While hiking in the desert southwest we have encountered this plant and heard that it had an interesting reputation as a curative herb so I decided to do some research. While reading up on it I learned that it, in one of its many names, has been used as a medicinal herb to treat such ailments as constipation, lack of energy, the common cold, headache, indigestion, joint pain, and venereal disease! Some of its many names include: Cowboy Tea, Squaw Tea, and Whorehouse Tea.
Based on its reputation I started chewing on segments of the green stems from plants I encountered while hiking. It has a somewhat bitter taste and seemed to provide a slight energy boost for the steeper uphill sections of the trail. Some of this might be in my head as so much is. During my research I was unable to find any published proof of the plant’s efficacy.
So I decided to makeup some actual tea.
I collected some stems, cut them tiny and brewed and steeped them adding some honey.
Pretty good tea, let’s hope that some of its supposed benefits work-just be aware that I read it might raise your blood pressure so if it’s prone to be high – go easy!