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Fresh, organic peaches are a wonderfully nutritious food. They are high in vitamins and nutrients like lycopene and beta carotene. The fruit is a perfect summer staple that we all know well but, as less people realize, the rest of the peach tree is also quite medicinal. The whole plant is rich in therapeutic properties.

I use the leaves to make tea and tincture. (The twigs and flowers can also be used.) Peach leaf tea relaxes the nerves and relieves tension. It has a cooling effect and moistens the body, perfect for any dry, hot condition. I make a tea from fresh or dried leaves when I’m feeling stressed. Just one cup usually releases my jaw and shoulder tension. It’s perfect for anxiety, restlessness and frazzled nerves. And, although it’s great before bed to release the stresses of the day and ease into sleep, it does not make me tired when I drink it during the day. It just calms the tension and eases anxiety.

Peach is very soothing for an irritated, upset stomach and upper GI tract. If your digestion is aggravated and feels “hot,” then peach leaf tea is just the thing. It moistens the body and soothes the tissues. The tea is very helpful for eliminating nausea, too. Peppermint and ginger also work well for this, but I’ve noticed not everyone loves ginger tea and peppermint is somewhat contraindicated in pregnancy. If you’ve ever felt a bit of nausea from too much sun, peach is the ideal remedy for that.

Topically, crushed fresh or dried peach leaves are great for sunburns, bug bites, rashes or any red skin ailments that need soothing.

Overall, peach is a cooling, moistening remedy, making it a perfect summertime food and welcomed medicine.

photo credits: hugh forte, mariette

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