The strawberries are taking a bit long to grow.  I suppose I have taken granted how long it takes to cultivate fruits from nature since I’m used to eating bowls of fruit at a time, having bought it at the store.  Next year I’ll definitely start off the season planting many more plants so I can harvest more fruit.  Since I planted only 3 this year, I can easily see myself planting 10 times more.  The plants stay pretty small so they will be easy to manage.

Per Sara at www.SuperHerbs.net,  “Fragaria vesca is a cousin of the wild strawberry. It is found in woods and grasslands in Europe, western Asia, North America, and temperate areas in Chile. The word straw in strawberry comes from the verb tostrew, referring to the tangle of vines with which the plant covers the ground. Cultivated strawberries were developed from the wild ones.

Harvest and Use: The berries, leaves, and roots of Fragaria vesca have all been used medicinally in the past. The root was once a popular household remedy for diarrhea and the stalks for wounds. Antioxidantproperties have recently been discovered in the fruit, making them a valuable preventive for cancer. The leaves are gently astringent. You can make a tea with the leaves for diarrhea, digestive upsets, and to stimulate the appetite. Also, combine the leaves with St. John’s wort and meadowsweet for mild arthritic pain and with celery seed for gout. Crushed berries make an emergency treatment for mild sunburn. Eat them for gastritis and as a liver tonic. Strawberry juice has antibacterial properties and was once used to fight typhoid epidemics. You can steep the berries in wine to take as a remedy for “reviving the spirits and making the hart merrie.” I leave it to you to decide if it’s the berries or the wine that makes the “hart merrie.”

As a culinary, the leaves can be added to herbal teas for flavor. They are a good source of vitamin C. The fruit is delicious all by itself, can be added to summer drinks, or made into jams and syrup. Alpine strawberries are a natural bleach. Crush the fruit and mix it with baking soda to make a toothpaste for stained teeth. Drinking tea made from the leaves will do the same. Another remedy for discolored teeth applies the crushed fruit to the teeth and leaves it on for five minutes. The crushed berry can also be applied to skin blemishes and liver spots as a natural bleach to whiten skin.

Harvest the berries as soon as they ripen. Gather leaves throughout the season. They can be used fresh or dried”


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