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Sub-shrub and plant host of the caterpillars of the butterflies known under the names of "Moyen argus" (or Azure of the broom) and "Brown elf", the Labrador tea grows in cold regions of North America, on rocks naked and the acid soils undergrowth of conifers, in peaty environments, bogs, the swamp and the toundras.
Widely distributed from Greenland to Alaska, this plant is not not very well known in France where it would be called "lède".
It is characterized by leaves leathery greens and narrow, with curling edges and twigs; all covered with a dense, cottony down.
Fragrant and greatly appreciated by the Amerindians, this plant was quickly adopted in New France by the first settlers who consumed it in the form of tea.
During the world crisis of the 1930s and the American War of Independence (1775-1780), tea from China was becoming increasingly scarce and was quickly replaced by tea from Labrador.
However, these are the virtues from this sub-shrub to multiple appellations which will hold our attention through this article.
What are his benefits ? Which ailments relieve (or treat)? How to make it use wisely ? Overview…
Labrador tea: main characteristics
Like rhododendron, bearberry, azalea, gaylussaccia and blueberry, Labrador tea is a plant that belongs to the ericaceae family.
Can reach a height and one 1.50 diameter m, labrador tea can grow in the form of bushes. It was consumed by the ancestors of the Apache and Navajo (Native American people of North America) as tea.
His leaves are green above and orange below. They keep quite a long time after picking.
Also called "tea of the Innu and Inuit nations", "Greenland ledon" or "velvety tea", this plant with multiple virtues is also a nourishing source for wild aquatic birds (geese, wading birds, swans, ducks, etc.) which particularly appreciate its berries.
Benefits of Labrador tea and health benefits
> Benefits of Labrador tea in the kitchen
These are the leaves that are the used parts of this plant. They can be harvested throughout the year, but preferably in the spring.
As a result, some peoples particularly appreciate its flavor by consuming leaves from Labrador floods. Indeed, they either chew them or use them as spice to flavor the meat. Others even add the branches to their leaf maceration, in which they soak or boil the meat.
> Medicinal benefits of Labrador tea
As for his therapeutic benefits, tea from the Innu and Inuit nations is very rich in essential oils.
Indeed, it closes properties antibiotic, decongestant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, anti–inflammatory, antibacterial, analgesic (and probably anti-tumor).
From there, Labrador tea is indicated to relieve migraines, headaches, dysentery, bladder conditions and whooping cough.
True regenerator of liver cells and drainer hepatic, Greenland ledon is recommended to treat enteritis, sequelae of viral hepatitis, gravel, liver failure, toxemic adenitis, microbial or toxemic nephritis, hepatic intoxication of circulatory origin, and infectious prostatitis.
To this are added other ailments and disorders such as thyroid imbalance, solar plexus spasm, nervousness, insomnia, lung inflammation, sore throat in case of flu, which have come to an end, thanks to the virtues of velvety tea.
Among certain Amerindian peoples, the pregnant women would have used Labrador tea 3 times a day, a few days before childbirth to stimulate labor.
In Russia, researchers have proven that this medicinal plant closes a substance comparable to urethane: it is therefore a antimutagen (used to treat certain forms of irradiation) and a antioxidant. The essential oil of Labrador tea has been used to cure taiga encephalitis (infection transmitted by mosquitoes or ticks).
> Other unsuspected virtues
A priori, the Amerindians put the leaves of the velvety tea in their pipe and smoked them.
Labrador tea is also used for keep moths away (formidable insects) which feed on clothing fibers and make their cocoons.
To do this, it is recommended to take dried and crushed leaves of Labrador tea. Then put them in a bag and place it in your cupboards or cupboards.
Externally, the Greenland ledon has been used as parasiticide to treat some skin conditions (leprosy, ringworm, scabies) and even fight against lice.
> Uses, dosages, instructions for use
In the form of drink, Labrador tea can be consumed by internal way :
- in lemonade
To prepare 1 L, take twelve Labrador tea leaves, 4 to 5 lemon slices and then 2 teaspoons of honey.
Melt the honey. Collect the active ingredients of the tea in ½ cup of hot water. Then mix all the already ready ingredients.
After a few minutes, place this preparation on ice cubes. When it's time to drink your lemonade, you can top it down with cold water.
- in infusion : For 1 cup, put 2 or 3 dried leaves in boiling water. Let them steep in the cup for 5 minutes. Then drink.
By external channel, Labrador tea is used to relieve pain (migraines).
To do this, in ½ cup of water, prepare a tea concentrate with 1 tablespoon of dried and crushed leaves. Leave to infuse and cool. On a compress, pour the decoction thus obtained then, apply on the neck and the forehead.
Practical advice about Labrador tea
When preparing the herbal tea, do not simmer for too long as this releases indigestible principles.
AT high dose, velvety tea can cause spasms, gastrointestinal irritations and nervous disorders.
You should therefore avoid consuming a large amount of it in the form of herbal tea: one cup a day is sufficient.
Note that the consumption infusion made from Labrador tea is formally prohibited to the pregnant women.
Regardless, you should always follow the advice and instructions on the use and consumption of Labrador tea to avoid harmful or unwanted effects. You can also ask the opinion of your doctor or a herbalist.