I eat about 4 leaves a day,I chew completely and swollow could this be harmful? I have no ill affects and seems to help my aching joints.
Some details found on browsing the net, hope is of use to you?
The tea can cause drowsiness and can act as a strong diuretic, cathartic or cause intestinal disturbances. The tea should be used infrequently and strong tea avoided. Like other plants in the Heath family, it contains an andromedotoxin that can cause adverse effects including headache, cramps, indigestion, vomiting, and even death. It also contains narcotic substances and an active oil ledol that may have a restorative effect like caffeine but which can cause cramps and paralysis in large doses.
The leaves were used medicinally to treat a variety of ailments, including diarrhea, bad breath, pneumonia, eye infections, difficulty urinating, tension and kidney ailments, among more. It was used in a warm bath to treat arthritis of the hands. To relieve migraines, the tea was drunk and dried leaves were wrapped and placed on the head overnight. To treat excess hair loss, a tea concoction was drunk and also applied to the hair. The leaves were also chopped and applied to burns, which were said to heal more rapidly. Other uses are associated with the pungent odor: the dried leaves were stored with grain to repel rodents, and extracts of the leaves were used to create an insect repellent. A brown dye can be extracted from the leaves. Labrador tea has the ability to concentrate zinc and copper, and thus has value in geo-botanical studies.
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