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Labrador tea (Ledum groenlandicum)

Synonyms/Common Names/Related Substances:

  • 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).

Clinical Bottom Line/Effectiveness

Brief 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 (1;2). It was also used topically as a wash for burns, ulcers, pruritus, dry skin, dandruff, lice (1;3;2). The plant is also said to have mild narcotic properties and was used by Native women before giving childbirth.
  • The leaves of the plant have been used as an analgesic, blood purifier, diaphoretic, diuretic, for respiratory problems and as a tonic (4;5;1;2). A powdered ointment has been used to treat ulcers, cracked nipples, burns and scalds (2).
  • Theoretically, if too much tea is ingested it may be cathartic and may cause intestinal problems. Currently no scientific studies in humans or animals are available involving Labrador tea.

Dosing/Toxicology

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Precautions/Contraindications

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Mechanism of Action

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History

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Evidence Table

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Evidence Discussion

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Products Studied

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.