Strawberries

Fragaria vesca

  • Scientific name: Fragaria vesca.
  • It is a perennial plant whose leaves and flower stalks grow from a basal rosette.
  • The flower stalks have no leaves and the flowers grow in its apex, of five white petals, five sepals and numerous stamens. The petioles of the leaves are sharp.
  • Its roots are brownish, from which rise brown stems, at the ends of stems grow the leaves in number of three with serrated edges and prominent veins on the underside.
  • It has other creeping stems that are growing and rooting over its growth.
  • The fruit is an eterio, red, sweet, sour and aromatic, a thickening of the floral receptacle whose function is to contain within itself the real fruits of the plant: small dark achenes clustered in number of 150 to 200.
  • The parts used are the roots, leaves and fruit.
  • It inhabits the temperate zones of Europe and Asia.

Content and active ingredients

Leaves

  • Condensed tannins, flavones, flavonoids, leucoanthocyanidin, triterpene alcohol: fraganol, potassium salts.

Roots

  • Catechic tannins and pyrogallol; triterpene alcohol: fraganol, potassium salts.

Fruits

  • Abundant lecithin, Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), pectin, heteroside, salicylic acid, mucilage.

Properties and medicinal uses of the Strawberry

  • Due to its content in potassium salts and mucilages it is diuretic and antirheumatic. It´s also hypocholesterolemic , by the large amount of ascorbic acid, lecithin and pectin contained in the fruits.
  • Is has anti inflammatory and astringent benefits. The fruits are mineralizing due to its content in Vitamin C, plus anti-anemic and restorative benefits. The fruits are very appropriate at the time of child growth.
  • The leaves crushed and applied to the skin are a good way to prevent wrinkles.
  • The decoctions of the leaves and roots are indicated in diarrhea, enterocolitis.
  • It´s also indicated when is required an increased of diuresis such as urolithiasis, hyperuricemia and cystitis; gout processes and blood pressure.
  • In topical use: wounds and skin ulcers, mouth, conjunctivitis, pharyngitis, ecsemas, pruritus.
  • The fruits are applied to strengthen the capillaries in the varicose veins and hemorrhoids processes.

Warnings. Contraindications

  • Strawberries are one of the "Dirty Dozen" - foods that if commercially grown are high in pesticides, so it is VITALLY IMPORTANT to purchase ONLY organically grown fruit and/or plants
  • The tannins can irritate the gastric mucosa thus it must be associated with other plants with mucilage.
  • In hypersensitive individuals the glycoproteins of fruits can cause allergies.

Preparation and dosage

  • Three to four cups of infusion of leaves and roots help against uric acid, gout and arthritis.
  • Decoction of roots or rhizomes: add 20 grams to a liter of water and boil for half an hour.
  • Plant powder: for a diuretic effect, up to six grams a day of  powder of the crushed plant.
  • The infusion of the leaves is beneficial for inflammatory bowel disease. The decoction of the roots helps reduce arthritic inflammation.
  • Drinking three to four cups of the leaves infusion is useful for diarrhea.
  • Infusions of dry leaves are very astringent and can be used to cure mouth sores.
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