Herb: Labrador Tea


Latin name: Ledum glandulosum


Family: Ericaceae (Heath Family)



Medicinal use of Labrador Tea:

The leaves and young flowering shoots re astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic, laxative and stomachic.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Evergreen
Shrub

Height:
150 cm
(5 feet)

Flovering:
May


Scent:
Scented
Shrub

Habitat of the herb:

Wet montane meadows and open woods.

Edible parts of Labrador Tea:

An aromatic tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves. The dried leaves are often mixed with non-aromatic leaves such as comfrey. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. It would be better to brew the tea in cold water by leaving it in a sunny place, or to make sure that it is brewed for a short time only in an open container. The leaves are used as a flavouring, they are a bayleaf substitute. The fresh leaves can be chewed.

Other uses of the herb:

The leaves are used to repel moths, mice, rats etc.

Propagation of Labrador Tea:

Seed - surface sow in a shady part of the greenhouse in February or March. Another report says that the seed is best sown in the autumn as soon as it is ripe. Germination is variable and can be quite slow. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow the pots on in a shady frame for 18 months before planting them out into their permanent positions. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 - 8cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Plant out in spring. Fair percentage. Cuttings of mature wood, November/December in a frame. Layering in the autumn. Takes 12 months. Division.

Cultivation of the herb:

Wet montane meadows and open woods.

Known hazards of Ledum glandulosum:

Plants contain a narcotic toxin called Ledel. This toxin only causes problems if the leaves are cooked for a long period in a closed container.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.