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Strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo L

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The ordinary strawberry tree (ordinary strawberry, common arbutus, Cain's apple, etc.) is an evergreen shrub or tree with exfoliating bark and unusual fruits of the heather family. In nature, it grows in the countries of the Mediterranean, Western Asia, Western Europe and America. It prefers forest clearings, edges, rocks, gravelly slopes, often forms undergrowth.

Also, a strawberry tree is grown as a valuable ornamental plant and food culture. From the fruits of arbutus prepare jams, syrups, jams, candied fruits, compotes, wines and liqueurs. Virtually all parts of the plant are used in traditional medicine and homeopathy. Wood strawberry tree is popular in the joinery and furniture industry, and the bark is used in leather.

Description and preparation

The strawberry tree has a trunk with curved branches with a gray-green bark at a young age which eventually acquires a reddish or brown tint. Interestingly, every year a tree throws off the old bark - for that it was nicknamed by the people as “shameless”. The leaves are dark green, leathery, petiolate. In May, strawberries bloom with white or cream flowers, gathered in the inflorescences-panicles. The fruits of the strawberry tree are multi-seeded rounded drupes of scarlet or orange-brown color with fragrant sour-sweet pulp, reminiscent of strawberry in taste. The surface of the drupes is covered with glands of gland. Arbutus belongs to plants-long-livers - some specimens live up to 200 years and all this time strawberry does not cease to bear fruit!

Medicinal raw materials are: leaves, bark, flowers and fruits of strawberry. The sheet is made in the summer: leaves are collected and dried in a well-ventilated area, turning daily. The flowers are harvested during the flowering of the plant and dried as well as the leaves. The bark is collected in the summer, when it peels off and dried under a canopy in a well-ventilated place, and then crushed. The fruits are harvested during ripening: collected and dried in an electric dryer or oven. Store the harvested raw materials in paper bags or cardboard boxes for no longer than two years.
Also, fruits are harvested by heat treatment in the form of jam, jelly, candied fruits.

Chemical composition and properties

The fruits of the strawberry tree are rich in: sugars, pectins, B vitamins, carotenoids, ascorbic and malic acids, and tannins. In overripe fruit contains alcohol (0.5%).
The bark and leaves of strawberry are rich in: tannins, flavonoids and andromedotoxin - a toxic substance.
Strawberry has: anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, diuretic, diaphoretic and immunomodulating actions.

In folk medicine, the strawberry tree is used for:

  • cold
  • stomatitis,
  • caries,
  • stomach cramps,
  • dysbacteriosis and acute intestinal infections,
  • cystitis
  • urethritis
  • metabolic disorders,
  • burns, wounds, eczema.

  • 1 tsp dried strawberry flowers,
  • 1 tbsp. boiling water.

Fill the flowers with boiling water and let it brew for 30 minutes. Strain. Drink 1/3 cup of infusion three times a day before meals. With a cold, this infusion will rinse the throat.

Cystitis decoction:

  • 2 tsp strawberry grass,
  • 1 tbsp. water.

Fill the grass with water and boil for 15 minutes. Strain the resulting decoction. Take 1/3 cup of water twice a day. Also, this broth can be used externally for the preparation of lotions for burns and wounds.

  • 50 g of crushed dry strawberry leaf,
  • 500 ml of vodka.

Fill the leaves with vodka and let it brew for 14 days in a dark place at room temperature. Daily shake the container with the mixture. Strain. Use externally for the treatment of bedsores, ulcers, wounds. Also, this tincture can be used as a rinse for sore throat, after diluting it with water in a 1: 5 ratio.
Another tincture:

  • 40 g leaf and bark of a strawberry tree,
  • 1 liter of vodka.

Pour vegetable raw materials with vodka and leave to infuse for two weeks. Strain the finished tincture. Use externally for burns, ulcers, bedsores, inflammatory processes in the throat and oral cavity (rinsing), diluting with water in a ratio of 1: 5.
When dysbacteriosis, violation of the chair, caries it is useful to use the ripe fruits of strawberry inside, as they have regenerating properties and are able to restore the mucous membrane of the stomach and intestines, and even tooth enamel.
The fruits of arbutus are also useful with increased pressure, as they strengthen the walls of blood vessels.

Contraindications

Strawberry tree as a drug is contraindicated:

  • children
  • pregnant and lactating women
  • with individual intolerance.

