Strawberry tea has a long history of use as both a medicinal drink and as a tasty relaxation help. This strawberry tea recipe is fairly simple, but there are a few things worthy of mention before you go and make your own fresh strawberry tea.
First, a few noteworthy nutritional facts. Strawberry leaves have a long history of use as an herbal remedy for diarrhea, especially in children. Additionally, methyl salicylate, the active pain inhibitor in aspirin is contained in strawberry leaves in trace amounts. Perhaps most noteworthy is the fact that strawberry leaves contain up to 75 times the amount of the anti-angiogenic compound ellagic acid as do the fruits. On the low end, strawberries contain around 430 parts per million (ppm) of ellagic acid and can contain as much as 8,430 ppm. The leaves of the strawberry plant, however, will contain between 8,080 ppm and 32,300 ppm. So, just as it may be possible to prevent cancer by eating strawberries, it may also be even more beneficial to drink strawberry tea made from freshly picked leaves.
Second, a cautionary tale. It is widely noted that strawberry leaves need to be used either immediately after picking or after the leaves have completely dried due to a “toxin” that is formed when the leaf loses its life support and begins to whither. This mild toxin can irritate the stomach and cause general discomfort. While verified by multiple anecdotes, the true cause of the gastric disturbances is not scientifically verifiable at present. It is more likely that the environmental microorganisms and fungi that participate in the withering process are to blame for any problems, not the leaves themselves. However, with that said, it is still best to wait until the leaves are completely dry and crumble easily before using (if they aren't going to be used fresh).
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