|Wild strawberry Quick Facts|
|Scientific Name:||Fragaria vesca|
|Origin||Europe and Asia. Varieties of the species are found in North America both naturally and as introduced.|
|Colors||Green when young turning to red as they matures|
|Shapes||Small strawberries that are egg shaped to conic, the tiny seeds (achenes) raised on the surface.|
|Health benefits||Control Diabetes, Treats gastritis, Healthy heart, Prevent Cancer, Maintain Hydration, Regulate Blood Pressure, Eyes vitamin, Hepatitis, Aid Digestion, Detoxify the Body, Heal Sore Throat, Boost Immunity, Prevent Liver Damage, Prevent Premature Aging|
Genus name comes from the Latin word fraga meaning strawberry presumably from fragrans meaning fragrant in reference to the perfume of the fruit. The specific epithet vesca is also Latin and means small or thin. Their health benefits are legendary, and every part of these plants has been used for some type of medicinal application. From the juice and leaves to the fruit, stems and roots, this plant is packed with beneficial nutrients that can deliver a number of notable health benefits. Most of these effects on the body can be attributed to the high levels of vitamin C, vitamin A, B-family vitamins, potassium, tannins, flavonoids, proanthocyanids, phenolic compounds and other volatile acids and antioxidants.
Wild strawberry is an erect, low-growing, deciduous herbaceous, perennial herb that grows about 5–20 cm (2–8 in.) tall, runners up to 2 m (80 in.) long. The plant is found growing in meadows, open slopes, prairie-woodland mosaics, forest margins, and margins of meadows, roadsides, embankments, hillsides, stone and gravel laid paths, forests, trails and clearings. The plant has dense vertical crown with fibrous roots. Stems are above ground runners (stolons) that root at tips from which a crown of leaves emerge.
This herbaceous perennial plant develops basal leaves and flowering stalks from a crown. The basal leaves are trifoliate. Individual leaflets are 1-2½ inches long, ¾-2 inches across, and sessile; they are ovate to obovate in shape and their margins are coarsely serrated. Upper leaflet surface is medium green and glabrous to sparsely short-hairy, while the lower leaflet surface is pale green and sparsely short-hairy to hairy. In particular, hairs tend to be especially common along the lower sides of the major veins. Leaflet venation is pinnate. The lateral veins are nearly straight and parallel to each other. The texture of the leaflets is somewhat thick and stiff, rather than thin and flexible. Petioles of the basal leaves are 2-6 inches long, terete, and light green to reddish purple; they are covered with spreading hairs.
At the apex of each stalk, there develops a branching cluster of about 2-5 flowers. Each flower is about ½ inches across, consisting of 5 white petals, a calyx with 5 green sepals that are joined together at the base, a dense cluster of light green to pale yellow pistils, and a ring of 20-35 stamens with yellow anthers. The peduncle and pedicels of the flowers are light green or light reddish green and covered with appressed hairs. One or two small leafy bracts are located at the base of inflorescence. The blooming period occurs from late spring to mid-summer, lasting 1-2 months. Afterwards, fertile flowers are replaced by small fruits that become a little less than ½ inches long at maturity (typically 8-10 mm. in length); they are bright red, glabrous, and ovoid to ovoid-conical in shape (although they typically hang upside down). Numerous reddish achenes are scattered across the surface of the fruit; they are not sunken below the surface in pits. Some cultivars of this plant produce white mature fruits, rather than red. The fleshy interior of the fruit varies in flavor, depending on the cultivar, but it is often bland. At the base of each fruit, the sepals of the persistent calyx are either spreading or reflexed; they do not adhere to the surface of the fruit. Flowering normally takes place from April to May.
Fertile flowers are followed by small red strawberries that are egg shaped to conic, the tiny seeds (achenes) raised on the surface.
