Where is Ivan tea used?

The Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation plans to include Ivan tea in the list of agricultural products. The agency announced this on its Telegram channel.

«The drink from fireweed angustifolium, which has been prepared in Russia for a long time, is really very useful, perfectly tones without caffeine and quenches thirst well. In general, it has all the qualities to “move” ordinary tea and coffee on store shelves and take its rightful place in the consumer basket. That is why we are already working on the issue of including Ivan tea in the list of agricultural products, », — the message says.

Thanks to the inclusion in the list of agricultural products, manufacturers will be able to access all measures of state support for crop growers in the country. The idea to develop the production of Ivan-tea was supported at the forum “Strong Ideas for the New Time”; the President of Russia, noting the usefulness of the traditional Russian drink. 

Where is Ivan tea used?
Tea from fireweed

Ivan-chai (botanical name for narrow-leaved fireweed, Epilobium angustifolium) is used to produce one of the traditional Russian drinks. At its core — fireweed plant, in another way it is also called “fiery grass”, “fireman”, “creaker”; etc. Ivan-tea is also known as Koporsky tea.

The drink has a rich chemical composition. It includes phosphorus, potassium, manganese, calcium, titanium, zinc, sodium, copper, magnesium, selenium, iron, molybdenum, boron.

Ivan tea flowers are rich in vitamins B and C, and the content of the latter in fireweed is three times more than in oranges and six and a half times more than in lemons.


In herbal medicine, Ivan tea is used to relieve all types of pain, and women drank it to relieve strong contractions. Fireweed leaves were used to treat the navel of a newborn, they also treated various skin diseases. Ivan-tea root is used to relieve skin irritation, including burns, rashes, itching.


In the early 70s of the XX century, the drug hanerol was obtained at the All-Russian Cancer Center of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences based on Ivan-tea inflorescences. As experts found out, hanerol has an antitumor effect. 

Fireweed is also used in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and urinary problems. Preparations based on this plant have analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant and enveloping effects.

In folk medicine, Ivan-tea is used in the form of decoctions and tinctures for metabolic disorders, insomnia, inflammatory processes of the gastric mucosa, inflammatory diseases of the ear, nose, and throat. The decoction is also able to reduce pain and normalize the functions of the digestive tract. In addition, fireweed preparations in the form of an infusion are used in the treatment of various kinds of eczema, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and other skin diseases.


Fireweed is used in cosmetology as a steam bath before cosmetic massage. And thanks to the antioxidant properties, Ivan-tea is part of cleansing and anti-aging cosmetics. The substances included in its composition have a positive effect on the beauty of hair and nails. 


The leaves of young plants can be added to salads or greens. cabbage soup from sorrel and nettle. The roots of willow-tea are stewed and boiled, and dried, they are used in the manufacture of surrogate coffee. 

Ivan-tea has the names «bread box» and “miller”, since its dried and ground roots were previously added to flour and used to bake bread. The additive, in addition to the content of vitamins and trace elements, replaced sugar. Rusks made from such bread have never been moldy.

Production of yarn and fiber

Fireweed is sometimes called “wild hemp”; or “wild flax.” Fiber can be made from its stems. In Russia, fireweed was woven into ropes, fabrics were made, yarn was spun. 

To get yarn for knitting, fireweed is harvested from the very beginning of flowering until mid-October. After the collection is completed, the leaves are removed from the plant and the stems are dried, spreading them in one row. When the stems are completely dry, the fibers are removed from the stems, they begin to sniff and then they are spun with a spinning wheel or spindle. Fireweed can also be used to make filler for pillows and mattresses — using not the plant itself, but the fluff that is formed during its flowering.



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