Cowberry - a small evergreen shrub, which is common in our country. In people, the fruits called the berry of immortality or the miracle-berry. Our ancestors knew about the healing abilities of the plant from ancient times, and therefore used it to treat various ailments. Today cranberries are widely used in folk medicine, broths, tinctures and simply eat raw berries are prepared from it. It takes a worthy place in traditional medicine and cooking. Unfortunately, some people have never seen this shrub and its berries. In this article will be discussed in detail about this plant, as well as how the cowberry looks, the photos will help visually to see the berries and bush.
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Key features - where it grows and how it looks
The bilberry bushes belong to the cowberry family. They are small in size, in height they can reach up to 30 cm, it all depends on the variety. Usually it grows in the forest, on glades, meadows, sometimes it can be found near peat bogs. The root system is creeping, it is well developed, so the plant quickly spreads to neighboring territories. The cowberry is propagated vegetatively, that is, with the help of cuttings or seeds that are placed inside the berry. The branches are round, at the beginning of the season they have a dark green hue, they turn gray by the autumn. The whole bush is covered with thick evergreen leaves, they have an oblong shape. Their size in length does not exceed 3 cm, and their width is about 1.5 cm. In early summer, white or pink flowers appear on the bush, they are pollinated by bees or bumblebees. In August, red berries begin to ripen, up to 12 mm in size, which can be harvested before the first frost.
Read it! What distinguishes cranberries from cranberries, photo.
How does lingonberries look like inside? The berries are collected in small clusters, in each of 10 pieces. Outside, the fruit is covered with a bright red skin. Inside it has a whitish flesh, with brown small seeds. To taste, the fruit is sweet and sour, with an astringent aftertaste.
In the forest, cranberries have one variety, the size of its fruit and its quality, directly depend on the area in which the bush grows. The plant has increasingly started growing on separate plantations and just in suburban areas. That is why, today there are so many varieties of this plant. All of them differ in the size of the bush, the diameter of the berries and the yield. Below are the most common varieties of bilberries harvested.
- "Ruby".The bush perfectly tolerates frosts to -30 ° C.Its berries are large enough, their weight reaches 0.25 g. They have a dark red color, and a pleasant sweetish taste.
- "Coral".The decorative bush, its height reaches 30 cm. A feature of this variety is the high yield, and the fact that the plant will enjoy its fruits twice a year.
- «Red Perl».The cowberry variety has a fairly voluminous bush, its height is about 30 cm. It pleases with dark red berries, which mature 2 times a year.
- Mazovia. The variety is aimed at a greater yield. The plant itself is small in size, its height does not exceed 20 cm. However, berries ripen in large quantities, they have a red color and sour taste.
- "Kostroma pink".The bushes are small in size, their height does not exceed 15 cm. The peculiarity of this variety is that the berries ripen in early August and have a pink color. Their taste is sweet and sour.
Important! Learn how to plant and care for cranberries, in our article.
It's obvious that botanists have brought out quite a lot of varieties of cowberry. Each gardener will be able to pick up a suitable plant for himself or grow several varieties at once.
Photo of cowberries
Composition of berries and their caloric content
Berries are almost 90% water, therefore they are considered a dietary product. In 100 g of fruits, only 46 kcal are preserved. It contains a lot of carbohydrates( 8.2 g), but fat and protein is contained in a small amount, about 0.5 g. However, from this the fruits of the plant did not become less useful.
Cowberry is a real storehouse of useful substances, through which it restores the work of many systems and organs. Berries contain such important components:
- organic acids;
- iron, manganese;
- vitamins C, B, E, K;
- tanning agents;
- niacin, phosphorus;
- calcium, disaccharide.
Read it! On the beneficial properties of cowberry in pregnancy.
Daily norm( 100 g) of berries contains the necessary norm for humans in organic acids and vitamins. Due to its unique composition, American researchers have made cranberries in the list of the most useful plants. Therefore, its application in different areas has increased even more.
Useful substances are found not only in berries, but also in leaves and branches of a plant. They are often used to prepare medicinal teas and decoctions, so when harvesting berries it is important to harvest and mold the bush.
Benefits of cowberry for the body
The beneficial composition of berries helps to solve several health problems at the same time. Fruits and leaves have such useful properties:
- antiseptic, which allows you to destroy any harmful infections;
- forms new skin cells;
- restores vision;
- vessels become elastic;
- effectively removes toxins;
- lowers body temperature;
- normalizes the level of sugar;
- strengthens the immune system;
- replenishes the body with vitamins;
- is a choleretic and diuretic;
- stimulates metabolism;
- lowers blood pressure;
- restores the functioning of the nervous system;
- removes inflammatory processes in the body;
- improves skin condition.
On the positive effects of cranberries on the body has long been known by our ancestors, so it was widely used in folk medicine. Today, the berries and leaves of this shrub take a worthy place in traditional medicine, homeopathy and cosmetology.
Cowberry - contraindications and harm
Fruits have a positive effect on the body. However, it is important to apply them in large numbers to people who have such health problems:
- chronic gastritis with high acidity;
- acute ulcer of the stomach and duodenum;
- for cholecystitis;
Important! Berries have a liquefying effect, so they are not allowed to be used by people after the operation and those who have internal bleeding.
How to choose and store
Berries in the first place should be beautiful, without damage. It is worth choosing dense and elastic fruits, they should be saturated red.
Important! Cowberry is capable of absorbing radioactive substances, so it is better to collect it away from highways, factories, factories and cemeteries. Buy berries are only necessary for proven people or to implement only with a special device.
Cowberry is frozen or dried. In the first variant, the berries are thoroughly washed and spread in one layer on a towel, so that they dry out. Then they are converted to a pallet and frozen, the frozen fruits are put in a container or bag. Lingonberry well succumbs to drying. To do this, it is thoroughly washed and laid on a baking tray. Dry it in the oven, at a temperature of no higher than 60 ° C.It is at this temperature that all useful substances remain.
However, it is best to eat berries, without additional processing. So they contain all the useful components that are necessary for the body. Fresh fruit can be prepared with mashed potatoes, mors or fresh. Regular use of cowberries will improve overall health and improve health.