Period Tea Recipes from Civil War Era

donna

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Now Florida but always a Kentuckian
Blackberry Tea

Pick the blackberry leaves and dry them. When you want to make tea, just crumble a couple of teaspoons of leaves to one cup of boiling water. Steep for five to ten minutes then enjoy.

Relaxing Tea Blend from herbs

Ingredients

1/4 cup dried spearmint
1 cup dried lemon balm
1/4 cup dried lemon grass
1/2 cup dried catnip
3/4 cup dried chamomile flowers
2 tablespoons dried lavender flowers

Combine the herbs and store in air tight container in a dark cool location. Make tea using 2 teaspoons of herb blend for each cup.
 

donna

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Now Florida but always a Kentuckian
Beef Tea was used as a staple of the "special diet" to revive and restore health to patients with typo-malaria fever.

The recipe for Beef Tea from "Outlines of the Chief Camp Diseases" by Joseph Janvier Woodward, published 1863.

Beef Tea: "A pound of lean beef should be cut into small dice, a little salt added and a quart of water added;
simmer very gently for two hours, then bring to a boil, and remove from the fire; skim off the fat, and give wineglassful every two hours. Pepper in moderate quantities is not objectionable, if it makes the tea more agreeable to the patient."
 

pamc153PA

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Pennsylvania
I always thought that "beef tea" was really beef broth. I was pretty much right! I suppose it was the protein in the beef that helped as a "restorative" considering that they skimmed off the fat at the end.
 

Anna Elizabeth Henry

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New York, New York
Mrs. Beeton's book on cookery and household management has a whole section on invalid care and recipes. Here's her beef tea recipe accompanied with some advice from Florence Nightingale on the restorative qualities of beef tea.

1858. INGREDIENTS – 1 lb. of lean gravy-beef, 1 quart of water, 1 saltspoonful of salt.

Mode.—Have the meat cut without fat and bone, and choose a nice fleshy piece. Cut it into small pieces about the size of dice, and put it into a clean saucepan. Add the water cold to it; put it on the fire, and bring it to the boiling-point; then skim well. Put in the salt when the water boils, and simmer the beef tea gently from 1/2 to 3/4 hour, removing any more scum should it appear on the surface. Strain the tea through a hair sieve, and set it by in a cool place. When wanted for use, remove every particle of fat from the top; warm up as much as may be required, adding, if necessary, a little more salt. This preparation is simple beef tea, and is to be administered to those invalids to whom flavourings and seasonings are not allowed. When the patient is very low, use double the quantity of meat to the same proportion of water. Should the invalid be able to take the tea prepared in a more palatable manner, it is easy to make it so by following the directions in the next recipe, which is an admirable one for making savoury beef tea. Beef tea is always better when made the day before it is wanted, and then warmed up. It is a good plan to put the tea into a small cup or basin, and to place this basin in a saucepan of boiling water. When the tea is warm, it is ready to serve.

Time.—1/4 to 3/4 hour. Average cost, 6d. per pint.

Sufficient.—Allow 1 lb. of meat for a pint of good beef tea.

MISS NIGHTINGALE says, one of the most common errors among nurses, with respect to sick diet, is the belief that beef tea is the most nutritive of all article. She says, “Just try and boil down a lb. of beef into beef tea; evaporate your beef tea, and see what is left of your beef: you will find that there is barely a teaspoonful of solid nourishment to 1/4 pint of water in beef tea. Nevertheless, there is a certain reparative quality in it,—we do not know what,—as there is in tea; but it maybe safely given in almost any inflammatory disease, and is as little to be depended upon with the healthy or convalescent, where much nourishment is required.”

http://www.mrsbeeton.com/39-chapter39.html
 

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