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Spring Cleaning Tea by Heather

Taken from the Kitchen Witch May 2023 Newsletter

Around us everything is waking up a little later this year, cleavers having only just started growing. For this tea I wanted them, the tops of young nettles and dandelion leaves.


The following is an apparently old recipe for cleansing and detoxifying our bodies, as well as containing nourishing minerals and phytochemicals, which are normally lacking in winter diets, to help re-nourish and replenish our depleted stores. All with the additional bonus of being prolific ‘weed’, so are free to forage as long as you can do so safely and legally.


There are health warnings with this recipe –

If you have any liver or gall bladder problems, please consult your doctor before trying this.

If you are already taking prescribed diuretics, you should not drink this tea.

What you could do instead, is make and use the tea as a cleansing wash for your home.


There are already blog posts for cleavers and nettles –


Scientific name: Taraxacum officinale

The name is thought to come from the shape of the leave which look a bit like lion's teeth in combination with the mane-like flower. The French for teeth is dent, so giving the name of dent-de-lion.

Another traditional name is an old English name not often used now: wet the beds. This name indicates how it helps the body rid itself of wastes. It is a diuretic and encourages removal of toxins by the increase of urine, through its effect on the kidneys. Unlike many pharmaceutical diuretics, which can leach potassium out of your system, it is high in potassium, and able to replace what is lost.

Dandelion is also a well-known liver remedy, encouraging healthy liver function, and bowel movements, which in turn supports the body in excreting body wastes.


I collected a handful of each, as you can see from the pictures, I have enough to either make more fresh tea, if I keep the leaves in the fridge; or dry and make a tea leaf version, which is what I have decided to experiment doing.



Once you have collected your leaves, wash them well.

In a jug (I used my cafetiere) tear up some of each leaf, pour boiling water over and leave to steep for 5 to 10 minutes.

Strain and drink.

I found the taste pleasant, its flavour similar to me of broad beans with pea shoots.

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