hist-brewing: Wild Rosemary (Ledum palustre)

Richard Richard at WowMe.com
Fri Dec 3 22:13:14 PST 1999


So were you still unable to find a place to actually purchase it?

Richard

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Donald Beistle" <dbeistle at arches.uga.edu>
To: <ALBATRS890 at aol.com>
Cc: <hist-brewing at pbm.com>
Sent: Friday, December 03, 1999 17:26 Richard
Subject: hist-brewing: Wild Rosemary (Ledum palustre)


> The recent post regarding gruit herbs sent me surfing about for info on
> Marsh/Wild Rosemary, the only herb in the Durden Park Brewing Circle gruit
> ale recipe to be unavailable commercially. My cursory inspection reveals
> the following:
> 
> Ledum palustre is available in one form or another from various herbal
> medicine companies in Europe and the US. It also appears on a list of
> "Giftpflanzen" (poisonous plants) at one German medical advice site. Ledum
> palustre is known as "Sumpfporst" (meaning "swamp-something") auf Deutsch.
> 
> The only worthwhile information I found in English was at
> <<http://www.gardenbed.com/1/4791.cfm>>, a page at a horticultural site
> that reveals Ledum palustre to be a member of the family Ericaceae (making
> it a relative of heather??). The following statement appears under the
> rubric Known Hazards: "Plants contain a narcotic toxin called Ledel. This
> toxin only causes problems if the leaves are cooked for a long period in a
> closed container."
> 
> The Vikings in our midst might enjoy leafing through an on-line edition of
> a Swedish botanical atlas from the first quarter of this century,
> available at <<http://www.lysator.liu.se/runeberg/nordflor/>>. The text is
> in Swedish (I think, it might be Norwegian) but illustrations are gorgeous
> and encompass such brewing herbs as hops, yarrow, myrica gale, juniper,
> etc.
> 
> Finally, the Branneriet Kronan, a Swedish distillery spices some of their
> aquavits with "skvattram, or 'getpors' as the spice ledum palustre is
> called in Swedish... In Finland this spice has long been recognized for
> its ability to act as an aphrodisiac.... Ledum palustre grows wild and is
> harvested by hand in Lapland. The leafs [sic] are extracted for a few
> weeks in alcoholic solution. The extract is added to the process in the
> last preparation of the aquavit thus giving it a slight green yellowish
> color." <<http://kronansprit.com/page17.html>> cf. -/page 23.html
> 
> 
> 
> All best,
> 
> Donald Beistle
> Athens, Georgia
> 
> 
> 
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