Searching for an old herbal tea recipe
September 25, 2018 2:22 PM   Subscribe

Thirty-odd years ago, a friend in SW Michigan gave me a bag of "Tea To Allay Madness," aka "King Charles' Water." I've lost track of both friend and recipe, and google is no help. Ingredients that I remember were comfrey and chamomile, rose hips, perhaps orange rind and cinnamon. Does this ring a bell with any herbal tea-lovers? Thanks!
posted by 2soxy4mypuppet to Food & Drink (4 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
here you go
posted by zippy at 3:45 PM on September 25, 2018 [10 favorites]

Thanks for the interesting question! Some sources appear to refer to this water as Carmelite Water...
“This formula was first created for King Charles V of France in 1379 by the Carmelite Sisters… Melissa is the crucial ingredient… its presence, fragrance and lemony flavour should predominate…

“Carmelite Water was originally intended for healing purposes and may be taken internally. Make sure all ingredients are safe for consumption. A typical dose is the size of a wine glass, consumed with or after dinner.

“Bathe in Carmelite Water to facilitate the dream process. It allegedly stimulates fun, happy dreams. [It] is a favourite Pow-Wow potion to cure headaches, protect against poison, break hexes, and as an elixir of longevity.” – The Element Encyclopaedia of 5000 Spells, Judika Illes

Looks like you've got the recipe; here's some other potentially relevant links:
Tonic or Poison? The History of Eau de Melissa and Carmelite Water
Wikipedia (French) - Eau de Melissa of Carmes Boyer
Carmelite Water
Carmelite Water - Lemon Balm
Making Medieval Style Scented Oils & Waters
posted by NorthernAutumn at 6:50 PM on September 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

It appears that the recipe doesn't actually contain comfrey, which is a Good Thing as it's hepatotoxic.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:17 PM on September 25, 2018 [2 favorites]

Thanks, zippy! Obviously the tea I was given was a riff on that early recipe. I'm going to experiment and will report back!
posted by 2soxy4mypuppet at 11:12 AM on September 26, 2018

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