Health benefits of Wild strawberry
Wild strawberries are not as widely used as in the past, but they are still beneficial for people suffering from dysentery, gout, arthritis, premature aging, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, liver damage, a weak immune system, high toxicity, cancer risk, respiratory infections, indigestion, constipation and dehydration, among others. Listed below are few of the popular health benefits of wild Strawberry
1. Control Diabetes
Doctors encourage diabetic patients to consume more wild strawberries. Since it’s been scientifically proven that wild strawberries are sources in treating diabetes. For, people who want to prevent suffering from diabetes can also start to consume this fruit. The best way to have it is to eat it directly rather than adding it to desserts; such as, sundaes, pies or any sugary foods since it is not helping in diabetic if you consumed it that way. (1)
2. Prevent Cancer
Since wild strawberries are high in antioxidant and phytochemicals that can block the development of cancer cells, then, consuming it may reduce the risk of suffering cancer. Besides the fruits, herbal tea made by strawberries leaves may treat as an herbal remedy. However, what you should know is organic strawberries are more effective at preventing cancer growth than conventionally grown strawberries. (2)
3. Regulate Blood Pressure
Moderate levels of potassium found in these wild strawberries can help to lower blood pressure and protect cardiovascular health. Potassium is a vasodilator, meaning that it can decrease stress on blood vessels and arteries, which reduces your risk of atherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes. (3)
4. Aid Digestion
Leaves of the Wild strawberry plant have long been used to treat gastrointestinal problems, including constipation, diarrhea, nausea and high acidity levels. This leaf preparation is also outstanding for encouraging the appetite and improving digestive efficiency and nutrient uptake. (4)
5. Detoxify the Body
Leaves of the Wild strawberry plant are known to have diuretic properties, and when brewed into a tea, they can help to detoxify the body and improve kidney function. Excess urination lowers stress on the kidneys and encourages the elimination of excess fats, salts, toxins and water from the body. (5)
6. Boost Immunity
Wild strawberry are rich in vitamin C, which is known to boost the immune system by stimulating the production of white blood cells, while also acting as an antioxidant throughout the body. Traditionally, these strawberries were used to prevent dysentery and vitamin C deficiency, which also helped speed repair and collagen production. (6)
7. Prevent Liver Damage
When the juice of Wild strawberries is consumed on an empty stomach, it is known to encourage liver function and help to heal damage from cirrhosis and hepatitis. Although liver cells regrow very slowly, regular use of the juice from wild strawberries can speed that recovery process. (7)
8. Heal Sore Throat
Leaves of this plant can be boiled in water for 4-5 minutes until the active ingredients are released, and then the resultant liquid can be drunk to remove inflammation and pain in the throat. This is mainly effective for people struggling with cold and flu symptoms, as this brew can also help reduce congestion.(8)
9. Prevent Premature Aging
Juice of wild strawberries is loaded with antioxidants and is regularly applied topically to the skin to remove wrinkles and age blemishes. There are natural bleaching agents in wild strawberries that can also help clear up skin, balance out skin discoloration and speed the healing process of wounds and insect bites. (9)
10. Maintain Hydration
Despite having so many nutrients, wild strawberries also have high water content, and these berries were traditionally picked by travelers on the road, as they could maintain hydration levels and increase energy.
11. Treats gastritis
Wild strawberry is considered one of the best solution for people who suffer from gastritis since it stimulates antioxidant defenses and enzyme of the body. Besides consuming strawberries, gastritis patient are recommended to consume low acid food and avoid fatty and oily snacks.
Additionally, reduce the consumption of alcohol, try to avoid stress and reduce consuming medicines that may cause harm to your abdominal organs. Besides strawberries, pears and apples might be good for gastritis patients either.
Wild strawberry juice is good to deal with liver disorders. Best way to consume it is on an empty stomach, 3 cups a day. Juice stimulates liver activity and encourages the renewal of hepatic cells. Leaves are also useful to treat diarrhea. The most part of strawberries that contain vitamin C is on the leaves.
13. Eyes vitamin
Including strawberries in your diet may give you lots of benefits. One of them is improving your eyesight. Rich in antioxidants makes it a best medicine to prevent cataract and other eye diseases.
14. Healthy heart
Research demonstrates that there is an association between consuming strawberries with normal blood pressures and good condition of liver. Thanks to anthocyanin that it contains, strawberry lowers the level of bad cholesterol inside human’s body while decreasing high blood sugar.
Here are more health benefits of wild strawberry for beauty tricks:
Aging might be caused by our unhealthy lifestyle and poor eating habits. However, wild strawberries are good for detoxing effects; therefore, consuming it may results to anti-aging.
2. Remove acne and black spots
Woman tends to be frustrated with acnes and black spots. Now, you should not be worry about that. Treat them with wild strawberries and your problems will be washed away. Since strawberries contain alpha-hydroxy acid, they are effective in eliminating dead skin and clean it. Wild strawberry also contains salicylic acid and ellagic acid, which are known for reducing hyper-pigmentation and dark spots.
3. Giving tone to the skin
Antioxidants presents in strawberries provide amazing natural toner to the skin. While manganese in strawberries keeps our skin healthy and radiant. Apply it as a mask every night before going to bed. You can start to replace your chemical based toner with this simple natural strawberry mask.