Fruits of strawberry contraindicated:

  • children
  • with gastric and duodenal ulcers,
  • with diabetes,
  • with individual intolerance.

Attention! The ripe strawberry fruits contain a toxic substance and alcohol that can cause a stupefying effect, and therefore should be consumed in moderation. Excessive passion for the fruits of the strawberry tree can lead to indigestion, headache, dizziness.
Attention! The bark of the plant contains a toxic substance and is therefore recommended only for outdoor use.

In medicine

All parts of arbutus ordinary have been used in traditional medicine and homeopathy. Strawberry small-fruited - Arbutus andrachne - homeopathic medicine, a valuable component of the composition of which is the bark of arbutus. Apply with the medical purpose for cystitis, urethritis, eczema.
In folk medicine, medicines from flowers (decoctions, tinctures) are used for diseases of the upper respiratory tract, stomatitis, diseases of the oral cavity, since the plant has antiseptic properties. Flowers of strawberry, with a light honey aroma, are used as a diaphoretic. The leaves, bark and roots of the plant are used as an astringent, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory and diuretic in diseases of the urinary system. The leaves of the strawberry tree in the form of decoctions and infusions are used in diseases of the digestive system, and arbutus bark is used externally for wounds, burns and some dermatological diseases.

Contraindications and side effects

Speaking about the benefits of strawberry fruit, their consumption in moderation is considered harmless and beneficial. If you eat a large portion of strawberry berries, you may experience dizziness or severe headache, digestive disorders. Berries in large quantities have an intoxicating effect on the body, because in a mature state the fruits of the plant contain a dose of alcohol, as well as a certain amount of andromedotoxin - a strong toxic substance. Contraindications to the use of arbutus ordinary is pregnancy and lactation in women. It is not recommended to use the fruit of the tree to children. Due to the high percentage in the cortex of the same strongest poison, andromedotoxin, which does not destroy even the drying process, the bark is used for medicinal purposes externally. Even honey, collected mainly from the nectar of flowering bushes of arbutus, may contain a relatively large dose of this toxin, which is dangerous to the body.

In gardening

The strawberry tree is a valuable decorative culture. The tree is unpretentious to the conditions of growth, is an ideal plant for growing in a garden plot, in urban parks. Strawberry grows well on fertile, drained soil, and on loam. Prefers open, sunlit areas. The plant is drought-resistant, does not need abundant and regular watering. The frost resistance of the tree is average (withstands temperature conditions up to - 15 ° С). When grown in climatic conditions of the temperate zone for the winter young seedlings harbor.

In other areas

In furniture production

Strawberry wood is especially valued in the furniture industry. It is solid, durable, of a reddish-brown tint and eternal, therefore it has long been used for the manufacture of plows for roofing. Wood was used in the production of various turning and millwork products, colorful caskets, wooden souvenirs and cases for watches.

The bark of the strawberry tree is used for tanning the skin, since its composition contains a large amount of tannin. From leaves get brown paint. Strawberry is an excellent melliferous plant, but honey from its flowers has a bitter aftertaste. The fruits of the strawberry tree and its leaves are used in animal husbandry as feed. Deer eagerly eat the young leaves of strawberry sprouts, as well as its fruits.

Botanical description

The strawberry tree is a numerous genus of evergreen trees, as well as shrubs of the Vereskov family. Trees have several trunks with a smooth, coral-red, or brown with cracked bark. The bark of young trees is gray-green. At the age of 50, strawberry trees reach a height of 5 meters and grow rather slowly. Some species grow to 12 m in height. Arbutus is a long-lived plant, many specimens have been living for over a hundred years. The strawberry branches are curved. Leaves are leathery, dusty or entire, dark green shade, located on the petioles. Arbutus flowers are collected in the final pendant or erect inflorescences-panicles. Calyx is five-lobed, remaining in fruit, corolla pitcher, cream or white, with spliced ​​petals. Ten stamens, they do not protrude from the corolla, the anthers have two appendages bent back. Ovary 5-caged, with numerous ovules. Flowering plants observed in May. Arbutus is an entomophilous plant. Pollination is done by insects, which, falling into a jug of corolla, are trying to get out of too close a space. At the same time they spin, collecting pollen, then transfer it to other flowers, promoting fertilization of the plant. The fruit of the strawberry tree is a multi-seed, rounded drupe covered with small tubercles-glands. The flesh is sweet and sour, fragrant, powdery, resembles garden strawberries to taste. Ellipsoid strawberry tree seeds, small, contained in juicy pulp. Fruits of strawberry as they ripen from green become yellow, then acquire an orange-brown or raspberry-scarlet shade. Arbutus is propagated by cutting and seeds.

