Tag Archives: Greenland

Coptis trifolia

Botanical Name: Coptis trifolia
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Coptis
Species: C. trifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Synonyms: Helleborus triflius or trilobus. Helleborus pumilus. Coptis. Anemone grcenlandica. Coptide. Mouthroot. Vegetable Gold. Chrusa borealis.

Common Names: Coptis groenlandica, Cankerroot , the threeleaf goldthread or savoyane

Habitat:Coptis trifolia is native to Northern America and Asia. Greenland and Iceland.

Coptis trifolia is a small, perennial, evergreen herb, 4″ – 6″ tall. Leaves are dark, evergreen; divided like those of wild strawberries. The plant has many stems, wiry, branched, and frequently matted. Rhizome is long, slender creeping; bright golden yellow. Flowers are ½” wide, white, bloom in early summer. They form endomycorrhizal associations..CLICK  & SEE THE PICTURES.

Parts Used: The dried rhizome, with roots, stems, and leaves.

Constituents: Its bitterness is imparted to both water and alcohol, but more readily to the latter. As there is neither tannic nor gallic acid, the activity is due to berberia or berberine, which is associated with another alkaloid called Coptine or Coptina, resembling hydrastia. It also contains albumen, fixed oil, colouring matter, lignin, extractive, and sugar. Authorities differ as to the presence of resin.

Medicinal Uses:
The roots and rhizomes of cankerroot chewed raw or boiled, have been used to treat canker sores, fever blisters, and other mouth irritations and to treat indigestion and sore throats. A medicinal brew from the roots has been used as an eyewash. The effectiveness of all these uses is due to the presence of the alkaloid berberine, a mild sedative, in the plant. A decoction of equal parts of cankerroot and goldenseal has acquired the reputation of eliminating the craving for alcoholic beverages

It may be used as other pure bitters. In New England it is valued as a local application in thrush, for children.

It is stated to be good for dyspepsia, and combined with other drugs is regarded as helpful in combating the drink habit.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


Ligusticum Scoticum

Botanical Name : Ligusticum Scoticum
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Ligusticum
Species: L. scoticum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Synonym: Sea Lovage.

Common Name :Scottish Lovage

Habitat :Ligusticum Scoticum is found near the coasts of northern Europe and north-eastern North America. It is primarily an Arctic plant, with a disjunct range extending from northern Norway to the more northerly shores of the British Isles, and from western Greenland to New England. A related species, Ligusticum hultenii, which was described by Merritt Lyndon Fernald in 1930 and may be better treated as a subspecies of L. scoticum, occurs around the northern Pacific Ocean, from Japan to Alaska. The southernmost occurrence of L. scoticum is at Ballyhalbert in Northern Ireland.

Ligusticum scoticum is a herbaceous perennial plant which typically grows 15–60 centimetres (6–24 in) tall. It has triangular, twice-ternate leaves, 5–20 cm (2.0–7.9 in) long, with each lobe 2–5 cm (0.8–2.0 in) long. The edges of the leaves may be toothed, lobed or serrated, and are typically either a paler green or magenta. The stem branches infrequently, and bears 2–5 inflorescences, each of which is a compound umbel 4–6 cm (1.6–2.4 in) in diameter. There are typically 8–12 rays in both the primary and secondary umbels. Each individual flower is around 2 mm (0.08 in) in diameter and greenish-white in colour.The fruit are 4–6 mm (0.16–0.24 in) long, with five prominent ridges on each carpel…..CLICK  &  SEE THE  PICTURES

Succeeds in any well-drained soil in a sunny position. Dislikes shade. Succeeds in dry soils. Plants are hardy to at least -15°c. Scottish lovage has occasionally been cultivated as a pot herb, though it has been largely supplanted by celery. All parts of the plant are aromatic when bruised, the aroma being likened to a mixture of parsley, angelica and pear skin.

Seed – the seed only has a short period of viability and so is best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame in the autumn. Stored seed should be sown as early in the year as possible in a greenhouse or cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer if they have grown large enough. Otherwise, keep them in a cold frame for the first winter and plant them out in early summer. Division of the rootstock in early spring. Make sure that each section of root has at least one growth bud. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Ediable Uses:
Leaves, flowers and young shoots ..eaten raw or cooked. Strong and not very pleasant. Superb in salads. The leaves are usually blanched in order to make the flavour milder, though this also reduces the nutritional value. A celery-like flavour, it is used as a seasoning in salads, soups etc. Another report says that the flavour is more like parsley. Stem – used as a flavouring in soups, stews etc. A celery-like flavour. The green stem is peeled and eaten. Root – raw or cooked. A sweet flavour. Seed – ground into a powder and used as a flavouring in soups and stews. A sharp, hot taste it is used in the same ways as pepper. The young shoots and roots are occasionally candied like angelica.

