The roots may be eaten raw, or some Gwich’in prefer to eat bear root with duck or fish oil.
The edible berries of this low-growing plant are similar to red currants.
As food. Birch syrup (k’ii chų’ (G), k’ii chuu (T)) can be collected for one to two weeks in mid-June. The syrup, which is used as a topping for pancakes and other foods, is made by boiling down the sap until it thickens.
In the winter, the stems can be collected and made into a tea.
They are ready to pick in August and September and are tasty when eaten as is or eaten with other berries.
As a medicinal tea, the stems and leaves of the blueberry plant can be boiled and taken for cold symptoms.
Cranberry jam, jelly or syrup can be made by boiling the berries in sugar with water.
A poultice is made from the leaves and applied to burns, bee stings, aches and swelling caused by arthritis.
As Medicine: The leaves and stems can be steamed for nasal congestion, colds and stomach ailments.
Muskeg tea is considered good for children and is known to be a relaxant and high in vitamin C.