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Labrador tea (Ledum groenlandicum)

Generic Name: Ledum groenlandicum

Category

Herbs & Supplements

Synonyms

Bog tea, finnmarkspors, getpors, Hudson's Bay tea, James tea, marsh tea, mose-post, muskeegobug aniibi (Ojibwe), muskeko-pukwa (Cree), skvattram, St. James tea, sumpf-porst, suopursu, swamp growing tea, swamp tea, vildpors, wish-a-ca-pucca (Chpewyan).

Background

Labrador tea is a small, aromatic shrub with a narrow, leathery leaf. It is also known as Hudson Bay tea and is used as a spice for meat.

Native American tribes used labrador tea to treat a variety of ailments including headaches, asthma, colds, stomachaches and kidney ailments. It was also used topically as a wash for burns, ulcers, pruritus (severe itching), dry skin, dandruff, and lice. The plant is also said to have mild narcotic properties and was used by Native women before childbirth.

Theoretically, if too much tea is ingested it may be cathartic (produces bowel movements) and may cause intestinal problems. Currently, no scientific studies in humans or animals are available involving labrador tea.

Evidence

DISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Tradition

WARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Analgesic (pain reliever), arthritis, asthma, childbirth (aid), burns, colds, cough, dandruff, diaphoretic (promotes sweating), diuretic, dizziness, elimination of blood toxins (blood purifier), fever, hangovers, headache, heartburn, kidney problems, laxative, narcotic, pruritus (severe itching), skin problems, skin ulcers, stomach ache, tuberculosis.

Dosing

Adults (over 18 years old)

There is no proven safe or effective dose of labrador tea. Traditionally, 2-4 fluid ounces of labrador tea infusion, three to four times a day, has been used.

Also, an ointment made of labrador tea has been applied on the skin to treat ulcers, cracked nipples, burns and scalds.

Children (under 18 years old)

There is no proven safe or effective dose of labrador tea in children.

Safety

DISCLAIMER: Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.

Allergies

Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to labrador tea.

Side Effects and Warnings

There are no available scientific studies reporting adverse effects of labrador tea. However, ingesting large quantities of labrador tea may cause stomachache, and act as a laxative. Labrador tea overdoses may also cause violent headache, drowsiness and symptoms of intoxication.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

Labrador tea is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence.

Interactions

Interactions with Drugs

Labrador tea has narcotic properties, and theoretically may have additive effects with other central nervous system (CNS) depressants.

Interactions with Herbs & Dietary Supplements

Labrador tea has narcotic properties, and theoretically may have additive effects with other herbs and supplements that are central nervous system (CNS) depressants.

Attribution

This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature, and was peer-reviewed and edited by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com): Lisa Scully, PharmD (Massachusetts College of Pharmacy); Shaina Tanguay-Colucci, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Catherine Ulbricht, PharmD (Massachusetts General Hospital); Wendy Weissner, BA (Natural Standard Research Collaboration).

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