Sunday, September 23, 2012

First Aid Kit - Ledum Palustre

Ledum Palustre
Aka: Wild Rosemary, Marsh Cistus, Marsh Tea, Labrador Tea, Bog Rosemary, and Rhododendron tomentosum; the wooly rhododendron.

Continuing with our Homeopathic First Aid Kit, we have Ledum Palustre a plant native to Great Britain.  It is a shrub that grows well in moist places; peat bogs and mosses, on acidic soils in northern latitudes.

Ledum  from the Greek Ledos, a woolen cloth.  The underside of the leaves look wooly
Palustre of this plant's botanical name means "found growing in swampy places"

All parts of the plant contain poisonous terpenes that affect the central nervous system.  Once it has been brewed properly as a tea or is made into a homeopathic remedy it is safe to be taken internally. The homeopathic remedy is made from the tincture of the fresh whole plant.

Prior to its use as a homeopathic remedy Ledum had a history of  being applied topically as a mosquito repellent and as a treatment for lice.  You can still find it used as one of the ingredients of today's "natural" insect repellents. For those who are hypersensitive to insect bites, taking Ledum homeopathically right after getting bit, will prevent the bite from becoming infected.

Swedish lore has it that only the goat can eat the plant without becoming ill and appropriately enough the plant has a goat like smell.  To the human sense of smell, Ledum's is strongly aromatic and can bring on a headache similar to one from over dosing with narcotics.  The only insect attracted to Ledum Palustre is the bee.  If the honey is permeated with too much Ledum it will become bitter and can be toxic causing gastrointestinal upset and respiratory symptoms.

The site of injuries requiring Ledum feels cold and has a deep black and blue hue occurring after trauma to the soft tissue.  Even though the area around the injury is cold, it feels much better from applications of cold compresses, ice etc, whereas applications of heat aggravate the pain.

Ledum is the number one remedy called for after a blow to the eye resulting in a black eye and or a bloodshot eye.  It is known to work better than two other homeopathic remedies, Arnica or Hamamelis, which are often over prescribed for this kind of injury.  Instead of applying a raw steak to a black eye, ala movies about boxing, and risk getting infected with E. Coli, reach for the Ledum.

Ledum is also "the" remedy for healing puncture wounds, a category which includes insect and animal bites.  It will heal the wound from the inside out, whereas applying a topical medication that would heal the outer skin first, could seal in bacteria that could promote infection.

The pains associated with Ledum type bruises are: sticking, tearing, throbbing and are worse from movement and from being covered.

As mentioned in an earlier article, Ledum is particularly good for sprains when the joints are swollen, cold and numb, or when cold applications do not offer relief and often aggravate the situation.

© Lynn Cremona 2012, all rights reserved.

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care.