Ledum Essential Oil
a.k.a. Labrador Tea or Greenland Moss
Ledum groenlandicum/Rhododendron groenlandicum
Plant description: Woody, perennial evergreen shrub growing up to 1-meter high, with leathery, under-folding leaves, hairy on the underside, and a single stalk atop with clusters of white flowers.
Part of plant used for essential oil: Leaves
Extraction method: Steam distilled
Main Chemical Constituents: sabinene (15.7%), Terpinen-4-ol (7.6%), β-selinene (5.7%), Myrtenal (3.5%), Bornyl acetate (3.3%), y-elemene (3.1%), y-terpinene (2.9%), β-pinene (2.3%), pinocarvone (2.3%), x-caryophyllene (2.2%), x-pinene (1.9%), x-selinene (1.9%), cuminaldehyde (1.6%), camphene (1.5%), (Z)-carveol (1.5%), x-terpinene (1.5%), p-cymene (1.3%), (+)-limonene (1.1%).
PRECAUTIONS: Best to AVOID during the first two trimesters of pregnancy and children under six years of age. AVOID prolonged use. MAY cause irritation on highly sensitive skin. Not the best choice for in the bath.
PROPERTIES: analgesic, antibacterial, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, circulatory, depurative, diuretic, hepatic, immunostimulant, spasmolytic, and tonic.
Circulation/Muscles/Joints: circulatory dysfunction, water retention, edema, stimulates the lymphatic system; aching muscles and joints, swelling, injuries, internal and soft tissue inflammation.
Digestive: liver regenerator and cleanser, detoxifying and improving liver function, digestive disorders, diarrhea, indigestion, flatulence, and bloating.
Immune system: assists the immune system and supports the adrenal glands, tonic for allergies.
Emotional/Mental/Nervous system: tension, anxiety, stress-related conditions, supports and balances emotions, calms the mind; autonomic nervous system balancer, insomnia.
Respiratory system: bronchitis, colds, promotes respiratory health
Skin/Hair: puncture wounds and bites.
Around one thousand kilograms of wild-harvested Greenland moss are required to make a kilo of Labrador Tea Oil (Ledum groenlandicum). It grows in peat bogs in out-of-the-way places and even well north of the snow line. This contributes to the power of its effects (Catty, 2001; p.33).
Another plant that shares the same Rhododendron genus as Ledum is Rhododendron anthopogon the flowers are distilled into an amazing essential oil. The oil has many benefits for calming the nervous system, it is excellent to strengthen the immune system, and helps to restore the adrenals during times of stress and fatigue. See more information on Rhododendron essential oil and a blend here.