Labrador Tea Ledum palustre
botanical family: Ericaccea (heath family)
My good friend Crazy Horse, part of the Frog Clan, first introduced me to this plant – i had the pleasure of gathering & picking with him last fall
he likes to pick this wonderful plant helper for himself but also to give away to the elders or anyone in need 🙂
Labrador Tea is a northern staple – grows in my area- and can be harvested year round
Both leaves & flowers can be used medicinally
I hear a northern campfire is not complete without a freshly harvested pot of Labrador Tea ~ i guess i will have to try this NOW
it is naturally caffeine free with a burst of Vitamin C
the Yukon first nations have a long and intimate relationship with this plant ~ using its medicinal leathery green leaves with their wooly, rust coloured underside for coughs & colds, relaxation, and sleeping problems. Inhaling the steam that rises from the steam is recommended to clear sinuses.
It’s a great immune support tonic high in vitamin C, stimulates lymphatic circulation and it tastes lovely!
i pull out the tea when i feel down or low on energy ~ i poured myself a nice cup today because of that reason
the properties found in Labrador Tea help reduce pain when applied externally
its a mild blood cleanser and considered a tonic that helps strengthen and tone the whole body
acts as an intestinal regulator, mildly laxative yet soothes diarrhea
its diaphoretic properties aid the skin in the elimination of toxins, making it helpful during a fever and as a topical hydrosol keeps the skin fresh, clean and free of blemishes
also known as a respiratory tonic, it’s slightly expectorant and drying to the bronchi and the sinus passages – only small amounts are needed – tribes used labrador tea to treat a variety of ailments including headaches, asthma, colds, stomachaches and kidney ailments
studies have demonstrated the branches act as an antibiotic against E.coli and Bacillius subtilis and the flowering heads were effective in treating both bacteria and the yeast candida albicans
other research found its extracts to posses properties that confirms traditional aboriginal use of the leaf for Type 2 Diabetes
a warm cup of Labrador Tea helps quiet the nerves and nourishes the adrenal glands – Scandinavians infused crushed leaves in alcohol for use as a before-bed digestif
the plant is also said to have mild narcotic properties and was used by Native women before childbirth
as a topical poultice it is great many skin problems – burns – ulcers – itchy chapped skin – stings – scabies – and even dandruff – the essential oil can be used topically with a carrier oil to help heal inflammatory conditions of the skin and muscles
a decoction, tincture or vinegar infusion can be made to kill or deter Head LICE! crushed leaves also act as an insect repellant and deter rodents from your pantry!
it is a liver regenerator and cleanser improving the liver functions in general
it’s a great edition to stews, meat dishes, and salad dressings – use like bay leaves!
Steve Johnson, founder of the Alaskan Flower Essences project says that Labrador tea is helpful for:
attempting to balance one extreme to another
helping balance extreme imbalance in any area of life
and helpful in times of difficulty returning to center after a distressing or traumatic experience
Its healing qualities help to focus the energy – the body – in the present moment; releases stress associated with the experience of extremes; & helps us to continually learn a new perspective of balance.
I’m very happy this wild wonder grows in our part of the Boreal Wilderness I hope to get to know THIS and the many plants more intimately
Plant Spirits are like people i hear – they have to learn to trust YOU – and when they do – and you honour them – they reveal the Earth’s secrets to YOU
this information mostly came from the book * “The Boreal Herbal” by Beverley Gray which is super awesome =:=