After encountering this bush along the trail, I decided to read up on it. I discovered that Morman Tea (AKA Cowboy Tea, Squaw Tea, and Whorehouse Tea-to name a few) was historically used in folklore medicine to treat such ailments as constipation, lack of energy, common cold, headache, joint pain, and venereal disease!
It is native to the desert Southwest and it seems to prefer a little altitude as we have found it more abundant over 3000′.
Based on its reputation I started chewing on green branch stems from Mormom Tea bushes encountered along the trail. The taste is somewhat bitter and it seemed to provide a slight energy boost for the steeper uphill sections of the trail. Some of this might be on my head as so much is. There doesn’t seem to be any published proof of the supposed healthy benefits attributed to this plant.
In the interest of self-improvement I collected some and cut it into tea.
The tea I made is very palatable-of course adding honey didn’t hurt! In my reading it said that it does raise your blood pressure so if have a tendency that way, consume in moderation.