Cowberry family – Vacciniaceae.
The fruits and leaves are used for medicinal purposes.
Occurs in the Carpathians, Polissya, in the western Forest-steppe, Rostochie-Opole. It grows in coniferous and mixed, rarely deciduous forests, and in the Carpathians, in addition, on the meadows, forming thickets (pure or with blueberries) on tens and hundreds of hectares. Thickets of industrial importance are concentrated in the Transcarpathian, Lvov, Ivano-Frankivsk, Chernivtsi, Ternopil, Volyn, Rivne, Zhytomyr regions and in the north of the Kyiv, Chernihiv and Sumy regions.
Average annual harvesting of dried blueberries in the republic in 1974-1976. amounted to 54.5 tons.
Bilberry is a shrub 15-50 cm high, with a creeping, rooting rhizome up to 2-3 m long. The stems are branched, erect, with alternate thin leaves, ovate or ovate-elliptical in shape, with a serrate-toothed edge. Flowers solitary in leaf axils, spherical-jug-shaped, greenish-white with a pinkish tint. The fruits are spherical black berries with a bluish-gray coating up to 1 cm in diameter.
A small admixture of edible fruits of other plants is allowed in the raw materials. If an admixture of poisonous inedible fruits (laxative joster, brittle buckthorn, etc.) is found, the raw material is rejected.
Mature fruits are harvested (July-August) without stalks, picking them off with their hands or with special scoops. With manual collection, raw materials are of better quality with fewer impurities. It is not necessary to collect overripe fruits, as they easily crumple and stick together when dried.
The collected berries are dried in the open air, in dryers or ovens, gradually bringing the temperature to 50-60 °. At higher temperatures, they char. The fruits are spread in a thin layer on paper or cloth, and when artificially dried on sieves, a layer of 2-3 cm and often mixed. The yield of dry raw materials is 13%.
According to GF-IX Art. 217, according to GOST 3322-69, the raw material consists of very wrinkled fruits 3-6 mm in diameter with remnants of a calyx at the top, almost black on the outside with a reddish tinge, inside red-violet, with numerous red-brown seeds. The surface of the berries is matte or slightly shiny. The smell is peculiar, weak. The taste is sour-sweet, slightly tart. Humidity is not higher than 17%. Not more than (percent) is allowed in raw materials: unripe (hard) and burnt fruits – 1, other parts of blueberries – 0.25, fruits of other plants – 2, including blueberries – 1.5, other edible fruits – 0.5, mineral impurities – 0.5.
The total ash content should not exceed 3%, ash insoluble in 10% hydrochloric acid, 0.8%.
Dry berries are packed in bags weighing 35-50 kg. Store in dry, cool, well-ventilated areas on racks or undercarriages. Fruits are easily affected by berry moth. Storage period up to 2 years. Re-control is not performed.
The leaves are harvested during the flowering period. Leafy flowering shoots are cut with scissors or plucked by hand and dried in a thin layer in the shade under sheds or in attics under an iron roof with good ventilation. Then the “stems are removed by threshing. The yield of dry raw materials is within 20%.
According to the technical specifications, the raw material consists of light green leaves (taste, smell, dimensions are not specified). Humidity no more than 13%. Not more than (percent) is allowed in raw materials: dark brown leaves – 3, other parts of the plant – 2, crushed parts (passing through a sieve with a hole diameter of 3 mm) – 3, organic and mineral impurities – 0.5 each.
Raw materials are packed in bales of the same weight and stored in dry, well-ventilated areas on pallets or racks.
The leaves contain neomyrtillin glycoside and other substances. They are used in water infusions as a remedy for the treatment of initial forms of diabetes mellitus. The fruits contain tannins of the pyrocatechin group (up to 7%), sugar (up to 20%), pectin, organic acids (citric, malic). They are used as an astringent for acute and chronic diarrhea, especially in children. They are part of the gastric collection. Widely used in the food industry.