A Bit of History
Labrador tea has been used for centuries by First Nations for their benefits. By general knowledge, it was attributed many health benefits as well as the cure of diseases. For example, it was used in the treatment of head colds, stomach pains, taste and its diuretic and emetic properties (Eid et al., 2016, Moerman 1998, Owen & Johns 1999). It was used to treat flu, difficult breathing and stomach problems (Blondeau, Cuerrier, Roy, & Blondeau, 2011).
It was also used for inflammatory diseases (Moerman, 1998, Rousseau, 1947), asthma (Chandler, Freeman, & Hooper, 1979), rheumatism (Gunther, 1973), burns (Leighton, 1985), and liver and kidney problems (Burgesse, 1944, Chandler et al., 1979, Turner, 1980). The external application of Labrador tea was known to relieve burns, ulcers and stinging pain (Gucker, 2006).
Considered a mild narcotic, it has been prescribed for pertussis, dysentery, and bladder conditions. The leaves are recommended to act as a liver drainer and a regenerator of liver cells. It has been used to treat hepatic intoxications of circulatory origin, hepatic insufficiency, the sequelae of viral hepatitis, enteritis, toxemic or microbial nephritis, gravel, infectious prostatitis, toxenic adenitis. It has also been used to help with insomnia, nervousness, spasm of the solar plexus and thyroid imbalance.
The Benefits of Labrador Tea Greeted by Science
Recent scientific studies tend to corroborate these facts attributed to tradition. Dufour et al. found that the methanol in Labrador leaves and tea branches possessed powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (Dufour et al., 2007). This is why it would be good against migraines, arthritis and muscular pain (Chartier, Staub, & Goetz, 2005). The twigs of the plant are also effective against carcinoma lung and colon cancer cells (Dufour et al., 2007).
In addition, Giraud-Robert discovered that the oil inside Labrador tea helped tolerance and response against Hepatitis B and C (Giraud-Robert, 2005). The leaves of the ledum groelendicum are good for helping against upper respiratory infections (cough, bronchitis, asthma), fever and stomatological infections (Marion, 2018).
Good For Diabetes and Other Issues
Recent ethnobotanical data have shown that Labrador tea has potential to treat the symptoms of type II diabetes (Fraser et al., 2007; Leduc, Coonishish, Haddad, & Cuerrier 2006; Spoor et al. 2006; Tendland , Pellerin, Haddad, & Cuerrier, 2012). Indeed, Labrador tea would be very good against diabetes and obesity, which is why Ouchfoun et al. write:
“Labrador tea has potential antidiabetic action by improving insulin sensitivity and reducing the obesity and hyperglycemia induced by a high-fat diet and validating the safety and efficacy of this plant. “(Ouchfoun et al., 2016)
Labrador tea contains many flavonoids, which have several important benefits for human health such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant properties (Harmon & Harp, 2001), anti-genotoxic (genetic anti-mutagen) (Eid et al. ., 2016), anti-carcinogenic (McGill et al., 2018) and anti-atherogenic (Pinent et al., 2005) (lipid, carbohydrate and limescale plates deposited in the arteries). Labrador tea is also an antiseptic, an antiallergic (Vo et al., 2012), an anti-apoptotic (programmed cell death) (Rho et al., 2011)
Even More Benefits
The essential oil contained in Labrador tea could be beneficial for allergies, bronchitis, fever, laryngitis, ganglionic inflammation, skin problems of all kinds and regulation of the thyroid gland. Indeed, Labrador tea is said to be very good for the urinary tract, the immune system, and an excellent regenerator and liver cleanser (Higley, 1998). It has been used and shown to be good against prostate infection (Rogers, 2015). Also, Labrador tea produces an antispasmodic, analgesic, anti-flatulent, expectorant effect and stimulates digestion (Chartier et al., 2005).
In the end, being a sedative, it is very good to overcome insomnia and sleep disorders (Dampc & Luczkiewicz, 2015). It is clear, then, that Labrador tea users no longer want to do without it when they begin to get used to it and perceive positive changes in their physical well-being.