Labrador tea - dwarf

Alestine Andre
Alestine Andre
Gwichya Gwich'in Name: 
lidii maskeg/maskig
Teetł’it Gwich’in Name:: 
lidii masgit
Latin Name: 
Ledum palustre
As food
The leaves and stems can be picked year round and boiled into a tea. In the spring, the white flowers can also be collected and used to make tea. Muskeg tea is considered good for children and is known to be a relaxant and high in vitamin C. Many Gwich’in Elders, including Ida Stewart from Fort McPherson, add a regular tea bag for flavor.
As medicine
Some Elders recommend drinking one cup of this tea per day for good health. Other people include the root of the plant to make a more concentrated medicinal drink. Inhaling the steam from this tea can help clear congested nasal passages.
Source: Andre, Alestine and Alan Fehr, Gwich'in Ethnobotany, 2nd ed. (2002)
All of the above ground parts of the Labrador (muskeg) tea plant are used to make a relaxant tea. The dwarf labrador plant, with its smaller leaves, is more aromatic than the tall labrador plant as a tea. Labrador tea is used as a medicine to treat colds, either for drinking, gargling, or for steaming. Ruth Welsh cautioned however that
You don't make it too strong by boiling it too long

Ruth added that,

Our people always made a tea out of Labrador tea, both the low and the tall [plants] and drink that for their colds as soon as they have a cold coming on.
Source: Andre, Alestine, Nan t'aih nakwits'inahtsìh (The Land Gives Us Strength) (2006)