Thousands of plants, throughout North America have been used for food and medicine, from the ancient times to present day, these categories are by no means complete, but will give you some ideas of where to begin, Good Luck and Good Foraging!

Beverage Plants of North America

Coffee, tea, soda, wine and beer are the major beverage consumed by Americans today.  These beverages are a integral part of who we are, and who we have become.  Social style insists what beverages are in and which ones are out.  Stimulants like coffee and tea get us going in the morning and sustain us though the day.   Most of the beverages made from wild plants do not contain caffeine, but there are a few notable exceptions which will be explained.

Very few are aware of the many types of beverages available from the wild, these wild beverage plants can be used to make a interesting variety and are gathered from many different habitats and during different seasons.  Some of the most popular are: 



Sassafras Root and Sassafras Tea









Wild Grape




Coffee Substitutes

  • Chufa
  • Cleavers
  • Beech
  • Yellow Goats Beard
  • Common Sunflower
  • Water Avens
  • Kentucky Coffee Tree
  • Chickory
  • Dandelion

Cold Drinks

  • Wood Sorrel
  • Sheep Sorrel
  • Common E lderberry
  • Passion Flower
  • Red Mulberry
  • Wild Grapes
  • Crab-apples
  • Greenbriars
  • Common Barberry
  • May Apple


  • Labrador-tea
  • New Jersey Tea
  • Wintergreen
  • Coltsfoot
  • Violets
  • Eastern Hemlock
  • Yaubon
  • Common Spicebush
  • Mountain Mint
  • Common Mulleion
  • Sweet Godenrod
  • Bergamot
  • Fireweed
  • Nettles
  • Roses
  • Hawthornes
  • Basswood
  • Sweetfern
  • Mexican-tea
  • Ground Ivy
  • Blackberry Leaves
  • Strawberry Leaves