The ultimate bog witch herb, Labrador Tea // Muskeg Tea // kâkikêpakwa means “forever leaves” in Cree. These plants grow in areas where there is plenty of water and muskeg. The leaves never all die off at once, regardless of what season it is or what the weather is like. This is the reason why they are called “Forever Plants” in Cree. They can be collected in all seasons, including winter. Labrador tea is a common name for the three closely related plant species and the name of an herbal tea made from the plants:
All three species are primarily wetland plants in the heath family. The herbal tea has been a favorite beverage among Athabaskan, First Nations, and Inuit people.
They sooth and heal internal pains and digestive complications such as those relating to the intestine. Other uses include soothing and curing ulcers, gall stones, and pains in the diaphragm.
The muskeg plants are collected, then tied and bound together in bundles. They are usually stored like this until they are needed for applications.
The leaves are boiled in a large container for some time. As they boil, they give off a bitter odour and the water becomes very dark-coloured like strong tea. After the liquid has cooled, it is used as a drink for stomach pains and complications.
It is said this drink was used to remedy diseases like tuberculosis and reduce cancer symptoms. It was also used to ease diarrhea as well as menstrual problems in women.