Gol Gav Zaban: Persian Herbal Flower Tea


Gol gav zaban (Borage) is a herb that grows in the northern part of Iran and its dried purple flower is brewed the same way you brew tea leaves. Gol gove zaban is a diuretic and is used in treating coughs and colds and also has a calming effect on the nerves. It's believed to be a good source of antioxidants and is also good for the heart. Gol (flower) gav (cow) zaban (tongue) literally means cow tongue flower and it has a mild and distinct taste. It doesn't taste medicinal at all. It's an aromatic, flavorful and soothing herbal tea. There are many herbal medicines and home remedies in Iran dating back to the ancient times which were handed down generation to generation.

In our home, gol gav zaban, among other herbs, was used frequently for its medicinal purposes or even just to enjoy a soothing and tasty hot drink. My mother used to usually brew gol gav zaban with a little bit of  sonbol-tib (Valerian root) mid morning. She believed that there's a medicinal herb out there for every ailment, if only we knew them all we could treat every physical sickness. She had a small, brown, two tier wooden table next to her favorite comfortable chair with her poetry books and all her herbal remedies. I have kept a few of her little bottles and containers with her large handwritten labels. Drinking this delicate fragrance flower tea makes you feel good and comfortable all over!



Gol Gav Zaban

Ingredients:

2 large tablespoons or a handful of gol gav zaban
A pinch of Valerian root *optional
2 cups water
2 small pieces of  nabat (rock candy)
Juice of a lemon/lime or a teaspoon of crushed dried lemon (limoo amani)

Method:
  1. Bring water to a boil in a kettle. 
  2. Take a handful of gol gav zaban and place it in a teapot. 
  3. Pour in the hot water and brew for 15 minutes on medium heat.  
  4. Serve hot with rock candy or lemon juice depending on your taste.
Enjoy!

24 comments:

  1. I grow borage in my garden, but have only ever used it fresh, not dried or in a tea. That sounds lovely!

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  2. Sounds like a wonderfully aromatic tea!

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  3. New kind of tea for me, its very comforting to sip hot cups of tea, even on hot days

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  4. I always love learning about new herbs and spices. This tea sounds delicious, with the added bonus that it is good for you as well!

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  5. Gretchen, I've never used or seen fresh borage. How do you cook it? Thank you for visiting.
    5 Star Foodie, Than you.
    Peanutts, I agree...tea is a drink for all seasons!
    Joanne, Thanks, appreciate it.

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  6. Nice tea but unfortunately they don't sell or I've never seen borage where I live.

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  7. Azita
    would love to try that tea! I will ask the persian store next to me about it! Happy Nowruz btw!

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  8. as i have already told you before, azita joon, i really love reading the posts which are about your family- those are always the wonderful ones. i also come from a family in which we believe in a lot of home remedies. this tea really looks like just the ticket on a cold winter's night. luckily, the weather is turning, by the way! beautiful photo, azita joon, x shayma

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  9. I could be wrong this looks like what we in the caribbean call call sorrel or wild hibiscus. I love this stuff. I makes a wonderful jam and I use the syrup for my pancakes

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  10. Borage is an easy-growing garden plant for most places in North America and Europe, at least!

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  11. so happy to have found this blog! a gorgeous take on persian cuisine. i have my own opinions about gole gav zaboon:

    http://tannazie.blogspot.com/2006/07/cow-tongue-flower-chronicles.html

    =)

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  12. What a super blog this is!!! lovely recipes and anecdotes. Do you know of 'parvaiz' a herb given as an expectorant when we had coughs as children? I have been searching the english translation to no vail.

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  13. I bought this flower (package of them) in an Arabic store (halal meat store), and no one could tell me what they were. The clerk mentioned they were Persian and called something like Cows Tongue, and that the tea was used to strengthen the heart.

    Alot of internet searching finally brought me to the name Gol GavZabon. I've read alot of sites about the use in colds and lung infections. Very pleased to see your site. Wish I had found it first, as it confirms everything I've read about it, but your site is very simple and straightforward.

    @WizzyTheStick: This is different than sorrel (hibiscus). These are smaller blue flowers, and hisbiscus is almost as big as a hand and red. Gol GavZabon is a type of Borage. We call hisbiscus tea Red Zinger. It is also good for colds (vitamin C).

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  14. Speaking of Sorrel, this is the same cold drink that is served in the Sudan during Ramadhan, they call it Kerkadee. You boil a handful of hisbiscus in a largish (depending on if you are western or eastern; medium size if your South East Asian, large if you're white) pot, then add about a cup of sugar, then set in the fridge to cool.

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  15. My husband was told that the Gol-Gav-Zabon tea was good for his heart by the clerk in the Iranian food store. However, as he has just had a double coronary artery bypass graft I am concerned about giving it to him so I am drinking it as it looks from all the blogs as if it is a relaxing tea Does anyone really know what it is meant to do for the heart please? If it is a medical plant then it has to be the right type of action surely....one cannot take risks and self medicate!

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    1. Please consult your husband's physician before giving him the gol gav zaban drink. Gol gav zaban is mostly used as a soothing and relaxing drink for people who may experience some anxiety and it's been said that it is good for the heart but personally I would not recommend it for someone with a serious heart condition.

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    2. yes, please do consult with a herb specialist, my mom is on lot of meds for her heart, once she drank a cup of this tea, she started feeling weird and increase heart palpitation, it wasn't a good experience at all!

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  16. Fascinating! My last name is ZABANova, I am originally from Russia, and the name has no meaning in Russian. I've heard that the origins of the word Zaban were Persian, but I have never heard about this herb.

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  17. Gol Gav Zaban from Iran is not the same type of borage that grows in the US. There's "Echium Amoenum" that grows in Iran and "Borago officinalis" is the US borage. Similar, but not the same.

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  18. This tea is also to help ease the pain of cramps during your monthly.

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  19. If you are taking blood pressure medication, make sure you don't drink this tea.

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  20. it does not look like the flower of Borage ( Borago ) but more the flower of Teucrium hyrcanicum.
    Bravo pour votre blog passionnant.

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  21. this tea is not good at all for people with heart condition. avoid drinking at night time , it has to be taken mid day.

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  22. Does anyone know where I can order high quality gol gav zaban online?

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