Introduction of Labrador tea:Continental tea or James tea.

Popular Herbs. ✵The article gives records of the herb Labrador tea, its English name, Latin name, common names, property and flavor, its botanical source two plant species, ①.Ledum latifolium Jacq., ②.Ledum palustre L., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of these two plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of these two plant species, the features of the herb Labrador tea, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Labrador tea(Continental tea).

 English Name: Labrador tea.
 Latin Name: Ledum groenlandicum L., Ledum palustre L., Ledum latifolium Jacq., and other Ledum species.
 Common Names: Continental tea, James tea, marsh tea, wild rosemary.
 Property and flavor: The herb has a numbing, tangy aroma and is poisonous. It is a protected species.

 Brief introduction: Labrador tea is made from the dried leaves of Ledum species, aromatic evergreen shrubs found in Greenland and throughout North America, including Labrador. They have bright green, dull-tipped leaves and bear seed-filled fruit capsules, and white, campanulate (bell-shaped) flowers. The plant threatens to become endangered in parts of USA (the United States of America).

 Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb Labrador tea as the aerial part of the species (1).Ledum latifolium Jacq., and (2).Ledum palustre L. It is a plant species of the Ledum genus, the Ericaceae family (heath family). The aerial parts, mainly leave and flowering shoots, are used medicinally. This commonly used species is introduced:

(1).Ledum latifolium Jacq.

 Botanical description: The plant is an evergreen, the branched shrub grows to about 1.5 meters. The young branches are gray or rust-colored. The 1.25 to 2.5 cm long leaves are alternate, short-petioled, entire-margined, and linear, with revolute margins. They are stiff, coriaceous, dark green above, and rust-colored and woolly-downy underneath. Ledum palustre is larger, more regularly formed, and has larger leaves.

 The flowers are in flat, terminal umbels. The calyx is small and has 5 tips. The 5-petalled corolla is white. The 10 stamens grow from the edge of a honey ring. The ovary is superior. The fruit is a 5-valvular capsular fruit.

 Ecological environment: The plant grows in Greenland, Canada, and USA (the United States of America). The very similar variety Ledum palustre is more common in northern Europe and northern Asia.

(2).Ledum palustre L.

 Botanical description: Ledum palustre is an evergreen shrub, it grows up to 50~80 cm high, with fine and dense branches, whose bark often turns gray purple after falling off, and the young branches are densely covered with brown fluff in time, which has a strong fragrance. Simple leaves are alternate: the petiole is 2~5 mm long, with rusty hairs; The leaf blade is lanceolate, coriacellate (slightly coriaceous), 2.5~4.5 cm long and 5~15 mm wide, the apex is pointed, the base is cuneate (wedge-shaped), the whole margin is slightly rolled back, the upper part is dark green, the midvein is concave, the lower part is raised, and the rust-colored fluff is dense.

 Corymb grows at the top of last year's branch; Flowers are small and numerous, white, pedicel is thin, 1.5~3 cm long, and the fruit is bent downward; Sepals 5, separated, persistent; Corolla is 5-parted, lobes are long ovate; Stamens 10, with brown fine hairs at the base of filaments; Stylopodium, persistent. The capsular fruit is oval, 4~5 mm long and 2.5 mm wide. Its flowering period is from June to July and fruiting from July to August.

 Ecological environment: The plant grows in an area with a latitude of 1,000~1,750 meters above sea level in sparse forests, watersides, forest margins, or wet grasslands.

 Characters of herbs: The medicinal parts are the leaves and the flowering shoots. Labrador herb is the aerial part of Ledum latifolium and Ledum palustre.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.astringent; ②.aid healing; ③.camphor source;etc.

 Ledum species such as Ledum latifolium and Ledum groenlandicum contain astringent tannins that help constrict tissue and reduce oozing and bleeding. A strong decoction of the herb help in healing, applied for inflamed, itchy, or oozing skin conditions or wounds. Ledum leave's volatile oil contains camphor, which helps for symptoms related to colds and other upper respiratory tract conditions.

 Medicinal efficacy: Labrador tea was enjoyed by early Americans as a flavorful tea, it was used to treat upper respiratory ailments such as coughs, colds, and bronchial infections, headaches, rheumatism, kidney problems, diarrhea, cancers. The decoction is applied to itchy, red, or irritated skin, and other skin conditions such as acne and insect stings. It is used by homeopaths for asthma and various other ailments.

 Administration of Labrador tea (Continental tea): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Labrador tea (Continental tea)
Herbal classic books: Dosage: Use only 1 teaspoon of dried leaves per cup of hot water, and steep for a brief period of time. A stronger decoction is reserved for external use.
 Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions: External formulations of Labrador tea are probably relatively safe to use, be sure to stick to small doses and weak concentrations of the tea internally, or you may risk serious adverse reactions.




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