In the summer of 1941, fierce battles were fought on the outskirts of Leningrad. Unexpectedly, the tank offensive of the Hitlerite army was suspended, and Field Marshal von Leeb, who commanded Army Group North, received a strange order - to send tanks not to Leningrad, but to the village of Koporye, to destroy an object codenamed “River of Life”.
What was at this facility, and why was it necessary to divert serious forces of the German army to destroy it? It should be said right away that there was no production of top-secret weapons there, in Koporye there was an experimental laboratory for the production of herbal drinks according to ancient Russian recipes.
So this laboratory was more dangerous than many military factories?
The village of Koporye has long been famous for the drink, which was made from a plant called narrow-leaved fireweed, better known among the people as "ivan-tea". Moreover, the tea was called “Koporsky”, because it was here that tea was produced in tons and sold not only in Russia, but also exported abroad. Including to England, and the British understand a lot about tea.
What made this harmless drink of Hitler so angry? The fact is that Russian herbalists considered this tea a source of vigor, health and longevity. It is impossible to list all the diseases for which it was recommended to regularly take this tea. Abroad, Koporye tea was so popular that it could even undermine the financial well-being of the East India Company, which supplied Indian tea to Europe.
In the second half of the 19th century, the company ensured that the purchases of Russian tea, as Koporye tea was also called in Europe, was significantly reduced. To do this, they even had to go for a trick: articles began to appear in newspapers that Russians, for grinding tea, use white clay, which, they say, can cause irreparable harm to health.
And after the October Revolution, relations between Soviet Russia and the former allies in the Entente soured, the export of Koporye tea stopped, and the centuries-old business of the village completely stalled.
True, the Bolsheviks soon realized that herbal-based drinks could be an excellent tool for strengthening the health of the Soviet people, as well as increasing the endurance of the Red Army soldiers. As a result, a laboratory was opened in Koporye, working on the restoration of ancient recipes.
At the beginning of September 1941, the Germans broke into Koporye, demolished the laboratory and destroyed the fields on which Ivan-tea grew with the tracks of tanks. The village was under occupation for two and a half years; Koporye was liberated only in January 1944. Probably, the rumors about the benefits of Koporye tea so excited Hitler that he even decided to temporarily change his plans to seize Leningrad, just to destroy the laboratory in Koporye.
The content of vitamin C in ivan tea is higher than in rose hips. In addition, it lacks caffeine and tannin, which depress the nervous system. Koporye tea normalizes sleep and reduces nervousness.