Labrador Tea





Introduction: Labrador Tea

Labrador Tea has been used for generations by the Native peoples of North America and also in the northern parts of Europe where the Labrador plant grows.The Labrador Plant is an evergreen with medicinal properties.
It's uses range from the common cold,cough,upper respiratory infections to flu symptoms and upset stomach.It is also a common remedy for the effects of a hangover and while not a cure,it helps to alleviate the symptoms.Another use for this tea is to apply to skin sores and eczema to help relieve itching.If a strong enough batch is made it can also be applied to the hair to kill lice.Labrador Tea is also a rich source of Vitamin c,if you are suffering from a bad case of scurvy this is the drink for you ;)

WARNING:If you choose to follow this instructable please follow this link to the toxic effects of this brew:

The tea brewed should be drank in weak doses or watered down as was done in this instructable.Please be sure of the effects of this plant by following the link.
That said this tea is safe in small doses and the benefits are time tested and proven.

Step 1: Locating the Plant

The Labrador plant can be found in the evergreen forest.If you know of a place where the dominant tree species is spruce chances are you will find the plant.The Labrador plant grows out of the moss.Look for a boggy area with plenty of moisture and moss.
In the second picture the plant can be clearly seen protruding out of the snow.

Step 2: Harvesting

Labrador Tea can be found in the Forest,depending on you're region.The Labrador Plant pictured below should be harvested with care,the leaves do grow back on the plant,but at a very slow rate so it is advisable to only pick a few from any given plant then move on to the next and do the same until you have a fair amount.
In the second picture the leaves have been placed in a plastic bread bag for safe keeping.

On to the next step.

Step 3: Brewing:Step One

Now that you have the leaves it's time to brew the Tea.
First fill a pot with water,add the leaves and bring to a boil until the water changes colour to a light green.Strain the water but leave the leaves in the pot as in the second picture Below.

Step 4: Brewing:Step Two

Now you will need to refill the pot with water.
Bring again to a boil and continue boiling until the water turns a yellowish colour as in the second picture.

Step 5: Done

When the water turns to a dark yellow it's time to remove from the stove.Strain out the leaves and pour into a tea pot.
You're done!

DRINKING:While not advisable to drink the tea straight,if you do so be sure to not drink more than 3 tea cups of it.A good rule is to fill a cup 1/3 With the Tea and cap it off with water.Or if you have a bad memory pour 1/3 of the tea in a tea pot and fill the remainder  with water.
Do not drink in excess unless the brew is sufficiently watered down.



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    14 Discussions

    First, Labrador tea does not only grow in forests. In fact, it typically does not grow in forests. It grows in boggy areas; the forests it grows in were once bogs and simply haven't lost all their bog plants. But it grows just fine in bogs that are still open and sunny (in fact it's easier to find it in such places). Note that a peat bog is NOT just any old wetland; it is a wetland dominated by a special kind of moss (Sphagnum) that creates highly acidic, waterlogged soils. Labrador tea is a plant adapted to grow in such conditions.

    Second, if you're in North America and don't know how to tell Labrador tea from bog laurel, don't even THINK of gathering Labrador tea until you learn how to. Bog laurel is highly poisonous and often grows intermixed with Labrador tea! Bog laurel leaves are evergreen and about the same size as Labrador tea leaves but they are shiny, lighter color, and never have fuzz on their underside. Labrador tea leaves are dull, darker, and do have fuzz (white on young leaves, rust-colored on older ones) on their underside. But get a plant book and study it to be sure, you don't want to make a mistake!

    Third, it's a slow-growing plant, so don't pick a lot of leaves from one plant. Walk through the area, picking just one or two leaves from each plant.

    1 reply

    Correction: I've done a little research and apparently in some areas (just not mine) it DOES commonly grow in forests, though it still grows better in open sunny bogs.

    In all honesty if the medical benefits were verified it's highly doubtful they would be that easy to find.You would have better luck looking on a homeopathy website.The studies of most medicine are funded by the pharmaceutical companies.If it's found to grow in the wild and in abundance they wouldn't make any money by selling it when people can get it for free.

    The argument that "Big Pharma" doesn't do any studies on "alternative medicine" because they can't make money off of it has never made a lick of sense.
    They make plenty of money off of aspirin. Lots of medicine is made from natural sources and they can still make money off of it. They actually get pretty excited when they find something that works and has a cheap/free source, because it means they can refine the free source and mark it up for a profit.

    Something else found in nature that companies make a fortune off of: bottled water.

    Aspirin is an old drug, from an era where expensive studies were not required for drug approval. Plus aspirin is not actually found in nature. It's chemically similar to salicylic acid (which is found in willow bark, a traditional headache and fever remedy) but it's a unique compound of its own.

    It's very hard to fund new studies for drug approval (required by the FDA) unless one gets patent protection and thus can earn monopoly profits to justify the cost of the study. You can't get patent protection for something that's traditional knowledge, like herbal medicine.

    So it *does* indeed tend to be hard to fund studies on the efficacy of traditional herbal remedies.

    Yes and no. Aspirin is a commodity and the most money is probably made from special formulations like "daily use heart health" type and baby-aspirin.

    In general though aspirin never required safety studies because it was in use for years before those requirements existed.

    So while you're right they'll certainly make use of an existing medicine and make money off of it even if it's a commodity, it's unclear that they would spend billions to get it FDA approved if it wasn't already.

    I just boil it till it is dark gold with a red tinge. I use lots of leaves. Maybe 6 tablespoons of leaves to 3 cups of water. Drink up! Enjoy! I'm on my 3rd cup! Don't bother boiling it them dumping it out just to boil it again.. Waste of delicious tea!!

    1 reply

    I grew up in the middle of Labrador, and you couldn't walk 2 feet into the woods without being surrounded by them, but never once did I think to try it for tea. What is the taste like?

    haha good one. Actually it was named "Labrador" after the region in Canada it was first discovered by early European settlers. The region Labrador Newfoundland is also the place the dog breed got it's name from, mainly since they were bred there.
    Droppin' some knowledge yo! :P

    I remember seeing someone was selling Labrador tea leaves a farmers market a while back, but it was rather pricey. I was wondering, how does it taste?