Health Ranger teaches wild foods: Yaupon Holly for “coffee” and Nopal cactus fruit for nutrition

Saturday, June 10, 2017 by

Continuing with our popular series of outdoor videos that teach wild foods and self-reliance, today I’m posting two short videos:

  • Yaupon Holly (the first video below) is the only native plant in North America that’s a natural source of caffeine. It can be used to make a cheap source of “coffee” or tea, especially in survival situations. Don’t expect it to taste like premium coffee, however.
  • Nopal Cactus provides a nutrient-rich “superfruit” in the summer. This superfruit is rich in anthocyanins, which are potent antioxidants. It’s well known to help prevent type-2 diabetes by regulating blood sugar. Nopal cactus fruit can be harvested with tongs, blended in a Vita-Mix and squeezed through a nut milk bag to make nopal cactus fruit juice. (Have some tweezers handy to pull the tiny spines out of your skin, of course.) This cactus fruit isn’t very sweet, so you’ll need to add a natural sweetener like honey.

These are both part of the ongoing Health Ranger Science series of educational videos that introduce people to wild foods, natural medicines and living in harmony with nature.

Video Transcript: “What you’re looking at here is Yaupon Holly. It’s the only natural, living source of caffeine in North America. If you’re a prepper or if you want to have an alternate source of caffeine as an herbalist, this is plant you want to look for – Yaupon Holly. It’s believed to be poisonous, but it’s a false belief because Native American Indians use to use this plant to over indulge on caffeine and actually hallucinate with a way to connect with some of their spirit guides. Caffeine was there psychedelic drug – if you will. But obviously caffeine has many uses, especially in a collapse or preparedness type, you can take these leaves, which grow like weeds much across Central Texas, you can roast them, sort of like coffee roasting, and you can actually then make quite a delicious caffeinated tea out of this. In a time of collapse or preparedness, people are going to be desperate for sources of coffee and tea. So, this plant could become very handy…”

Watch both videos below:





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