Cold Peach leaf tea is where it’s at folks, and it may be the best SW summer beverage I’ve met! It’s yummy and mild, great with honey, calming and moistening. Even most little kids really like the taste, and it’s easy to jazz it up with some Wild Rose petals or River Mint (M. arvensis) or some Wild Chamomile. It’s really truly a great base for many tea blends and SO easy to gather and dry. And on chilly mountain mornings, it makes an elegant pair with fresh Ginger for a more warming treat.
Infusion-wise, I prefer a cold preparation. But for a beverage tea, I just put a large pinch of crushed dried Peach leaves into a mug, cover with hot water and let steep for a few minutes. It’s a sweet, aromatic flavor with the barest hint of astringency. Adding a spoonful of Wild Rose honey is just divine.
Peach has become more and more of an important ally for me over the past year, and it’s one of those herbs I carry around with me all the time, both a tincture bottle and a little packet of dried leaves. I’ve used it on bug bites, in mild to moderate allergic reactions, nausea, morning sickness (and hyperemesis), heartburn, insomnia, anxiety/hysteria, headaches, heart palpitations from anxiety, wounds and gosh, so much more. It’ll usually be most effective in people with red tongues or red-tipped (and often totally uncoated) tongues, with symptoms of overheatedness, irritation and obsessiveness. I use it for my own fits of moody, overwhelming PMS with quite good results, combined with Cherry if I’m having anxiety attacks along with the PMS.
And really, I love how the whole Rose family works together (you wouldn’t necessarily expect it from such a fiercely individualistic bunch) and I often use Wild Rose and Peach together as a pair. Some herbalists may feel this lacks specificity, but I am of the opinion that certain herbs really partner well with each other and increase the power of both. I always get to know the plants one at a time, but sometimes a combo just can’t be beat. People are like this too, sometimes better understood as individuals but more effective as a unit.
For some people, Peach will instigate a ~very~ calming effect, sometimes verging on sleepy. It does seem to greatly depend on the person and what they need. For myself, I sometimes get incredibly sleepy, and sometimes not at all. Go figure. I reckon the plants are often far wiser than I though, so I generally try to comply with whatever they’re telling me.
I can’t recommend Peach leaf spit poultice highly enough for various red burning/itching bug bites. Quick-acting and remarkably effective in most cases, it’s an all around great treatment and can be combined with Plantain for even broader application. I’ve now wandered a bit from Peach tea, but this is truly a multi-purpose plant that deserves more attention in the bioregions where it flourishes.
Previous posts on Peach include:
The Earthwise Herbal vol 1 by Matthew Wood
Lectures by Phyllis Light
Mountain Medicine by Darryl Patton
Physiomedical Dispensatory by William Cook