Information submited: 2015-02-02 Modified: 2018-03-13 By: 1
Botanical Name: Ledum groenlandicum
Common Method of Extraction: Steam distilled
Part Typically Used: Leaves, flowers
Color: Pale yellow
Perfumery Note: Middle
Strength of Initial Aroma: Very pleasant, strong aromatic, somewhat similar to the Rhododendrons. Odor is cuminic, seedy and soapy with woody aspects.
There are several species of Ledum and it has several common names including Labrador Tea, Marsh Tea or Swamp Tea. Ledum often includes Tanacetum palustre and Rhododendron Tomentsum so it is definitely important to know your genus species and the common names for the oil you want to purchase.The Ledum was catalogued by the New World European Botanists. It was one of the first ones to be catalogued.
Heath family (Ericaceae). An erect, aromatic shrub that grows to one meter with twigs densely covered with long, soft hairs (villous). The narrow, leathery leaves are 2- 5 cm long, alternate, and evergreen. The leaves are dark green above with edges that curl under along the margins, and there is a dense mat of orange - brown hairs on the underside.
Numerous white flowers in tight clusters bloom from May to July. Each flower has a small five - toothed sepal tube with five separate petals, and 5 - 7 stamens. Ledum are low, slow-growing shrubs with evergreen leaves. Ledum grows in wetlands and bogs in western North America, from British Columbia to California to Colorado. Ledum Groenlandicum grows in peaty soils, shrubby areas, moss and lichen tundra.
Bees are much attracted by the flowers, but animals do not browse on the plants, which are said to be slightly poisonous.
The native people of Eastern Canada used this herb for tea, as a general tonic, providing well-being. Ledum has helped the native people of North America for more than 5,000 years.
Kate McCarty, a non - Indian woman married to a Makah, described bog Labrador tea on the Ts’oo - yuhs prairie as producing better crops after the Makah burned it: “The Labrador tea can just keep growing and growing and growing until it gets real leggy. And all that you have is just a few little leaves on top. But after it’s been burned then it starts all over again. It’s just like pinching flowers off of the Chrysanthemum to make them bush out”.