Specification & Spread
Wild strawberry — Fragaria vesca L.
Rose family — Rosaceae
Other names: wild strawberry, blizzard, berry.
It is a perennial herbaceous plant up to 20 cm tall with creeping shoots.
The leaves are tripartite in the basal rosette and on a long petiole. The leaves are sessile, curved-rhombic with a large serrate edge.
The flowers are up to 2 cm in diameter and situated on pressed long hairs. It is pentamerous, white and clustered in corymbose inflorescences.
The fruit is a strawberry (multi-tip) which is formed by an overgrown and fleshy receptacle with the nut-fruits on it. The calyx is separated from the fetus and easily separated in general.
It blooms from late May to July, the fruits ripen in June - July.
The possible impurities include wild strawberry (strawberry, half-wheat) - Fragaria viridis Duch. It is distinguished by larger ones, dark green above and greyish below, densely pubescent leaves with finely toothed small leaves and loose corymboid little-flowered inflorescence with yellowish white larger flowers (15-25 mm in diameter). The fruits are round and yellowish-white at the base. It turns red only on the top or side. Besides, it has a tight-fitting calyx.
Spreading. It grows in the forest and forest-steppe zones of the European part of the country, in Western Siberia and in the Caucasus. It is found in some areas of Central Asia. Wild strawberry grows in Western Europe, North Africa, and North and South America.
Habitat. It grows in clarified forests, forest glades and forest edges, meadows, clearings, burnt areas and in thickets of bushes.
The fruits contain:
- ascorbic acid (50 mg%),
- carotenoids (5 mg%),
- B vitamins,
- folic acid,
- sugar (up to 15%),
- salicylic and other acids,
- small amount of tannins,
- essential oil (which gives wild strawberry a pleasant aroma),
- pectic substances,
- anthocyanin compounds (3-galactoside pelargonidine and 3-glycoside cyanidine),
- salts of iron, phosphorus, cobalt, manganese, a lot of potassium.
According to the amount of phenolic compounds and flavonols in the fruits, most of the cultivated varieties of wild strawberry surpass uncultivated ones.
Wild strawberry leaves contain:
- ascorbic acid (120-200 mg%),
- flavonoids (derivatives of quercetin),
- essential oil,
- tannins (9%).
Harvesting and storage of raw materials
Harvesting. In the morning when the dew comes down, or in the evening, the fruits are harvested mature, without peduncles and calyxes.
The leaves are harvested during flowering with petioles no longer than 1 cm.
Drying. The fruits are dried in open air and pre-wrinkle during the day, or in dryers at a temperature of 25-30 ºС for 4-5 hours. Then it is dried at 45-65 °C. The most rational is freeze-drying.
The leaves are dried in attics or under a canopy with an iron roof and also in dryers at a temperature not higher than 45 ºС.
Storage. It is stored in dry and well-ventilated areas.
External signs of raw materials
The fruits are broadly conical in shape and up to 1.5 cm long. It consists of numerous small nuts, immersed in a fleshy receptacle with its base. The colour of the fruit is dark red, the nuts are yellowish. The smell is pleasant and fragrant. The taste is sour-sweet.
The leaves are complex with remnants of petioles no more than 1 cm long, from three whole leaves of ovate or curved-rhombic form 1.5-6 cm long and 1.6-4 cm wide.
The edge of the foliole has large, triangular or almost rounded teeth.
The neuration is craspedodromous. The main vein and veins of the first order protrude from the underside of the folioles. It is yellowish. The upper side is pubescent with sparse hairs, the lower one is more pubescent. The colour at the apex is green or dark green, the bottom one is bluish-green in colour. The smell is weak. The taste is sour-astringent.
Properties and application
The pharmacological properties of wild strawberry
The infusion of wild strawberry fruits and leaves has a pronounced:
- diuretic and
- choleretic action.
Due to the high content of potassium and organic acids, wild strawberry has a diuretic effect.
The juice, decoction and infusion of fruits possess:
- diaphoretic property,
- improve digestion.
The experimental studies have confirmed:
- choleretic effect and
- changes in the chemical composition of bile under the influence of wild strawberry fruits.
Wild strawberry fruits:
- excite the motor function of the uterus,
- increase the regenerative properties of tissues.
Wild strawberry has:
- disinfectant properties.
In large doses, it has an antithyroid effect.
Wild strawberry leaves:
- improve metabolism,
- contribute to the removal of salts from the body,
- a source of vitamins, micro-and macro;
- have an antispasmodic effect.
Application of wild strawberry
The fruits of wild strawberry is a valuable food and medicine.
In fresh and dried form the leaves and fruits of wild strawberry are used as:
- choleretic agent that promotes the excretion of salts from the body.
It is used in:
- joint diseases,
- with gallstone and
For urolithiasis, wild strawberry leaf tea is recommended.
It is recommended for:
- liver diseases (including viral hepatitis),
- diabetes mellitus,
- hypochromic anemia.
It is contradicted with chronic liver disease, aggravation of gastritis, peptic ulcer, individual intolerance.