Wild strawberry

 


FRAGARIA VESCA

COMMON NAME : Wild strawberry

FAMILY  :        Rosaceae  (Rose family)


HABIT / GROWING:

Smaller and more fragrant and delicate tasting than its cultivated variety. Native to Scotland, it grows in sheltered places like woodland edges.


PARTS USED   :        Leaves mainly, also fruit & roots.


TRADITIONAL & MODERN USE:

Listed in early pharmacopeias for its laxative, diuretic and astringent actions. Leaves & roots were used to treat dysentery and as a “blood tonic” while fruit was recommended for urinary stones and feverish conditions, where it is easily digested, and also for “rheumatic gout”, liver and kidney complaints. The juice was used to whiten teeth when left on them for 5 minutes then washed off with water and a pinch of bicarbonate of soda (the probable active ingredient?) and also to treat sunburn.


Its astringency is now also considered haemostatic and can be used to reduce excessive menstruation and bleeding haemorrhoids. It can be beneficial in cases of kidney or bladder “gravel” as well as gallstones, irritable bowel and colitis. It reduces uric acid in the blood (hence gout). It is also supposed to reduce excess milk flow in nursing mothers and help reduce breast size and has been reported to reduce enlargement of the spleen.


CONSTITUENTS:

·        Acids such as malic, citric and cissotannic

·        fruit sugars

·        mucilage - tonic

·        volatile oil

·        Pectin in fruit.

·        Tannins and flavonoids in leaves.


Astringent action mainly due to tannins and acids.