Rock tea (Jasonia glutinosa)

shrub that grows on rocks and with flowers that have medicinal purposes

El rock tea or glutinous Jasonia, also known as Aragon tea, mountain tea and arnica tea among other names, it is one of the two species of Jasonia that can be found in the peninsula of Spain, next to the  Tuberous Jasonia, which like glutinous, is also given a digestive use. Its name derives from its characteristic of being a shrub that grows in rocky areas, especially in sunny ones.

Rock tea is a shrub that is widespread in the Mediterranean, so it can be seen in the south of France, Spain, the Balearic Islands and even in Morocco. This plant is very common in the eastern part of the Iberian Peninsula, especially in Catalonia, Valencia, the Basque Country and Mallorca, among other regions of the peninsula. It is a species that is protected in Italy and Spain.


medicinal plant flowers that grow on rocks

It is a small perennial plant, belonging to the Asteraceae family, it has a strong woody rhizomatous strain. During the spring time the new shoots sprout from the plant which are initially reddish in color, their aromatic leaves are elongated and pointed up to 3 cm long with glandular hairs that produce their particular aroma, alternately located, lack a petiole and in the final part of their stems some species of flower heads covered with small plates, where you can see their yellow tubular flowers.

This hairy shrub grows in the crevices of limestone rocks throughout the Pyrenees, Sierra Nevada and a good part of the peninsula. Like this plant can grow at different levels of the mar, its flowering can present several variations in relation to its appearance. That is why it can occur between the months of June and August.

Cultivation of Jasonia glutinosa

Harvesting is recommended in a moderate way in the month of July, the time when the glutinous Jasonia. Its stems must be trimmed from the base of the plant, trying to leave a flowery stem in each rock that is found, so that there is always the presence of seeds in the place, for the same reason at no time should it be started.

Once harvested, it is spread in a sufficiently airy place, but with little light and it is allowed to dry completely. It is important to comply with this indication, because if it is not dry, rock tea tends to get moldy. There are rocks where tea grows that are difficult for man to access, however, the authorities have been forced to dictate Regulatory rules that seek to curb the rampant harvesting of such precious tea. The best time to collect the product is before they open their heads.

Rock tea uses

shrub that grows between rocks and has medicinal purposes

Rock tea is used for medicinal purposes thanks to its digestive properties and is that this type of medicinal plants are full of curiosities and properties. With the preparation of rock tea you can treat stomach pain, diarrhea and poor digestion or more critical ailments such as; appendicitis and respiratory diseases.

It is also used in the treatment of psychiatric or psychological conditions such as depression, which is why the plant has been attributed stimulating properties. This appreciated tea is used in the preparation of liqueurs in the region of Catalonia.  This shrub was used in France as tobacco. Today the Germans use it in the heart disease treatment, while in Anglo-Saxon countries it is only used externally.

The infusion can be prepared with water, milk or anise and the stems can be used either dried or freshly taken from the plant. Although it is true it is a homemade drink, today many bars and restaurants in Spain offer it as a digestive, especially when the meal includes meats, since the infusion collaborates with a smooth and calm digestion. With the tea ice creams and other desserts are made to taste the palate of the visitors. It can be consumed hot or cold, according to people's taste, with sugar or honey.


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