Specification & Spread

Cranberry fruits — fructus oxycocci
Cranberry — oxycoccus palustris pers.
Heath family – ericaceae (vaccinioideae).

Cranberry is an evergreen shrub with creeping, thin, vegetative shoots up to 80 cm long and ascending generative shoots with drooping flowers in umbellate inflorescences. The leaves are alternate, short-petaled, leathery, oblong-ovate, with edges wrapped on the underside, shiny, dark green from above, whitish-grey from below from wax bloom.
The flowers are regular, tetramerous, the rim is pink. The fruit is a juicy dark red berry of various forms (spherical, oblong-ovate, pear-shaped), with a bluish bloom, sour in taste.

It blooms in June – July. The fruits ripen from late August to mid-October, remaining on plants until spring.

Spreading. Marshwort grows in the forest and tundra zones of the European part of Russia, Siberia, the Far East, Kamchatka and Sakhalin.

Habitat. It prefers upland sphagnum, peat and transitional sedge-and cotton grass-sphagnum bogs, open areas or light forest, less often swampy burs.


The chemical composition of marshwort

Cranberry is rich with organic acids (2-5%).

There are also prevail:

  • cinch and
  • lemon.

It also contains malic acid and benzoic acid.
The latter is contained in the form of vaccine glycoside and contributes to the preservation of fresh fruits.

The fruits contain:

  • sugars (glucose, fructose, sucrose),
  • pectic substances (up to 1.5%),
  • essential oil,
  • a small amount of
  • ascorbic acid (12-29 mg%) and
  • B vitamins,
  • carotenoids,
  • flavonoids (quercetin, rutin, hesperidin),
  • tannins (up to 4.9%),
  • free catechins,
  • anthocyanins,
  • triterpene compounds
  • accumulate salt,
  • potassium,
  • phosphorus,
  • calcium,
  • manganese and
  • iodine.

The seeds contain:

  • 16-28% of fatty oil.

Harvesting and storage of raw materials

Harvesting. Cranberry is harvested by hand from the beginning of ripening berries (late August) before the snowfall, as well as in early spring after the snow melted. The terms of harvesting are regulated by local authorities. The harvesting of immature, red-sided fruits reduces their quality and affects the shelf life. After harvesting, marshwort are cleaned of impurities and sorted.

Security measures. In order to preserve cranberry thickets, it is not recommended to use combed-type scoops or scrapers while harvesting.

Storage. It is store in baskets  at a temperature not exceeding 10 °C in dry and well-ventilated areas. Autumn harvest berries can be stored all winter.

The berries can be fresh or frozen, without stem, spherical or oblong-ovate, of varying sizes (diameter 10-18 mm) and color (from pink to dark red), shiny, juicy; it may be wet, but does not give off juice.
The smell is weak, the taste is sour.

Properties and application

The pharmacological properties and application

Cranberry is a valuable dietary product.
Due to the high content of benzoic acid berries have antimicrobial and diuretic action used to treat and prevent various diseases of:

  • kidneys,
  • urinary tract and
  • bladder.

Fresh berries, berry extract increases secretion of:

  • gastric and
  • pancreatic juices, and therefore contraindicated in gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer.

Cranberry juice:

  • quenches thirst during feverish conditions,
  • has a diaphoretic effect.

It must be remembered that the use of marshwort berries acidifies urine and simultaneously increases the content of urates and oxalates in it.
These salts in an acidic medium precipitate and can damage the kidneys and urinary tract. Alkaline mineral water is needed to prevent this complication.

Ulcer, gastritis, increased acidity of the stomach.

With caution in urolithiasis, gout, children under 3 years of age, pregnancy and periolde lactation.

Also to be used with caution for allergies.