The most popular types of arbutus are: wild strawberry or large-fruited strawberry (Arbutus unedo), small strawberry or red strawberry (Arbutus andrachne), ferrous strawberry (Arbutus glandulosa). Small-fruited arbutus is found in the Crimea, its fruits are not particularly different in taste, but are used in cooking. Iron strawberry - native of Mexico, grows in North America. Strawberry large-fruited (Arbutus unedo) is grown as a houseplant, often in the style of bonsai. Arbutus at home requires good care, with good conditions of content pleases fragrant flowers and strawberry fruits at the same time. Very decorative.

Strawberry tree: description, useful properties and contraindications

Strawberry tree, Strawberry, Arbutus (lat. Arbutus) is a genus of evergreen trees or shrubs belonging to the family Ericaceae. The genus includes 14 species. In domestic science, the term "strawberry tree" refers to both the same species Arbutus unedo, and the entire genus Arbutus (with certain reservations).

The image of the strawberry tree is present on the coat of arms of Madrid (the capital of Spain).

Strawberry tree spread

Most species of this genus grow in Mexico. Some species have a range of Europe (in particular, Ireland), the Mediterranean (including the European), as well as some areas of North America. Some specimens of strawberry trees can be seen on the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus and the southern coast of Crimea.

In the wild, a strawberry tree propagates by seed. All types of light-requiring and drought-resistant.

Biological description of the strawberry tree

All species grow slowly, reaching a height of 10 years and no more than 2.5, and in 45 years - no more than 5 meters. Plants - long-lived. According to scientists, some specimens of trees are more than 1000 years old with a trunk coverage of about 4 meters.

Shrubs and trees have a smooth bark of coral red or brown, sometimes coarsely fissured. In many species, the bark is updated annually, so the plants sometimes look completely "bare." Hence the popular name - "shameless."

The location of the leaves - the next. The leaves are entire or serrated, leathery, stick to the petioles.

Flowers of a strawberry tree are collected in the final erect or hanging panicles. They look like lanterns or jugs, which is typical of many heathers. All types of strawberry tree are excellent honey plants.

All types of strawberry tree - relict plants that were common on Earth in the days of dinosaurs. Apparently, their common ancestor was still growing up in Gondwana - a single continent on the planet, when America, Africa, Eurasia, Australia and Antarctica were one.

Description of the fruit of the strawberry tree

The fruit is multi-seeded, berry-shaped, pyatignezdny, has a spherical shape, outside often with knobby glands that look like thorns. There is powdery pulp inside the fruit, calorie which 28 kcal / 100 g. Seeds are ellipsoidal and small.

To taste, the fruits resemble strawberries, hence the name of the plants. The diameter of the berries is usually from 1 to 3 centimeters. They make jam, compotes, make jam, prepare wines and liqueurs. The brand name “Aguardente de Medrónia” is the name of fragrant vodka made from fruits, which is produced in Portugal.

The strawberry tree is a long-lived among plants. It can bear fruit for more than two hundred years.

Useful properties of the strawberry tree

Ripe fruits have a high nutritional value, because they contain many vitamins, mineral elements, amino acids and other biologically active substances.

Since the calorie content of the fruit is low, they can be consumed without consequences for the figure. However, they should not be abused, as the berries eaten in large quantities stupefy and cause a severe headache.

For medicinal purposes, the plant has been used since time immemorial. South American Indians extract the leaves and flowers of the plant used as an effective antidote. In the Middle Ages in Europe, the plant began to be used as a means of plague.

The flowers of this amazing plant have a light and pleasant honey aroma, their decoction is used as a diaphoretic. The bark and leaves are used in the preparation of astringent and diaphoretic drugs.

Tinctures and other medicinal forms of the strawberry tree have strong antiseptic properties, they are used in the treatment of diseases of the upper respiratory tract and urinary system.

The leaves of the strawberry tree contain substances that have anti-inflammatory and sedative effects, therefore they are useful for digestion, are used in the treatment of insomnia, neurasthenia and other neuroses.

