Homemade Red Sumac Tea

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Homemade Red Sumac Tea

Red Sumac Shrub, indigenous to North America

If you live in Northern America, you know the Sumac bush grows everywhere. It is a lovely wild bush, an attractive sight as you hike or pass by on the roadside. But not many people know that its berries are tasty, healthy, and medicinal. Homemade Red Sumac Tea can be made from the fruit of the sumac, and this post is all about how to show you how to do it.

Its scientific name is Rhus typhina, and is commonly known as “staghorn sumac” or “stag’s horn sumach”. A species of flowering plant in the family Anacardiaceae, Red Sumac is native to eastern North America. While it is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant throughout temperate regions of the world, it is primarily found growing naturally in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States and the Appalachian Mountains, as well as Southeastern Canada.


Homemade Red Sumac Tea

(Photo Attributed to Author: Oneconscious at English Wikipedia)

And it is the berries that sumac produces that provide the tasty health benefits that we applaud and encourage here at Ethnic Foods R Us. Homemade Red Sumac Tea is easy to make, and oh-so-good for you!

Here are some of the health benefits of homemade red sumac tea:

  • Loaded with vitamin C
  • Treats asthma, colds, fevers, and scurvy
  • As a tonic, it provides relief of and cure for: diarrhea, dysentery, sore throats, infections, asthma, cold sores and even serves as a tonic for general overall health.

And the good news? Homemade Red Sumac Tea is easy to make!

Just follow these simple instructions:

Homemade Red Sumac Tea Recipe-


(makes 1/2 gallon of tea)

  • 1/4 gallon of fresh organic whole red sumac berries (Note: if you are gathering fresh berries yourself, pick them during mid-to-late summer or early fall, when the acids are high in content. If in the winter, pick twice as much. Also, do not pick them after a heavy rain, as the rain will wash away the tasty acids that give the tea its delightful taste. If you cannot get whole berries, you can use ground sumac, but use only 1/4 of the quantity of whole fresh berries)
  • Fresh cold water (never use warm or hot water – it will leach out the berries’ tannins and you’ll wind up with a bitter, not very tasty or refreshing drink)
  • Organic Clover honey, to taste
  1. Use a rolling pin and crush the berries into a pulp.
  2. Soak the crushed berry pulp in 1/2 gallon of fresh cold water, for 25 to 30 minutes.
  3. Use a slotted spoon to scoop out the pulp.
  4. Add and stir in honey, to taste (optional)

And that’s it – enjoy your organic, healthy, and tasty homemade red sumac tea!Red Tea Photo attributed to Author Kenneth Lu from Sunnyvale, CA

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10 thoughts on “Homemade Red Sumac Tea

  1. Good stuff, Old Silly. Can I make one suggestion? Add into the recipe for people to seek out locally produced honey. Organic honey fights allergies, if it is produced with the pollen of plants indigenous to the area you live in.

      • Okay! Lol … love this site, Marv, keep coming back and am always amazed at all the NEW stuff being added … and I have years and years of cooking cool ethnic foods just to get caught up with what’s already here!

  2. I’ve been looking for a good, easy homemade red sumac tea recipe, and lo and behold, here I find a great one on my fave ethnic foods site!

    Kewl Beanz, dude, thanks. :)

  3. My Grandma used to make me sumac tea, and I loved it. Gotta try making some myself and serve it to my kids now, lol.

  4. We have sumac growing in our back yard! LOL, had no idea I could make tea out of it – way cool, thanks, Old Silly!

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