|Wild Strawberry (Fragaria vesca)
At one time, the Wild Strawberry was a highly-esteemed folk remedy: American Indians used tea for stomach ailments, jaundice and profuse mensus; and the botanist Linnaeus is said to have used the wild berries to relive gout. However, until recently the delicat4e plant's medicinal uses were forgotten.
Plant fact : The wild strawberry is a member of the rose family and grows to be about 8 inches high. The fragrant red strawberries begin to develop in June. They are actually flesby berries, with an outer skin that contains the plant's actual fruit-the bard, tiny, yellow seeds.
Origin : The plant grows in North America where both native plants and those from Europe may be found in lightly wooded forests and their edges, on slope and in clear-cut areas.
Parts used : The leaves, berries and roots are used for therapeutic purpose. Always keep the dried plants parts protected from humidity.
Components : The leaves and roots of the wild strawberry plant contain tannin, which has an astringent action. The leaves also are composed of triterpene alcohols, flavonoids, citral (a lemony substance) and traces of essential oils. The berries contain a great deal of vitamin C (60 milligrams per 100 grams fruit), as well as fruit acids and minerals-such as potassium, magnesium, zinc, manganese, calcium and iron.
Indications : The leaves of wild strawberry provide an astringent action. Therefore, the leaves can be used to make a tea that reduces inflamed mucous membranes in the mouth. Fresh strawberries, on the other hand, soothe gastritis and are also helpful in curing anemia.
Extra tip : The gentle, astringent properties of strawberry leaves offer relief from diarrhea and other digestive upsets. Use fresh or dried leaves infused in a tea.
Methods of Administration
Fresh root decoction : Add 1 gram wild strawberry root parts to about ½ cup of cold water; heat, and allow to steep for about 30 min. Drink 2 cup daily before meals for diarrhea relief.
Infusion for gargling : Add about ¼ cup of chopped wild strawberry leaves to ½ cup boiling hot water; step for 30 min. Rinse and gargle several times a day to reduce inflammation of oral mucous membranes.
Infusion : Add about 1/8 oz, of chopped leaves to ½ cup boiling water, steep for approximately 15 min. Three to four cups daily will strengthen the blood.
Soothing bath : Add 2 handful fresh or 1 cup of dried leaves to your bathwater. You'll find dried leaves at your local natural-food stores.
Poultice : Apply crushed berries to sunburned areas-or other skin inflammations-and cover with a damps cloth. Allow the poultice to work for 10-20 min; and then gently wash off the berries with warm water.