Mormon's Tea is a plant most gardeners in zones 4-9 should grow. It is a very ornamental plant with foliage resembling the horsetail plant. It is easy to care for and grows in most soils.
It makes a nice tasting tea with a somewhat astringent flavor, the dried branches are boiled in water to make the tea. People use it as a beverage and as a herbal medicine.
Be careful not to confuse Mormon tea (Ephedra nevadensis) with ephedra (Ephedra sinica and other ephedra species). Unlike these other plants, Mormon tea does not contain ephedrine ( or only slight traces ).
The Mexicans call this herb by the name popotillo, while the early European settlers in America called it by several other names, such as Mormon tea, teamster's tea and Brigham tea. There was a time when this herb was an extremely favourite conventional medication for treating sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis and gonorrhoea.
However, this herb has a somewhat astringent flavour, but people who have a preference for it or have become habituated to it, like this herb and take it in the form of a pleasingly reinvigorating drink. The herb has probably got its name Mormon tea from its use in the form of a caffeine free beverage that quenches thirst.
We recommend you research more on this herb by visiting sites like WebMD/Mormons Tea and Herbs2000/Mormons Tea, there are also many other sites on the web with useful info on this herb.