Blessed with color Cuzco’s gardens are stunning, thanks to the rainy season that has claimed the city. Their herbs, plants, and flowers thrill our mornings in the imperial City of the Incas.
This time of year people anxious wait with hope that their fields and gardens will grow and produce, so that once their products are mature people can take them to sell. Potatoes and corn are what is most grown around Cuzco.
However, thanks to the rains, herbs prosper and our caseras (vendors) come out every morning with teas made from different fresh herbs. While you can always buy hot teas in the market, people also like cool teas that are at air temperature. From early in the morning the caseras who sell teas are in position and ready to refresh the public. They have their white, tin bucket filled with herb tea made from a concentration of different medicinal herbs. On the lid covering the bucket they place the assortment of herbs from which they make the mate making their buckets well decorated and very orderly.
The combination of herbs that they usually use in this tea includes the following: chili chili, altea, pinko pinko, horsetail, sano sano, grass seed, mullaca (which helps calm nerves) and finally the very popular barley. They toast the grain and because of it the tea has an intense brown color.
To this the caseras add lime juice. In every glass they serve they squeeze a few drops of fresh lime juice. This gives the tea just a hint of bitterness.
With this whole combination of healing herbs, after refreshing you, the tea helps to heal whatever afflicts your body, such as pain in you waist, spots on your face, kidney pains, and others. To get the best effect it is important to drink this tea every day.
The caseras sell this delicious and soothing tea for 0.50/S a glass. For free they will give you advice in which they will disclose to you the specific functions of the various herbs.