I usually dry them in my dehydrator on a fruit-roll up tray, but I have air-dried them successfully as well.
I prefer the twig tea to a straight tea made from any of the leaves, but that from machine-dried and stored leaves is best. They can be used fresh to make curry or spice pastes, pickled or fermented a la capers, or dried.
The fresh growth of twig can be collected and used at any time of the year, but I mainly use it during the winter, when other ingredients are scarce and the plants energy is concentrated in the fresh growth. Spicebush leaves just emerging when the flowers are still dropping from the tree.
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Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here... Notify me of new comments via email. If you are wanting to collect flowers of spicebush in the spring, or fruits in summer and fall, I recommend collecting only limbs of male trees, which do not have visible flowerbuds developing.
The wrinkling is normal, tending to be exaggerated at times of stress to the plant, such as a hot and dry late summer.
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Spicebush flowers light up the understory in late winter. At this size the berries are intensely peppery.
In locations with strong spicebush populations, the woods become a veritable sea of wispy yellow flowers, small and innocuous on close inspection but vibrant when they have so little competition from other leaves or flowers. Mallory, I am so impressed, I am sharing this on my site — to bookmark it forever!!!!! You are commenting using your Twitter account. European settlers also adopted it into their kitchens.
I recommend using cheesecloth if this interferes with your desired final result, or coffee filters if you are particularly delicate.