Very Northern Delights

The Inuit are Canadian native people from Nunavik. There are about 10,000 living in 14 villages along the coast and rivers of Northern Quebec. Connection to the land, the sea and to the natural environment is the basis of their culture. There are no roads. The landscape is home to wild-life such as caribou, geese, seals, walrus, beluga whales, wolves and muskox. From time immemorial, Nunavik Inuit have used tundra plants for medicinal purposes, and much can be learned from their traditional knowledge of medicinal foods. They are now making a range of herbal teas which have medicinal properties and a savoury taste. The plants are gathered from the tundra during the summer months. The names alone are fascinating: Ukiurtatuq is used to soothe stomach aches, Cloudberry Arpiqutik leaves were boiled to produce a tea for the relief of kidney ailments. Ground Juniper Qisiqtutauyak was traditionally boiled whole to treat colds. Crowberry Paurngaqutik Labrador tea is the original and here’s what is in it: Bearberry leaves, peppermint, licorice, Labrador tea (mamaittuqutik) eucalyptus, coltsfoot and ginger root. All profits from the sales are given to the Avataq Cultural Institute, an organization that protects and promotes the language and culture of Nunavik Inuit. :: Northern Delights Teas

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