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Wild Strawberry

Wild Strawberry

Fragaria vesca

What is wild strawberry?

The wild strawberry is a creeping perennial herb that spreads over the ground by runners. These runners form new roots and plants. The leaves are trifoliate and tooted and are covered with small hairs. The white and yellow strawberry flowers are formed on stalks and produce eatable cone-shaped fruits (strawberries).

Parts used

Mainly the leaves and rhizomes (roots) are used for medicinal purposes. The leaves are collected after the flowering stage. The berries, know as strawberries, are delicious and can be used in many food preparations. The cultivated varieties have larger strawberries, but the taste is similar, but weaker and less delicate than the wild strawberry.

Phytochemicals

These are typical phytochemicals found in wild strawberry: strawberry leaves are rich in tannins and ellagitannins, such as agrimoniin, pedunculagin, proanthocyanins, flavonoids, salicylic acid, caffeic acid, and chlorogenic acid. wild strawberries (fruits) are rich in ellagitannins, pelargonidin, cyanidin, ellagic acid.

Benefits of wild strawberry

Wild strawberry is anti-diarrhoeal, diuretic and astringent.

Anti-diarrhoeal
Leaves and roots of wild strawberry are traditionally used as astringent to treat diarrhoea. The astringent activity of wild strawberry is explained by its high content of tannins and proanthocyanidins. Tea from strawberry leaves was used to treat dysentery and used as gargle to treat mouth infections.

Diuretic
The strawberry fruit is considered to have cooling, calming and diuretic properties. Strawberry fruits and leaves are used to treat urinary tract disorders.

Lower Cancer Risk
Many studies have shown that cultivated strawberries and phytochemicals from strawberry reduce the risk of cancer. Ellagic acid and isothiocyanates are two phytochemicals which have chemopreventive action. In vitro studies have shown that strawberry extract can reduce cell proliferation of breast cancer cells and colon cancer cells. Consumption of strawberries with meals rich in nitrate and amines can reduce the carcinogenic action of nitrosamines.

Reduced risk of heart disease
Naemura A et all have shown in their study entitled Anti-Thrombotic Effect of Strawberries and published in Blood Coagulation and Fibrinolysis (2005 October) that strawberry extract inhibits the formation of platelets, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease. Other studies have shown that phytochemicals in strawberries, such as ellagic acid, anthocyanins, catechins, quercetin and kaempferol inhibit the oxidation of cholesterol and reduce plaque formation.

Other facts

The wild strawberry originates from the whole of the Northern Hemisphere, excluding the tropical regions. The strawberry derives its name from the habit of placing straw under the plants to protect the strawberries.

Other names

Alpine strawberry, wood strawberry, strawberry

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