4. Substitution sunblock
Radiation from the sun may cause harm to the skin. But you should not worry about it for strawberries may have a solution for you. Wild strawberries have anthocyanins and antioxidant power for battling UV from the sun. Acid in strawberries has the ability to eliminate free radicals, and then prevent pigmenting caused by sun damage.
5. Healing cracked feet
Wild strawberries also can heal cracked feet. Cracked feet may cause unbelievable pain but a pack of strawberries in your refrigerator might be helpful. Strawberries can be used as foot scrub since the mild coarse properties helps in exfoliating the skin.
6. Softening skin
Strawberry seed has its role as well. Oil produced by strawberry seed consists of Tannic acid which makes it effective in softening irritated skin.
7. Solution for dry skin
Since strawberry seed oil has moisturizing properties, it can protect our skin from dryness. These properties change it to wonderful oil for dry or damaged skin. By using this oil, you can hydrate your skin and make it feeling soft.
8. Cure hair dandruff
Dandruff might be a problem to most of ladies since it can deteriorate our appearance and make us lack of confidence. Wild Strawberries also play a big role in washing dandruff away. Vitamin C that strawberries have is helpful to fight dandruff that caused by degrading of immune system. Use it as a hair mask three times a week might be potential enough to shoo the dandruff away.
9. Effective for hair fall
Wild Strawberries are considered an effective natural ingredient that can help you to fight your problem. Vitamin C contained in wild strawberry helps to encourage iron absorption which promotes hair growth. Silica that are loaded in strawberries are good to prevent baldness and grow a new hair.
Traditional uses and benefits of Wild strawberry
- Leaves are astringent.
- Decoction has been used in the treatment of dysentery.
- In feverish conditions the fruit is invaluable, and is also recommended for stone.
- Root is astringent and used in diarrhea.
- Fresh fruit removes discoloration of the teeth if the juice is allowed to remain on for about five minutes and the teeth are then cleansed with warm water, to which a pinch of bicarbonate of soda has been added.
- Cut Strawberry rubbed over the face immediately after washing will whiten the skin and remove slight sunburn.
- For a badly sunburnt face it is recommended to rub the juice well into the skin, to leave it on for half an hour, and then wash off with warm water to which a few drops of simple tincture of benzoin have been added; no soap should be used.
- It moisturizes the Hair and makes them glossy. It puts an end to Hair fall and tackles Alopecia.
- It counters Fever.
- It keeps Eye troubles at bay thus, guards the Eyes from the harmful UV rays.
- It treats Cancer.
- It refines the Body’s capacity to fight diseases by making the Immune System strong.
- It curbs Anemia and effectively cleans the Blood.
- Strawberry is a good herbal remedy for Dental troubles namely Gingivitis, Toothache, Scurvy and Yellow Teeth.
- It cures Throat Irritation.
- It is a Heart tonic thus, avoids the risk of Atherosclerosis.
- Strawberry maintains the Blood Pressure.
- It curbs Bad Cholesterol.
- It combats ailments leading to respiratory discomforts like asthma and cold.
- It counteracts Tuberculosis.
- Strawberry is a good herbal remedy for Skin complaints like Wrinkles, Rashes, cuts, pigmentation, Burns, Acne and Bruises.
- It helps in the regeneration of Skin Cells thus, enhances Complexion and gives a younger looking Skin.
- Its fibrous content aids Digestion therefore, keeps Stomach troubles like Gastritis away.
- It arrests the bleeding from the Intestines.
- It is Hepato-protective, therefore, protects the Liver against diseases.
- It helps in overcoming Obesity i.e. Overweight.
- It fights the trouble of Excessive perspiration at Night.
- Strawberry is helpful in treating Menopausal troubles and Hot Flashes.
- It promotes loose Stool therefore, eases Constipation.
- It is favorable in treating Joint ailments like Gout, Rheumatism and Arthritis.
- It curbs early Ejaculation.
- Leaves and roots have been used in herbal teas to improve bile and liver function, to treat inflammation of the bowel.
- Berries have been used as a diuretic and an herbal remedy for gout.
- Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, supposed that the berries could dissolve tartar and that they were the best medicine for kidney gravel and stones and gout.
- Sebastian Kneipp (1821-1897), a German naturopath and priest, recommended wild strawberry tea as a remedy for summer colds.
