Wild strawberry

Diseases and effects: hypertension, atherosclerosis, stomach ulcers, gastritis, atonic constipation, anemia, gout.

Active substances: ascorbic acid, carotene, vitamin B, malic and salicylic acids, tannins and pectins, anthocyanin compounds, flavonoids, alkaloids, rutin.

Collection time:  May – July

plant description


Wild strawberry is a perennial plant of the Rosaceae family. The Latin fragare comes from the word “fragrance” and is given to the representatives of the genus for fragrant fruits. Strawberries are the most popular and widespread species. This plant has a rosette of long-petiolate trifoliate leaves, 5-20 cm high. The flowers are white, with five petals, on long pedicels. The fruits are bright red, very fragrant. Strawberries traditionally propagate vegetatively. Blooms in May – June; fruits ripen in June – July.\r

In medicine, fruits and leaves are used for medicinal purposes.\r

Habitats. Spreading


Wild strawberries are distributed almost throughout the European part of Russia (except for the Far North, the Black Sea regions and the lower reaches of the Volga), also in Central Asia and Siberia.\r

Typical habitats for strawberries are light sparse forests, edges, clearings and clearings, as well as forest meadows, thickets of shrubs and old burnt areas. Despite the fact that strawberries are a widespread plant, they do not form large thickets. This is due to the depressing effect on strawberries of the associated types of grass cover. Strawberries form the most productive populations on fresh fellings, which confirms their photophilous nature. Unfortunately, the high productivity of these populations is very short-lived—only 1–2 years. Then the growth of regenerating forest species and herbaceous competing plants deprive strawberries of the possibility of bearing fruit. The increase in fruiting productivity of strawberries is positively influenced by the removal of associated competing plants. This measure helps to prolong the abundant fruiting of the population for another 5-6 years. Removal of overgrowth of deciduous species and associated herbaceous species already in the first year increases the yield of strawberries by 5-6 times compared to a neglected population.\r

It is economically justified to use fresh clearings to create cultivated thickets of strawberries.\r

In such cultivated strawberries, it is possible to combine the collection of berries and leaves, but in this case, the harvesting of leaves should be carried out after the fruit has been harvested. Usually strawberry leaves are harvested during flowering, but in this case the diet is disturbed and most of the fruits dry up without ripening. The leaves collected after harvesting the fruit are quite suitable for use, although the content of ascorbic acid in them is somewhat lower.\r

Procurement and quality of raw materials


Collect only mature fruits, without stalks and calyxes. The collection is made in the morning, after the dew has come down, and at the end of the day, when the heat subsides (the berries collected in the heat quickly deteriorate) and the dew has not yet appeared. Containers for collection are small baskets. The raw materials should not contain admixture of leaves, as well as fruits with marriage (immature, contaminated or spoiled), so they should be sorted during collection, and not before drying, when they are slightly moist, easily crumpled and deformed. Before drying, they are slightly dried for 4-5 hours at a temperature of 25-30 ° C, so that part of the moisture evaporates, and then dried at a temperature of 45-65 ° C. Dried fruits, when compressed into a lump, should crumble. The yield of dry raw materials is 14-16% of freshly harvested. The finished raw material should be bright red in color, without impurities. It is allowed a moisture content of not more than 13%; crushed berries 5%; organic impurities 1%; mineral – 1%. Dry fruits are packed in bags (up to 50 kg). The storage period of raw materials is 2 years.\r

Strawberry leaves are harvested during the flowering of plants, breaking them off manually or cutting them off with a knife so that the remainder of the petiole does not exceed 1 cm. burlap and periodically turning over. Drying is considered complete when the leaf petioles break with a crack when bent. The yield of dry raw materials is 20% of freshly harvested. Dry leaves should be slightly odorous and astringent, green or dark green above and grayish or bluish green below. The moisture content of raw materials is not more than 13%; crushed parts 5%; brown or blackened leaves 2%; leaves with remnants of petioles longer than 1 cm 5%; other parts of strawberries (flowering stems, flowers, ovaries, etc.) 5%; organic impurities 1%. Finished raw materials are packed in bags of 15-20 kg or in bales of 50 kg. The shelf life of raw materials is 1 year.\r

Chemical composition


Strawberry fruits contain ascorbic acid, carotene, vitamin B, malic and salicylic acids, tannins and pectin, anthocyanin compounds. The leaves contain ascorbic acid, tannins, flavonoids, alkaloids. Rutin is present in all organs of the plant.\r

Application in medicine


Fresh strawberries are an excellent dietary product recommended as a remedy for hypertension, atherosclerosis, stomach ulcers, gastritis, atonic constipation, anemia, gout and other disorders of salt metabolism in the body. There is a version according to which the world-famous botanist Carl Linnaeus got rid of gout that had tormented him for many years by consuming strawberries in large quantities.\r

An infusion of fruits and leaves is prescribed as a choleretic agent, it also has a diuretic effect. Juice, water decoctions and infusion of strawberries have diaphoretic properties, quench thirst, improve appetite, and have some antimicrobial properties. Fruit juice is used externally to treat a number of skin diseases, cuts, minor wounds, eczema-like conditions, to eliminate skin spots, freckles and acne. Apply fresh fruit juice 4-6 tablespoons every day. You can use dried fruits or leaves to make an infusion. A glass of infusion is taken throughout the day.

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