Latin name: Rhododendron groenlandicum (Oeder) K.A. Kron & W.S. Judd Syn.: Ledum groenlandicum Oeder
Botanical family: Ericaceae
Growth habit: Shrub
Vernacular name(s): Labrador tea, Hudson's Bay tea (Eng.)
thé du Labrador (Fr.)
pusipga'skill (Malecite)
jabak (Abenaki)
īkūta (Montagnais)
miluepuk (Innu)
lidu masgit, gots'ago (Dene)
timaskik, maskekopakwati, maskekopakwa, maskikowapoy, muskakopukwu, muskekopakwa, muskekopukwa (Cree)
muckig'obūg, muskeegobug (Ojibway)
nįgodhi (Chipewyan)
Uses:
Medicinal tea [Cree: 94; Innu: 72]. Used for head colds [Abenaki: 67]. Diuretic. Decoction used to treat pneumonia and, mixed with Acorus calamus, whooping cough [Cree: 95]. Tea drunk by women to facilitate childbirth [Algonquin: 68]. Used in nosebleeds [Ojibway: 89]. Decoction used to prevent hair loss or to treat eye infections [Cree: 13]. Steeped and used for kidney troubles [Malecite: 65]. Tea drunk in rheumatic complaints, to strengthen the stomach, relieve headhache and promote perspiration. Powder applied to gangrenes, contusions, and excoriations [Cree: 78]. Used in arthritis, or muscle pain. Tea drops put on abscesses. Broth applied in sore mouth. Tea taken as an energy drink [Cree: 81]. Used to treat cold [Dene: 100]. Boiled with fireweed and the tea drunk to speed up child birth [Dene: 101].
Whole plant :Mixed with another plant in a decoction drunk to treat cold or chest pain [Cree 13]. Boiled and liquid used as a disinfectant for wounds and skin sores. Tea used for urinary tract problems [Cree 80, 81].
Leaves :Decoction or infusion taken as a diuretic [Cree 76; Algonquians 63]. Steeped to make a tonic tea [Algonquians 63]. Fresh leaves chewed and applied to wounds [Cree 42]. Either chewed and the juice swallowed or made into a tea and drunk to treat stomach flu and diarrhoea [Dene 13; Chipewyan 92]. , chills and bad breath [Cree 13]. Tea with other herbs taken to treat cold, infants teething pain, as a system cleanser [Cree 13]. Tea given to nervous people to relieve tension, and powdered leaves applied to burns, or wet eczema [Dene 13]. Decoction drunk and leaves wrapped in a cloth and applied to the head to treat migraine. Decoction drunk to treat a burning sensation during urination. Applied to wounds [Cree 13]. Steeped and drunk as a general medicine, as a tonic, or against kidney problems [Mi'kmaq 62]. Used as a tonic [Chippewa 88]. Used in diabetes [Cree 77, 82, 83]. Poultice applied to burns and scalds. Grated and used against headache [Algonquin 68]. Mixed with grease or pitch to make an ointment applied to burns, itchy skin, sores on hands, and chapped skin including cracked nipple to which a leaf is applied directly. Mixed with fish oil and applied to the umbilical scab to promote healing. Powdered and applied directly to a baby's skin to treat rashes in the skin folds [Cree 94, 95]. Chewed and juice swallowed to treat cold and sore throat Boiled and compress used to treat fever [Cree 81]. Tea drunk in diarrhoea, arthritis, chest pain and back ache [Cree 80]. Tea used to treat headache [Dene 98]. Herbal water taken for heart and kidney problems. Dried, crushed, mixed with lard and applied to burns. Boiled and used to soak affected parts to treat arthritis [Cree 93].
Leaves and twigs :Steeped and drunk for chill or to purify blood [Algonquians 63]. Tea used as a tonic, in cold and headache [Algonquin 69]. Macerated or prepared into a decoction to fight urinary tract problems. Dried and put into a hot wet towel and used as a compress for children urinary tract problems [Montagnais 71]. Decoction cooled and used to soak joints affected by arthritis [Cree 13]. Tea taken for stomach pain, diarrhoea, headache and cough [Cree 81].
Roots :Decoction used to treat cold and clean the stomach [Cree 13]. Tea drunk to treat chest pain [Dene 101].