When talking about the wild strawberry plant, we mean those blood-red tears which grow on bush slopes, giving an exquisite aroma, never those huge, “potato-sized” fruits with little flavor and less aroma which are sold in the market to fulfill the customer’s appetite for big things, and that have been artificially cultivated with chemical pesticides and herbicides.
Strawberries have been used as a food for thousands of years. However, their medicinal properties were not discovered until the 16th century. The great Swedish botanist Linnaeus, who gave name to many vegetal species, said he healed his gout after undergoing a diet regime where the wild strawberry plant was one of the main elements.
Wild Strawberry Plant Scientific Facts
- Other names: Strawberry.
- French: Fraisier des bois.
- Spanish: Fresal, frutilla.
- Environment: Common on roadsides and field borders in forest regions all over Europe. At present, it is widely cultivated in warm climate areas of Europe and America. It can also be found wild.
- Description: Vivacious plant of the Rosaceae family, growing from 5 to 20 cm high, with trifoliate leaves, paler on their undersides, and white flowers with five petals. Its actual fruits are the grains that stick to the strawberry surface.
- Parts of the plant used medicinally: The strawberry (false fruit) and the leaves.
Healing Properties and Uses
Strawberries contain sugars, mineral salts, vitamins A, B, and C, organic acids, coloring substances, enzymes, and mucilage. Small amounts of salicylic acid and salicylates, which are substances similar to aspirin, give strawberries their anti-inflammatory properties, have also been discovered in these fruits. According to Font Quer, the juice of the wild strawberry plant is one of the most complex products of the plant kingdom due to the variety of substances it contains.
STRAWBERRIES offer health for everyone since they invigorate and stimulate organic functions and cleanse the blood. Their properties are as follows:
- Depurative and alkalizing. Strawberries promote the elimination of waste substances such as uric acid, which causes inflammation of joints and kidneys. They are recommended for arthritis and gout when caused by an excess of uric acid.
- Laxative. Due to the wild strawberry plant’s mucilage content, it promotes intestinal transit and evacuation. The plant is recommended to fight constipation.
- Invigorating and remineralizer. Strawberries are especially recommended for anemia, lack of appetite, and recovery from fever or weakening diseases. They increase appetite and stimulate metabolic functions.
- Emollient. When externally applied to the skin as poultices, strawberries have soothing, cleaning, and cosmetic action relatively superior to many chemical products. When using strawberry milk, even better results are achieved. They have also been used in local applications to heal chilblains, rubbing the affected parts (usually hands) with ripe strawberries every day.
Wild strawberry plant LEAVES contain tannin and flavonoids, giving them astringent and anti-inflammatory properties. They are used in the following cases:
- Diarrhea and gastro-enterocolitis due to their content in tannin.
- Skin and nipple stretch marks in local applications on the affected area, which they will dry and heal.
- Inflammation of the mouth (stomatitis), of the gums (gingivitis), and the throat (pharyngitis), applied in rinsings and gargles.
How to use Wild Strawberry
- Strawberry treatment. The most effective way to use strawberries is by the following treatment: consuming one or a half kilograms of ripe fruit daily, for three or four days, with no other food or water.
- Infusion with 40-50 grams of leaves per liter of water. It has a pleasant flavor. Drink four or five cups daily.
- Compresses, with the same infusion used internally but slightly more concentrated, soak cotton compresses and then apply them on the skin or nipple stretch marks.
- Mouth rinses and gargles with this concentrated infusion.
- Poultices of strawberries.
- Strawberry milk.
WARNING! Strawberries may cause itching in sensitive people, provoked by an allergic reaction. They can try to desensitize themselves by putting a piece of strawberry under their tongue every day for eight or ten days.
Strawberries and Beauty
In order to cleanse, soothe, and make the skin of the face more beautiful, mash 300-400 grams of ripe strawberries and apply them on the skin as a poultice. Strawberry milk is made by mixing 50/50 strawberry juice and milk. This milk is used on the skin as a lotion.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. vols. 2 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 575, 576. Print.[Wild strawberry plant]