Marsh Andromeda (Andromeda polifolia)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Marsh Andromeda
Andromeda polifolia
Ericaceae

Tannin is obtained from the leaves and twigs[61].

  • Medicinal Use

    The plant is used as a respiratory aid in the treatment of catarrh[257].

  • Edible Use

    The tender leaves and shoot-tips are boiled as an aromatic tea[161, 177]. A delicious drink[183]. Some caution is advised since boiling the plant or infusing it in hot water is said to release a toxic chemical[183]. It is safer to soak the leaves in a jar of water in direct sunlight to make ‘sun tea'[183].

  • Cautionary Notes

    A toxin, called 'andromedotoxin' can be released from the plant if it is infused in boiling water[183]. See notes below regarding use of the plant for tea.

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow February/March in an acid compost in the greenhouse. Surface sow or only just cover the seed and place in a lightly shaded position[78, 133]. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 2 months at 12¡c[133]. Prick out the young seedlings into individual pots as soon as possible, they are prone to damp-off and so should be kept well ventilated[78]. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out in early summer once they are 15cm or more tall. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 – 7cm with a heel, July/August in a frame in a shady position. Takes 15 months[78]. Layering in August in a semi-shady position. Takes 18 months[78]. Division in early spring. The plants should be ‘dropped’ beforehand[78]. This entails digging up the plant 6 to 12 months earlier and replanting it somewhat more deeply. The buried branches will then root and form new plants when divided.
Requires a well-drained, moisture-retentive, lime-free, humus- rich soil and a shady position[133, 182, 200]. Plants spread slowly by means of suckers when they are grown in a suitable position[182]. A very ornamental plant, there are many named varieties[182].
Northern temperate regions, in Europe, including Britain, Asia and America.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.