The bark is used as an astringent. but used exclusively externally. The fact is that the bark contains a strong poison - andromedotoxin, which does not collapse even after drying the plant. Moreover, the poison in large quantities can get into honey, if during the flowering of the strawberry tree the bees collect nectar mainly from these plants.

Not only fruits were used, but also the wood of the plant is brownish-white in color. It is heavy, durable, does not rot, is used in furniture, carpentry and turning. The leaves are used in leather production, as they contain a lot of tannins.

The fruits of the strawberry tree can not be eaten in large quantities, as the poison is contained in them. If you eat a lot of fruit, you can become stupefying and severe headache.

From the leaves and flowers of the plant they prepare an antiseptic broth with which they rinse the throat. In small quantities, the broth is drunk as a diuretic and anti-inflammatory agent for the treatment of urethritis and cystitis.

Description of the strawberry tree and its composition

Arbutus - an evergreen shrub, a tree in several trunks of the same kind of plants of the heather family. The genus includes 20 species, according to the description, all species of the strawberry tree (see photo) are similar, have almost identical composition, useful properties. Strawberry is a long-liver, instances that are 200 years old are known. It grows slowly, reaches a height of 5 meters to 50 years of age.

The trunk is covered with exfoliating red-brown bark, so arbutus fights with epiphytic plants. The annual replacement of the bark layer does not allow parasites to take root. For the property of throwing off pieces of bark with a well-audible rustling, in America strawberry is called whisper, in Europe it is called shameless.

The leaves of perennial have a bright green color, dense, leathery. Цветёт реликт розовыми, белыми, бежевыми цветочками, похожими на цветки-кувшинчики ландыша, собранными в густые кисти (от 10 до 30 штук) с октября месяца до февраля.

Fruits - orange, red berries with a diameter of 2-3 cm with a spiked surface (like a hedgehog), represent a multiple fruit, which ripens throughout the year. The flesh is sweet and sour, with bitterness. Seeds are small, located in the pulp. A typical representative of the genus is the large-fruited strawberry tree.

The composition of the strawberry tree includes:

  • polysaccharides of various groups,
  • tannins with astringent properties
  • glycosides (including bitter ones),
  • organic carboxylic acids
  • macronutrient set, trace elements,
  • complex of water-soluble vitamins (high content of ascorbic acid, pyridoxine, thiamine, riboflavin, etc.),
  • flavonoids,
  • sugar, pectins,
  • alcohol, toxic substance (andromedotoxin).

Strawberry berries have a calorific value of about 30 kilocalories, contain 0.8 grams of proteins, 0.4 grams of fat, 7.5 grams of carbohydrates. In folk medicine, all parts of perennial are used.

Use in traditional medicine

The beneficial properties of Madrono have been used in traditional medicine for the treatment of various ailments.

  • The cure of cystitis, urethritis, urethral syndrome: a dry leaf of a strawberry tree (1 tablespoon) is boiled in 200 ml of water for a quarter of an hour. Cool, filter. In addition to the main treatment, one-third of a glass of broth is taken twice a day between meals.

  • Chronic nephritis: mixed grass veronica, love spell, bird highlander, arbutus flowers in equal quantities. A full tablespoon of herbal mixture is poured with 250 ml of purified water at room temperature. Stand for 6 hours. Cook (boil barely) for 15 minutes. Wait until cool, filtered. Drink in the morning on an empty stomach on 200 ml. Do not use in case of pregnancy, acute kidney disease.
  • Intestinal dysbiosis: insist in a thermos dried strawberry flowers (2 teaspoons full) in 300 ml of freshly boiled water for half an hour. Filtered. They drink before the main meals 60-80 ml (half an hour).

  • For the treatment of cuts, scratches, open wounds, burns: dry madrono leaves (50 grams) are ground in a coffee grinder to powder. Pour the powder in half a liter of vodka, macerate in the dark for 14 days, daily shaking the precipitate. Filtered. Extract rubbed affected areas. As a preventive measure against bedsores, it is used to wipe the skin in bedridden patients.
  • Rinse with angina: prepare the tincture, as in "For the treatment of cuts, scratches, open wounds, burns", 20 ml of the extract is diluted in 100 ml of warm boiled water, rinse 3-4 times a day.

