants and is considered useful medicinally, plus it’s yummy! Here’s how to make goldenrod tea.
WHY MAKE GOLDENROD TEA?
I’m a big fan of tea, especially herbal teas you can make for free with tasty and medicinal foraged plants like goldenrod. What’s cozier than a hot cup of tea in winter or more refreshing than ice-cold tea on a hot summer day?
Plus drinking herbal tea is an easy way to stay hydrated and up your intake of valuable plant compounds called polyphenols.
I like to change things up, so sometimes I make mulberry tree leaf tea or elderflower tea, and other times dandelion tea, elderberry tea, or ginger tea with orange peel (great for fighting off a cold.) In summer, I love borage in my homemade seltzer or hibiscus tea over ice. Borage tea is also fantastic as a cold infusion.
During the growing season, I make tea with fresh herbs like lemon balm (works great in sun tea). In fall and winter, I like to brew tea from spruce, pine, and birch trees that grow nearby. Spruce tea, pine needle tea, and birch tea taste great and best of all, you can forage them all year round. I also make lots of herbal tea blends from dried herbs in winter.
Even ubiquitous creeping Charlie can be brewed into a medicinal tea. Its taste isn’t exactly everyone’s cup of tea (haha), but it grows on you — and of course, on everything else! It’s also a really medicinally useful herb. Here’s more about creeping Charlie uses.
Goldenrod tea is a good one to know about because in addition to being tasty, it’s considered especially helpful for addressing seasonal allergies. It blooms just when all that ragweed pollen starts driving allergy sufferers crazy, and though lots of people mistakenly blame goldenrod for their misery, a cup of goldenrod tea may just help alleviate all that sneezing and sniffling. Here are other natural remedies for allergies to consider.
Here’s how to identify goldenrod vs ragweed if you’re not sure how to tell the difference.
Other benefits of goldenrod tea include supporting the lymphatic system and helping decrease inflammation in the digestive system. Goldenrod is also a diuretic and antimicrobial and is often recommended for urinary complaints and supporting kidney function.
It’s also useful for addressing respiratory complaints, one of many valuable herbs for colds to explore.
SOURCING GOLDENROD FOR GOLDENROD TEA
Goldenrod is easily foraged in much of North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and North Africa. Those sunny yellow flowers make it a snap to spot toward the end of the summer in meadows and prairies and along the side of the road.
Anytime you forage a new plant, you want to make absolutely sure to get a positive identification using multiple features of the plant. Here’s what to know about correct goldenrod identification.
–> Always consult a good field guide or an experienced local forager to ensure you’ve got the correct plant.
These are some of the best foraging books I’ve found, and these are the best herbalism books I’ve consulted time and again. It’s so helpful to have some of these references at the ready as you dig deeper into the world of medicinal plants.
You might also consider a course on foraging or wildcrafting herbs. The Herbal Academy’s online foraging course, for example, teaches plant identification to help you feel more confident foraging medicinal plants. They have an array of herbalism courses worth checking out as well.
Goldenrod can make a striking addition to your garden, as long as there’s somewhere you don’t mind it taking over. Goldenrod rhizomes tend to spread and exude an allelopathic compound that inhibits the growth of other plants.
A late-season flower, goldenrod will provide food for pollinators when many other flowers have finished for the season.
Goldenrod planted itself in my garden a few years back, next to echinacea, milkweed, and black-eyed susan, and so far it’s kept pretty contained. I’m happy to have it so easily accessible for harvesting, and the bugs just love it, so I’m letting it stay.
TIPS FOR FORAGING GOLDENROD TEA
Wherever you get your goldenrod or other medicinal plants, be sure it’s from an area that hasn’t been sprayed with chemical pesticides.
We use the flowers and leaves to make goldenrod tea. The flavor and medicinal qualities are considered best just before or just as goldenrod’s flowers open. If you’re planning on drying some of your goldenrod for later use, choose plants whose flowers haven’t opened yet to avoid lots of fluff you’ll get with fully open flowers.
