The Medicinal Herb Info site was created to help educate visitors about the often forgotten wisdom of the old ways of treating illnesses. Many of today's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants and other items found in nature.

We are not suggesting that you ignore the help of trained medical professionals, simply that you have additional options available for treating illnesses. Often the most effective treatment involves a responsible blend of both modern and traditional treatments.

We wish you peace and health!

New Jersey Tea

Scientific Names

New Jersey Tea

  • Ceanothus americanus L.
  • Rhamnaceae
  • Buckthorn family

Common Names

  • Bobea
  • Jersey tea
  • New Jersey tea tree
  • Red root
  • Walpole tea
  • Wild snowball

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Parts Usually Used

Bark of the root
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Description of Plant(s) and Culture

New Jersey tea is a small, low, bushy, deciduous shrub 1-2 feet tall; the large root is red inside and is covered with brownish or reddish bark. The round, slender, reddish stems bear alternate, ovate or oblong-ovate, finely serrate leaves which are dull green on top, 2 inches long with 3 prominent parallel veins, and finely hairy beneath. Small, white, showy flowers grow in dense, long-stalked, cylindrical, clusters from the axils which form large panicles at the ends of the branches from June to August.

The three-celled drupaceous fruit when dry separate into three stone-like seeds.
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Where Found

Common in dry, gravely banks, open woods at low elevations, in well-drained coarse soils all across the United States. Maine to Florida; Oklahoma to Minnesota.
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Medicinal Properties

Astringent, expectorant, sedative
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Biochemical Information

Ceanothic (emmolic), succinic, oxalic, malonic, malic, orthophosphic, and pyrophosphoric acids; 8% tannin in the root
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Legends, Myths and Stories

The nearest American plant equivalent in flavor to oriental tea. Contains no harmful stimulants, thus is an excellent tea substitute. Used during the American Revolution for this purpose.

New Jersey tea got its name from the fact that the leaves of it were used as a tea by the soldiers in the American Revolution and early settlers in the United States.
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The leaf tea is a popular beverage. Native Americans used root tea for colds, fevers, snakebites, stomachaches, lung ailments, laxative, blood tonics.

The root bark tea has been recommended for various chest problems, including chronic bronchitis, nervous asthma, whooping cough, despondency and melancholy, lymphatic congestion, and consumption. Used as a gargle for inflammation of the throat, fever, and irritations of the mouth, particularly tonsillitis.

Alkaloid in the root mildly Hypotensive; lowers blood pressure.

Native Americans used a tea made from the whole plant for skin problems, skin cancer, and venereal sores. Good for dysentery, piles, is effective in syphilis and gonorrhea. Combined with fringe tree and goldenseal, it is good for sick headache, acute indigestion, and nausea due to poor activity of the liver.
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Formulas or Dosages

Use dried bark from the roots. Dried leaves are used to make tea.

Infusion: steep 1 tsp. root-bark in 1 cup water. Take 1 to 2 cups a day.

Decoction: take 1/2 tsp. powdered herb in 1 cup cold water, take 1 hour before each meal and before going to bed.

If capsules are used, take one No. 00 capsule before meals and at bedtime.

Tincture: take 10 to 20 drops in water, 3-4 times a day.
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Buy It! Back to Eden, by Jethro Kloss; Back to Eden Publishing Co., Loma Linda, CA 92354, Original copyright 1939, revised edition 1994

Buy It! The Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

Buy It! Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants, by Steven Foster and James A. Duke., Houghton Mifflin Company, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10000

Herbal Gardening, compiled by The Robison York State Herb Garden, Cornell Plantations, Matthaei Botanical Gardens of the University of Michigan, University of California Botanical Garden, Berkeley., Pantheon Books, Knopf Publishing Group, New York, 1994, first edition

Buy It! Planetary Herbology, by Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., O.M.D., Lotus Press, PO Box 325, Twin Lakes. WI 53181., Copyright 1988, published 1992

Buy It! Indian Herbalogy of North America, by Alma R. Hutchens, Shambala Publications, Inc., Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, 1973

Buy It! American Folk Medicine, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1973

Buy It! How Indians Use Wild Plants for Food, Medicine & Crafts, by Frances Densmore, Dover Publications, Inc., 180 Varick Street, New York, NY 10014, first printed by the United States Government Printing Office, Washington, in 1928, this Dover edition 1974

Buy It! Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, New World Dictionaries: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

Buy It! How Indians Use Wild Plants for Food, Medicine & Crafts, by Frances Densmore, Dover Publications, Inc., 180 Varick Street, New York, NY 10014, first printed by the United States Government Printing Office, Washington, in 1928, this Dover edition 1974

Buy It! An Instant Guide to Medicinal Plants, by Pamela Forey and Ruth Lindsay, Crescent Books (January 27, 1992).

Buy It! The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine, by Dr. David Frawley & Dr. Vasant Lad, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, Second edition, 1988.

Buy It! The Rodale Herb Book: How to Use, Grow, and Buy Nature’s Miracle Plants (An Organic gardening and farming book), edited by William H. Hylton, Rodale Press, Inc. Emmaus, PA, 18049., 1974

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