Discovery of Ledum palustre

Ledum palustre

Marsh Ledum, Marsh Tea.

Linnaeus states that Ledum palustre has been used by the inhabitants of the northern parts of Europe, more particularly of Sweden, as a popular remedy against whooping- cough, bilious attacks, etc.

L. Odhelius also recommended its employment in lepra, pemphigus, and other skin affections; and by others in dysentery and diarrhoea.

Hahnemann recommended its use in a peculiar form of epidemic grippe, putting on the form of ague, and accompanied with rheumatic pains.

The Swedes wash their oxen and swine with a decoction of it to kill lice ; and in Lapland the branches are placed among the grain, from the reputed power of the plant to keep oif mice. It was formerly used in Switzerland to supply the place of hops in the manufacture of beer ; but it is apt to cause a most pernicious kind of intoxication and obstinate headache.

The leaves are used by the Canadians in their hunting excursions as a substitute for tea; and by the Norwegians it is called Finne the, or tea of the Laplanders.

On Man. Ledum palustre, as observed by some, produces violent headache and symptoms of intoxication.

Hahnemann remarks, ” the Marsh tea {Ledum palustre) causes, as I have ascertained, among other effects, difficult, painful respiration; this accounts for its efficacy in hooping-cough, probably also in morbid asthma. Will it not be useful in pleurisy, as its power of so greatly diminishing the temperature of the blood (in its secondary action) will hasten the recovery ? It causes a painful, shooting sensation in all parts of the throat, as I have observed, and hence its un- common virtues in malignant and inflammatory sore throat. Equally specific is (as I have noticed) its power of causing troublesome itching in the skin, and hence its great efficacy in chronic skin diseases. The anxiety and the faintings it occasions may prove of use in similar cases. As a transitory and antagonistically acting powerful diuretic and diaphoretic remedy, it may cure dropsies more certainly, however, acute than chronic. ” On some of these properties depends its reputation in dysentry.

Hahnemann states that this medicine seems particularly adapted to chronic diseases, principally characterised by chilliness and the absence of animal heat.

Diseases with great deficiency of animal heat, and predominant coldness. Acute and chronic rheumatic and gouty affections of the joints and ligaments, accompanied by stinging, aching, and tearing pains, worse at night, and aggravated by movement and warmth, with hot swelling and numbness of the limbs, with arthritic swellings and nodosities (Trinks). Gout. Arthritis nodosa. Acute and chronic rheumatism of the joints. Nightly rheumatic pains in the knees. Oedema of the feet. Itching of the whole body. Dry itching. Herpes in the face and bend of the knees. Spots on the forehead and face, as seen in drunkards. Boils on the forehead. Tic douloureux. Diabetes {Hartmann). Hooping- cough in the second stage. Haemoptysis (?). Phthisis pituitosa (Hau). Palpitation of the heart, connected with rheumatic affections. Hot inflammatory swelling of the thighs, with stinging, tensive pains, etc. etc.