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Related to checkerberry: Eastern Teaberry
low evergreen plant (Gaultheria procumbens) of the family Ericaceae (heath family), native to sandy and acid woods (usually of evergreens) of E North America and frequently cultivated.
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Shiny, waxy oval pointed leaves, white hanging bell-shaped flowers, red berries. Leaves sometimes a bit brown or red. Gives the body strength. Doesn't die in winter, stays green year round (hence the name). Eat the leaves, make tea from them. Kind of a dull mint flavor. Tea used for colds, fever, headache, kidney, stomach, rheumatism, anti-inflammatory painkiller. Berries also edible. Do not make or take wintergreen essential oil, which is very toxic. It absorbs through skin and harms kidneys and liver.
Edible Plant Guide © 2012 Markus Rothkranz