Medicinal Uses:
The root is aromatic and carminative. It is used in the treatment of hysterical and uterine disorders. The seeds are sweetly aromatic and have been used as a carminative, deodorant and stimulant. They are also sometimes used for flavouring other herbal remedies.

Other Uses:  

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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Rhododendron groenlandicum

Botanical Name :Rhododendron groenlandicum
Family: Ericaceae
Genus:     Rhododendron
Species: R. groenlandicum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Ericales

Synonyms :St. James’s Tea. Ledum Groenlandicum.

Common Names : Labrador tea,  Ledum latifolium

 Habitat: Rhododendron groenlandicum is native to  Greenland, Labrador, Nova Scotia, Hudson’s Bay. It is found growing in northern latitudes around the world. In Europe, it occurs south to the Alps. It is reported from Greenland, as well as from every province and territory in Canada and in the northeastern and northwestern United States (New England, New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Alaska). It grows in bogs and on wet shores, and sometimes on rocky alpine slopes.

Rhododendron groenlandicum is an evergreen flowering plant  grows to a height of 4 to 5 feet, with irregular, woolly branches  . The leaves are alternate, entire, elliptical or oblong, 1 to 2 inches long, the upper side smooth and woolly underneath, with the edges rolled back.The leaves are wrinkled on top, densely hairy white to red-brown underneath, and have a leathery texture, curling at the edges. The tiny white flowers grow in hemispherical clusters and are very fragrant and sticky. The large, white, five-petalled flowers grow in flattened terminal clusters, opening in June and July. The plant grows in cold bogs and mountain woods. It is taller, more regularly formed, and has larger leaves than L. palustre. During the American War of Independence the leaves were much used instead of tea-leaves.They should be collected before flowering time, and the tops when the flowers begin to open.

Medicinal Uses:
Parts Used: Leaves and tops.

Constituents: There has been found in the leaves tannin, gallic acid, a bitter substance, wax, resin, and salts.

The leaves are tonic, diaphoretic, and pectoral, having a pleasant odour and rather spicy taste. They yield their virtues to hot water or to alcohol. It is useful in coughs, dyspepsia, and irritation of the membranes of the chest. An infusion has been used to soothe irritation in infectious, feverish eruptions, in dysentery, leprosy, itch, etc. The strong decoction, as a wash, will kill lice. The leaves are also used in malignant and inflamed sore throat.

Pacific Northwest natives use a strong leaf tonic as a blood purifier and treatment for rheumatism.  Tribes farther north use the same infusion to combat cold symptoms.  They also marinate strong meats in it.  In Alaska, Labrador tea has been used to treat stomach ailments, hangovers, and dizziness, as well as pulmonary disorders including tuberculosis.  Infusions have also been used as a wash  to soothe itching rashes including poison ivy, sores, burns, lice, and leprosy.  In modern herbalism it is occasionally used externally to treat a range of skin problems. A tea is taken internally in the treatment of headaches, asthma, colds, stomach aches, kidney ailments etc. Externally, it is used as a wash for burns, ulcers, itches, chapped skin, stings, dandruff etc. An ointment made from the powdered leaves or roots has been used to treat ulcers, cracked nipples, burns and scalds.  The plant is apparently a mild narcotic, it was taken by Indian women three times daily shortly before giving birth .

Other Uses:
Bees are much attracted by the flowers, but animals do not browse on the plants,

Strewed among clothes, the leaves will keep away moths, and in Lapland the branches are placed among grain to keep away mice.

In Russia the leaves are used for tanning leather.

The Athabaskans brew the leaves as a beverage and some people chew the raw leaves because they enjoy the flavor. Others use Labrador tea to spice meat by boiling the leaves and branches in water and then soaking the meat in the decoction.

The Pomo, Kashaya, Tolowa and Yurok of Northern California boiled the leaves of Western Labrador Tea similarly, to make a medicinal herbal tea.[1] In Greenland, this is still the case. Here it is also used in facial steam bath.

In medieval Northern Europe, R. groenlandicum and R. tomentosum were often brewed in “gruit” ales, prior to the adoption of hops.

Known Hazards: Labrador tea has narcotic properties. Evidence suggests that excessive consumption of the plant may cause delirium or poisoning. Toxic terpenes of the essential oils cause symptoms of intoxication, such as slow pulse, lowering of blood pressure, lack of coordination, convulsions, paralysis, and death. It is apparently safe as a weak herbal tea, but should not be made too strong.

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.



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Epilobium latifolium

Botanical Name : Epilobium latifolium
Family: Onagraceae
Genus: Chamerion
Species: C. latifolium
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Myrtales

Synonyms:  Chamaenerion latifolium. (L.)T.Fries.&Lance.