- Daily consumption of the fresh berries as a preventive measure for kidney gravel and kidney stones, as well as for ailments related to the liver.
- Wild strawberry infused water was used traditionally for bad throat and bumps and sores in the mouth.
- In the past, the herb was considered as an excellent remedy against chilblains, by washing the hands frequently with the crushed berries.
- Berries have also been used cosmetically in skin care creams to restore and strengthen the skin, reduce wrinkles, bleach freckles and relieve sunburns.
- Juice of the fruits has been used as a natural treatment for chilblains, and fresh strawberries have been used to remove tartar and discoloration on the teeth.
- Leaves of wild strawberries are mildly astringent, diuretic and are considered to have blood-purifying properties.
- An herbal tea made from the leaves has been used internally to relief diarrhea, gastroenteritis, ailments of the urinary tract and hemorrhoids.
- Tea has been used as a gargle to relief bad throat, gum inflammation and mouth ulcers (canker sores), and externally to treat minor burns, cuts and scrapes.
Ayurvedic Health benefits of Wild strawberry
- Skin: Eat 5 to 6 fresh Strawberries daily. It gives you clear and young clean. OR: Take out the pulp of Few Strawberries. Add one teaspoon Honey. Apply on the face and keep it for half an hour. Wash your face with fresh water.
- Yellow Teeth: Take a Strawberry and rub it on teeth daily.
- Age spot: Take 8 to 10 Strawberry. Squeeze the juice. Apply on the face and keep for 20 minutes. Wash with cold water. Use it on regular basis
- Hematoma: Increase the intake of citrus fruit like Orange, Grapefruits, Strawberries, Papaya, Apricots in daily diet.
- Cracked Heels: Make a paste by crushing 2 to 3 ripe Strawberries. Gently apply the paste on the Cracked Heels. Leave for 15 to 20 minutes. Wash it off with lukewarm water. Follow the process 2 times a week to get smooth Heels.
- Cracked Heels: Take 5 tablespoons Almond Oil, 1 tablespoon Common Salt and 8 to 10 pieces of crushed strawberry. Mix all the ingredients. Rub on heels for 15 minutes. Wash with fresh water
- Yellow teeth: Make a paste of Strawberry and Baking Soda. Use it to clean your teeth.
- Angioma Combi: Take 1 tablespoon Sandalwood Powder, 1/2 tablespoon Crushed Basil Leaves and 1/2 tablespoon Crushed Strawberry Leaves. Mix all ingredients. Make a paste by adding water to it. Apply it on affected parts for half an hour twice a day.
- Yellow Teeth: Mix half teaspoon of Strawberry juice and half teaspoon of Lemon juice. Rub your teeth with this for 3 to 4 minutes and leave for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, brush your teeth.
- Fruit can also be dried for later use.
- Fresh or dried leaves are used to brew an excellent tea.
- It is consumed raw in the form of a fresh fruit.
- Additionally, they are also consumed in strawberry shortcake in particular and processed to make ice creams, mousses, fruit juice, jams as well as jelly, candies, and an assortment of baked items.
- Some people also ferment strawberries to produce liqueur (for instance, the Italian fragoli) or wine.
Wild Strawberry Jam
- 1 1/2 cups wild strawberries about 100 grams
- 2 tbsp water or juice
- 3/4 cups sugar
- 1/4 tsp calcium water
- 1/4 tsp Pomona’s pectin powder
- Remove the stems from the wild strawberries and add them to a small saucepan. Add 2 tbsp of water of juice to help prevent the strawberries from scorching before they release their juice.
- Bring the strawberries to a simmer, and cook on low for about 5 minutes. The berries should release their juice. Add the calcium water from the Pomona’s pectin kit. This is necessary to activate the powdered pectin.
- Mix 1/4 tsp Pomona’s pectin powder into the sugar. Feel free to reduce the amount of sugar used, but this recipe requires at least 2 tbsp of sugar to mix with the pectin to prevent clumping.
- Add the sugar and pectin mixture into the simmering strawberries and stir to incorporate. Simmer for an additional minute to activate the pectin.
- Pour the jam into a sterilized jar, and either store in the refrigerator or process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes. If canning, be sure to leave 1/4 inch of headspace.
Wild Strawberry Pie
- 300 grams digestive biscuits
- 150 grams butter (melted)
Filling 7 toppings
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup sugar (can add less if you prefer)
- 1½ tablespoons flour
- 400 – 450 grams soft cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 4 large egg yolks
- 500 grams wild strawberries
- Process the biscuits until they are like crumbs. Melt the butter in the microwave and add to the crumbs. Pulse again. Line the bottom of a 27-30cm with detachable sides (or any tin you might have!) tin with foil, it’ll make it that much easier to get it out of the tin later.
