Back in the 70s I lived in NC for a few years, time spent on the coast in Wrightsville Beach, and also inland in the country. I will always remember learning about using sassafras tea bark for a spring tonic-I love the flavor and aromas of sassafras too. Living here in rural Missouri, the locals here do the same. I found this article on spring greens here I also found many articles on the value of dandelions for use as a spring tonic, below is one of them: from Care 2 here
Just as we see the first emergence of the bright green leaves and yellow flowers of dandelions in the spring, it is worth remembering an age-old tradition of drinking (organic) dandelion tea as a renewing tonic to wake us up with the land around us after a long winter. Try this regenerative dandelion tea to give yourself (and your kidneys and liver) a fresh start: Dandelion Root Tea Dandelion tea is rich in minerals and is known as a cleanser of the kidneys and liver, and a very healing herbal remedy that strengthens the entire system. As one of the gentlest and safest diuretics, so it is also a boon during premenstrual syndrome, and is traditionally a good addition to the diet of diabetics. Buy dandelion root at the health food store. Ingredients 4 cups pure water 6 tablespoons dried dandelion root (1 year old minimum) 6 tablespoons dried dandelion leaf (double amount if fresh) (optional) Simmer the dandelion root in the water, uncovered, for 20 minutes, then strain the liquid over the dandelion leaf. Cover tightly and steep for another 20 minutes; strain the tea again. Fresh Dandelion Leaves You can also eat dandelion leaves, presuming they are organic. Eat them raw in a salad, or steamed. The leaves are very alkaline and purify and build the blood, cleanse and regenerate cells.
I also found excellent reading with a little history about taking the spring tonics at the Herb Companion here and more information on sassafras tea at Ehow here Also, for further information, check my tags for sassafras.