  • When eczema: prepare herbal medicine from 40 grams of Madrono bark per 500 ml of alcohol (70%), keeping the composition in the dark for 2 weeks. The drug is filtered, used as applications on the affected skin at a dilution of 1:10.
  • To improve immunity, metabolism: fruit tea is brewed - 100 grams of strawberry berries, a tablespoon of rose hips (1), a dry leaf of lemon balm (1 tablespoon), boiled for 5 minutes in 2 liters of water, infused for 25-30 minutes. It is used like tea three times-four times a day for half a glass.

Cultivation, collection and storage

The tree arbutus is actively used in landscape design because of the high ornamental nature, on the branches of the plant grow berries of different colors - yellow, orange, red, and flowers at the same time.

In culture, perennial prefers alkaline, slightly acid light, medium nutrient soils with good drainage. Light-requiring, requires protection from the wind. It is grown outdoors in regions with a subtropical climate - in the Krasnodar Territory, on the Black Sea coast of the Crimea, in the Caucasus.

Also grown in the conditions of apartments, as a pot culture.

  • Reproduction occurs basal shoots, apical shoots, seeds.
  • For the normal development of seedlings adhere to the temperature from + 22 ° C to + 25 ° C, high humidity.
  • In winter, the temperature is reduced to 15-18 degrees Celsius (at the plant it is a period of rest).
  • Houseplant transplanted every 2-3 years in a large container.

Preparation of medicinal raw materials:

  • The leaves are torn off in the summer, dried in the shade with good ventilation with a thin layer. The layer is inverted periodically. Store in sealed containers for no longer than 2 years.
  • Flowers dried by the method of the sheet, stored as well.
  • The bark is removed at its detachment, dried, stored in paper bags, tightly tied, no longer than 2 years.
  • Berries dry, freeze.

We also invite you to familiarize yourself with the useful properties of the “surge”. Learn more about the value and benefits of essential oil — lang-ylang—. Interesting information about the use of traditional medicine plants - Kalkan.

Dear readers, have you ever tasted strawberry berries? Do you use raw arbutus for medical purposes?

Strawberry: calorie and chemical composition

The strawberry flower has a pleasant and light honey aroma. Use it as a diaphoretic. The plant also has excellent antiseptic properties, so different decoctions, tinctures and medicines based on strawberry should be taken for inflammation in the throat and pains of the urinary system. The bark and leaves of strawberry contain substances that are useful for the digestive system. They have anti-inflammatory and soothing properties.

The chemical characteristics of arbutus are still being studied. Still fruits are rich vitamin B, malic and ascorbic acid, sugar and pectin. In overripe fruits there is a percentage of alcohol. Also in the bark there is tannin, giving a bitter taste, tannins, flavonoids. By the way, strawberry is a food for large butterflies that inhabit Israel, and from the fruit of the tree they create honey, which has a tart taste and a pleasant aroma.

Souvenir caskets and watch cases are even made from durable strawberry wood. As for the caloric content of the fruit of the tree, the energy value is 28 kcal: of which proteins - 0.8 g, fats - 0.4 g, carbohydrates - 7.5 g

The plant has a few more names: health resort, whisper and other original "names". Since the plant loves heat, it is best to grow it in the winter garden, in greenhouses, in greenhouses.

Useful properties of strawberry

Tannin, which is present in the bark and leaves of arbutus, binds amino acids, thereby soothes the digestive system and improves the intestinal microflora. Fruits and other parts of the strawberry tree have a therapeutic effect on the body: vitamins and acids promote active metabolism and increase immunity.

The use of strawberry fruit in cooking

For many gourmets it will be useful to know what a strawberry tree is and how it can be used in cooking. Berries are used to make various syrups and jams, candied fruits and jelly. Also, the fruits are the main ingredient for the preparation of alcoholic beverages (wines and liquors). In Portugal, for example, they produce vodka from strawberry berries.

Collection and preparation of medical raw materials

As mentioned above, leaves, fruits, flowers and bark are used to treat diseases. All these parts of the plant are processed and harvested differently. Leaves collected in summer: tear, carefully sorted, throwing out the blackened leaves, dried and turned over every day. When the foliage is completely dry, it is stored in paper packaging for up to two years.

Berries are immediately used in cooking or dried in special dryers. The bark and flowers are dried under a canopy in a room where there is good air ventilation. The bark is also harvested in summer: it is crushed and stored in packages until use.

The strawberry tree is a common plant in Europe, America and, in particular, in Ireland, where a large number of strawberry species grows. The tree grows slowly and in decades reaches 5 meters in height.

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