Common Names:Dwarf Fireweed and River Beauty Willowherb

Habitat: Epilobium latifolium  has a circumboreal distribution, appearing throughout the northern regions of the Northern Hemisphere, including subarctic and Arctic areas such as snowmelt-flooded gravel bars and talus, in a wide range of elevations.It grows on the river gravels, margins of streams and damp slopes

Epilobium latifolium  is a perennial herb growing in clumps of leaves variable in size, shape, and texture above a woody caudex. The leaves are 1 to 10 centimeters long, lance-shaped to oval, pointed or rounded at the tips, and hairy to hairless and waxy. The inflorescence is a rough-haired raceme of nodding flowers with bright to deep pink, and occasionally white, petals up to 3 centimeters long. Behind the opened petals are pointed sepals. The fruit is an elongated capsule which may exceed 10 centimeters in length.

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Prefers a well-drained but moisture retentive soil in a sunny position. Succeeds in most soils. The roots are somewhat spreading and the plant can become invasive.

Seed – sow early spring in situ or as soon as the seed is ripe. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Edible Uses:
This arctic plant provides valuable nutrition for the Inuit, who eat the leaves raw, boiled with fat, or steeped in water for tea, the flowers and fruits raw, and as a salad with meals of seal and walrus blubber. Every part of this plant is edible, tasting much like spinach, and is also known in the Canadian tundra as River Beauty. It is the national flower of Greenland, where it is known by the Greenlandic name niviarsiaq, which means “little girl”.

Young shoots – cooked. Used like asparagus. Very poor quality. Young leaves – raw. They become bitter with age. A good source of vitamins A and C. Flower stalks – raw or cooked. Eaten when the flowers are in bud. The dried leaves are used as a tea substitute. The core of mature stems is eaten raw. Slightly sweet, tender and pleasant tasting. Very fiddly though.

Medicinal Uses:
The entire plant is used in Tibetan medicine, it is said to have a bitter taste and a cooling potency. It is used in the treatment of fevers and inflammations, plus also itching pimples

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.



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Pedicularis groenlandica

Botanical Name : Pedicularis groenlandica
Family: Orobanchaceae
Genus: Pedicularis
Species: P. groenlandica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Name :Elephant’s head and Elephanthead

Habitat :This plant is found in the high mountain ranges of western North America, particularly the Cascades and High Sierra, much of Canada and Greenland. It grows in wet environments such as riverbanks.

General: erect perennial, 15-70 cm tall, coarsely fibrous-rooted, sometimes with an evident stem base, mostly  hairless throughout. The stems reddish-purple, often  clustered.

.You may click to see the pictures
Leaves:    basal leaves 5-25 cm long, the blade equaling or exceeding the stalk, 0.5-4 cm wide, the pinnate segments narrow, sharply toothed, often with somewhat firm but elastic edges. Stem leaves alternate, several, gradually reduced upward.

Flowers: many in a dense, elongate, spike-like cluster. Bracts mostly much shorter than the flowers, at least the lower more or less cleft into narrow segments. Calyx lobes  5, short, entire, almost equal, often edged with minute hairs.Corolla pink-purple or almost red, 1-1.5 cm long, the galea  short and strongly hooded, tipped with a slender, elongate,
conspicuously upturned beak, like an elephant trunk. Lower  lip rather small.

Flowering time: June-August.

Fruits: capsules, hairless, curved and flattened.

Like other louseworts and related broomrape genera, this is a root parasite which obtains nutrients from the roots of other plants by piercing them with haustoria.

You may click to see more pictures of Pedicularis groenlandica :

Medicinal Uses:
The Cheyenne Drug used a tea of powdered leaves and stems taken to stop or loosen a coughs. They also used a tea of smashed leaves and stems taken for coughs.  All of the Pedicularis’ are tranquilizers, muscle relaxants, powerful aphrodisiacs, and sedatives. They are often employed medicinally for muscle pain and tension, particularly back pain. . It is also used for muscle strain due to overwork, sprains, joint pain, night-time cramps, and as a preliminary before bodywork such as massage. It is very relaxing to voluntary muscles, but large amounts can make a person goofy and lethargic.  Pedicularis are also used for their psychological effects, good for anger, fear, pain, anxiety. The whole flowering herb is harvested for the tincture, but only the flowers, fresh or dried, are made into a tea.  At least one Native American tribe is known to smoke the flowers of certain Pedicularis species for their medicinal effects and narcotic effects. These plants are a welcome addition to any smoking mixture both as flavor and a narcotic. Elephant’s Head is claimed to have the best flavor but is the mildest, but every Pedicularis has an excellent taste. P. Densiflora being the most potent species

Known Hazards: Louseworts can be eaten in small quantities in an emergency, but contain enough poisonous glycosides to cause severe illness if they are eaten in quantity.

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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