Usually after closing the downtown bakery stores for the night, on our way back up the hill to Miraflores, we stop for a bit of Miguel Angel's emoliente (herbal tea).
Miguel Angel is 14 years old; he works most nights from 8-11, or until his emoliente runs out. He sells each glass for about $0.20 and comes with a yapa (an extra glass full). When we came with the camera, he was a really good sport.
Someday, when I understand my computer, I'll put subtitles on it, but in sum, Sergio is explaining what different herbs Miguel Angel puts into his emoliente.
I thought I would try and find a recipe, but someone much more qualified beat me to it. This Oregonian culinary artist visited South America and thoroughly researched emoliente recipes. Here is his take:
I have asked various vendors about the ingredients and I have squeezed the secrets out of a few guys about what they use:
- The main ingredient is linasa (flax seed) which is well known for being a source of Omega-3’s and lignans (heart-healthy, anti-cancer, blood sugar stabilizer)
- Aloe vera, scraped right off the stem.
- Cola de cabello/Horse tail (it grown near streams and wetlands in the US too) (a diuretic good for the kidneys and bladder and may help with senility due to the high silica content that balances the aluminum in the body)
- Chanca piedra (helps with the kidneys (especially stones), the liver and is an anti-viral that fights intestinal parasites)
- Barley (good source of selenium, phosphorus, copper and manganese and can help combat diabetes, high cholesterol and colon cancer)
- Boldo (cleanses the liver, aids digestion and fights intestinal parasites, among other things)
- Una de gato/Cat’s claw (the inner bark of a jungle vine that helps boost the immune system as well as colds, arthritis, tumors and digestive problems)
- Alfalfa juice (a superfood high in phytonutrients that also can aid in digestion, diabetes and anemia)
- Lime juice (um, Vit C)
The drink itself has a surprisingly viscous consistency, but always seems to settle my stomach after too many chicharrones and I sleep like a baby.