Labrador Tea builds strength, and is a purifier of the Earth’s water, as She is to our blood and internal water systems including our kidneys and lymphatic system. Her character, like her leaves, has two distinct sides, and accompanying medicinal virtues. The glossy side repels water away and is waxy and tight, to survive ongoing moisture, so she is diuretic, astringent and is excellent for protecting and healing our skin, including punctures and traumas to all our cell walls. Growing in near constant wet areas, She has developed, like her sister Sweetgale, many chemicals that protect her from bugs, bacteria, fungi, yeast and other pathogens. She gives us all these medicines. But the fuzzy underside of Her leaves is not a stimulant, like her smooth-leaved cousins, She has very different sedative-like and narcotic properties. The furry side of the leaf shows us how she cocoons our consciousness and senses. When we drink Her we feel our senses wrapped in a thick warm fur blanket, so our nerves are calmed and our circulation and blood pressure are regulated. Along with these medicines, this buffer She wraps us in takes sharp pains away (analgesic).
The furry underside of the leaves also indicates this plant aids in clearing lungs. And Her aroma instantly tells us of her abilities to expand our breathing passages. Another doctrine signature of Hers is indicated by the special way Her leaf edges curve under, which evokes the medicine of veins and intestines. She gives us both circulation and digestive medicine, curing maladies of both areas. She helps us with lack of circulation, especially as it relates to conditions of inflammatory pain like arthritis.
The under skin of the leaf, protected by the fur is highly aromatic. The protected open pores on the underside release huge amounts of piney camphor-like perfume. This smell not only contains healing chemicals (dilating and clearing our lungs) but also ether gas. One has to be careful when picking and drying this herb. If over exposed, ether makes one feel light and floaty, like the plant itself, which can grow on a floating mat of peat. But when over exposed to Her ether this floating feeling is followed by a brutal headache. Ether, like any toxic gas, if inhaled can cause brain damage. The Ether completely disappears when the plant is dried, but the Labrador Tea still gives us this mild floating feeling when we breathe Her in or drink Her. Her floating energy is like a duck on the water. This floating feeling is at Her spirit core.
The healing energy of floating in nature embodies the ability to effortlessly gain equilibrium, which She helps our body do in so many ways. Her healing and balancing abilities come from Her ability to exist in that place between the air and water. She brings balance to the water-based and nutritional systems within our bodies as She does in the environment.
Read more of Steven’s writing on Labrador Tea: