We just did an article on Raspberry Leaves. One of the recipes called for Wild Strawberry leaves. So, of course, that meant we would have to get around to doing one about Wild Strawberries. Well, since I have an extra big case of Spring Fever, here I am getting’ round to it. And, sine it wont be long before Wild Strawberries start poppin’ up, I want you to make sure you grab all you can grab from all the parts needed!
How bout we get down to some facts?
Like the Raspberry shrub, the Wild Strawberry is also apart of the “Rose” family. You should start seeing the berries around June. However, bet you didn’t know this one…It’s the seeds that are actually the fruit. Yep, that threw me for a loop too.Go figure. When you harvest the Wild Strawberry, you want to take the leaves, berries, and roots. When you dry these out, keep them out of humidity and dampness.
Tannins live in the leaves and roots. Remember we talked about those with the Raspberries? Let me do a quick copy and paste in case you missed it.
Tannins are pretty cool things and can be found in most vegetables and fruit. The leaves, when dried, are when Tannins pack a punch. By definition, Tannins are various complex phenolic substances of plant origin; used both in tanning and in medicine. The Tannin in leaves have astringent effects – as do most tannins elsewhere. It’s the astringent that aids in the antidiarrheal and anti-inflammatory super-powers of the leaves.
Now, get a load of this….The berries have 60 milligrams of Vitamin C per 100 grams of fruit. Not to mention the Minerals, Potassium, Magnesium, Zinc, Manganese, Calcium, Zinc and Fruit Acids. The leaves of Wild Strawberries also have:
- Triterpene Alcohols (Anti-Inflammatory)
- Flavonoids (Powerful Antioxidants)
- Citral (Lemony Scent)
- Essential Oils
What to do with it?
- American Indians used the root for jaundice, stomach ailments and and heavy bleeding during menstruation—again, much like Raspberry Leaves.
- For sore throats, gargle 1/4 cup chopped leaves to 1/2 cup boiling water. Steep for 30 minutes.
- For sunburn, apply crushed berries. Leave for 10-20 minutes.
- For diarrhea, add 1 gram root to 1/2 cup cold water. Heat and steep for 30 minutes. Drink 2 cups daily, 1 before each meal.
Now, what sort of Mountain Lore surrounds the strawberry?
- It was known for two things: Love and Luck. Perhaps one of the reasons Strawberries are a must durin’ a romantic interlude is because back in the day, if someone was in love with you or if you were in love with someone else, you would give or serve them strawberries.
- If you wanted luck, stuff your pockets with the leaves.
- And like Raspberry Leaves, pregnant women often carried a small packet of the Strawberry leaf to help ease pain.