- Pressing the biscuits in with your hands or a flat glass. The sides must also be covered. Put in the tin in the fridge to set.
- Beat the egg, egg yolks and sugar in the pan until they become much lighter in color. Add teaspoon of flour.
- Add the wet ingredients – vanilla and milk. Put on high heat and don’t stop whisking until the custard comes to boil. Put aside to cool until room temperature.
- Thoroughly blend the softened cream cheese and custard. Pour the mixture into the biscuit base and put in the fridge for at least two hours or until set.
- Top with the wild strawberries.
Wild strawberry Pastry
Ingredients for Strawberry jam
- 1/4 cup of water
- 1/2 cup of wild strawberries (or sliced regular strawberries)
- 3/4 cup of white sugar
Ingredients for Tarts
- 800 g of pastry dough (you can find them in the frozen section of your local grocery store)
- 1 package of cream cheese (8 oz)
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- In a saucepan, boil down the water, strawberries and sugar until it thickens, about 30 minutes.
- Cream together with a hand mixer the cream cheese and the sugar.
- Roll out the pastry dough to 1/4 inch thickness and cut into four even squares.
- You may fold the pastries into whichever shape that you like. I did two variations, a pinwheel and a one where the four corners were folded in.
- Place about 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture on the center of the puff pastry dough creating a slight well for the jam.
- Place about 2 tablespoons of the wild strawberry jam into the pastries, making sure that it does not overflow onto the puff pastry itself.
- Put all the pastries on parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake in the oven at 425F for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Wild Strawberry Ice Cream
- 1 lb. (454 g) wild strawberries
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 oz. gin or vodka
- Mix the strawberries, sugar and gin in a bowl. Leave to macerate for about an hour.
- Add the cream and pulse in a blender or food processor until just smooth.
- Put the mixture in the fridge for about an hour and then churn in ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Wild Strawberry Muffins
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup wild strawberries, hulled, rinsed and patted dry
- 1 Tbsp. raw sugar, for tops of muffins
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- In your Kitchen Aid mixer or by hand in a large mixing bowl, cream your butter and sugar together until smooth.
- Add the egg and vanilla and mix well.
- Add your flour, powder and salt.
- Add the buttermilk and combine until the nice thick batter comes together.
- Add the wild strawberries and mix for a few seconds with the mixer paddle or hard by hand with a wooden spoon, then fold in the berries gently to combine well.
- Line a regular muffin pan with 6 paper muffin liners and fill with the batter until almost full.
- Sprinkle with raw sugar and bake for 25-30 minutes depending on your oven. *I have a convection oven and 27 minutes is just perfect, but everyone’s oven is different.
- Remove from the oven and serve warm or room temperature.
Wild Strawberry Grog (Rum Cocktail)
- 1/4 cup wild berries
- 1-2 teaspoons of sugar
- 1/4 cup rum
- hot water
- Pick strawberries (or any other wild fruit) in a metal cup and fill up to 1/4th.
- Sprinkle some sugar on top.
- Use a hand torch to caramelize the sugar. This is critical, as it also slightly cooks the top layer of berries and releases the fragrance of the fruit – the smell will bring the whole group together.
- Pour on a generous portion of rum. No need for a fancy cane, we simply used the local faked rum (spelled ‘room’ for copyright reasons), admittedly distilled from potatoes.
- Fill up with hot water and see how the caramel and the fruits mix themselves into a steamy, fragrant drink.
Tips in buying good strawberries
Sometimes, it might be difficult for us to choose which kind of strawberries are the best for our diet.
Find the brightest color in red
Mostly, the brightest one is the sweetest one. If you find out there is a white part around the stem, then it means the strawberries are picked not at the peak ripeness.
Even after washing these fruits, strawberries still contains lots of pesticide. Therefore, it is healthier to consume the organic ones. Its taste might be not as tastier as the conventional ones. However, it means that we are spared from pesticides.
Strawberries taste the best when they are in season since it might not taste as fresh when we bought it over the season.
- It thin blood, do not eat them while on blood thinning medication.
- It may cause excessive bleeding or hemorrhages if it becomes a force multiplier with an anticoagulant.
- It may cause Hemophilia.
- Wild strawberries leaves may affect the uterus and therefore should be avoided by pregnant women.