FRESH OR DRIED GOLDENROD FOR GOLDENROD TEA?
You can make goldenrod tea with either fresh or dried goldenrod, though the flavor will be slightly different. I like to make some fresh during the season, but I dry a good deal to use throughout the winter. If you have spring allergies, put some dried goldenrod aside to help alleviate symptoms when you get them in spring.
To dry goldenrod, simply tie bunches of cut stalks together and hang them upside down. In dry conditions, goldenrod should get brittle and crumbly in about a week. Store fully dried goldenrod in an airtight container and use within a year.
There are lots more ways to put up culinary and medicinal herbs. Find out more about preserving herbs so you can enjoy their benefits and flavor all year round.
WHAT DOES GOLDENROD TEA TASTE LIKE?
Different goldenrod species will lend varying flavors to your goldenrod tea. The species Solidago odora is the one most often used for goldenrod tea and is generally described as having a flavor with notes of anise.
The most common species, Solidago canadensis, which is what grows in my area, doesn’t have much flavor of its own. I’d describe tea made from common goldenrod as being very neutral, a little like a very mild green tea. I find dried goldenrod makes a tastier tea. If you want something more flavorful, it would pair well with hibiscus, lemon balm, or mint.
RECOMMENDED SUPPLIES FOR MAKING GOLDENROD TEA
All you need to make goldenrod tea is goldenrod and hot water, but some additional tools can help you make the healthiest, best-tasting herbal teas possible.
Use water from a quality water filter. Most municipal water contains numerous unregulated chemicals you don’t want in your goldenrod tea! Here’s important information about choosing an effective water filter. Most popular filters leave chemicals in your water that you’d probably rather avoid.
Some other tools to help with your goldenrod tea making:
You can find many more suggestions for green living tools on my recommended products page.
GOLDENROD TEA RECIPE
Like other herbs we use for tea, you’ll get better extraction if you chop your goldenrod before steeping in hot water. The general guideline for herbal tea is 1 tablespoon fresh herb per cup of water, and 1 teaspoon dried herb per cup. I tend to make my herbal teas strong and dilute it if necessary.
For many medicinal plants, longer steep times are used to better extract medicinal compounds. While you can drink goldenrod tea after it’s steeped 5 or 10 minutes, you can leave it for several hours to extract more from your goldenrod. When I’ve left fresh goldenrod flowers steeping this long, though, the brew has taken on a somewhat bitter flavor. Dried goldenrod doesn’t. Experiment with the goldenrod you have and see what works best for you.
- 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh goldenrod flowers and leaves (or 2-3 teaspoons dried goldenrod)
- 2 cups boiled filtered water
- Collect goldenrod leaves & flowers from plants you've positively identified as goldenrod (or use dried goldenrod).
- Rinse fresh leaves to remove dirt and bugs.
- Chop or snip goldenrod into small pieces.
- Place prepared goldenrod in a teapot or cup and cover with freshly boiled water.
- Allow to steep 10-15 minutes, strain and enjoy.
Fresh goldenrod can become bitter when steeped too long, so strain after 10 minues or so.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 0Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 9mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g
Nutritional information was auto-generated based on serving size, number of servings, and typical information for the ingredients listed. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, please calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients and amounts used, using your preferred nutrition calculator. Under no circumstances shall this website or author be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on the given nutritional information. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate and complete.
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Disclaimer: I’m a health & foraging enthusiast, not a medical professional. Content on this website is intended for informational purposes only and is not meant to provide personalized medical advice. I draw on numerous health sources, some of which are linked above. Please consult them for more information and a licensed professional for personalized recommendations.
Susannah is a proud garden geek and energy nerd who loves healthy food and natural remedies. Her work has appeared in Mother Earth Living, Ensia, Northern Gardener, Sierra, and on numerous websites. Her first book, Everything Elderberry, released in September 2020 and has been a #1 new release in holistic medicine, naturopathy, herb gardening, and other categories. Find out more and grab your copy here.