Wild Strawberry - Fragaria vesca Wild Strawberry - Fragaria vesca
Foto: botanika.wendys.cz

Herb: Wild Strawberry


Latin name: Fragaria vesca


Family: Rosaceae (Rose Family)



Medicinal use of Wild Strawberry:

The leaves and the fruit are mildly astringent, diuretic, laxative and tonic. The leaves are mainly used, though the fruits are an excellent food to take when feverish and are also effective in treating rheumatic gout. A slice of strawberry is also excellent when applied externally to sunburnt skin. A tea made from the leaves is a blood tonic and has been used as a treatment for diarrhoea in adults and children. It is used in the treatment of chilblains and also as an external wash on sunburn. A poultice can be made from the powdered leaves mixed in oil, it is used to treat open sores. The leaves are harvested in the summer and dried for later use. The fruits contain salicylic acid and are beneficial in the treatment of liver and kidney complaints, as well as in the treatment of rheumatism and gout. The roots are astringent and diuretic. A decoction is used internally in the treatment of diarrhoea and chronic dysentery. Externally it is used to treat chilblains and as a throat gargle. The roots are harvested in the autumn and dried for later use.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
25 cm
(9 3/4 inch)

Flovering:
April
to July

Habitat of the herb:

Woods, grassland and scrub, on basic soils, sometimes becoming locally dominant in wods on calcareous soils.

Edible parts of Wild Strawberry:

Fruit - raw, cooked or made into preserves. Sweet and succulent. An exquisite flavour but the fruits are usually very small and fiddly, though they can be up to 10mm in diameter. Rich in iron and potassium, the fruit is an excellent addition to the diet of people suffering from anaemia. Young leaves - raw or cooked. Added to salads or used as a potherb. The fresh or dried leaves are used as a tea substitute. A delicious drink, it is ideal for children. The root has been used as a coffee substitute in India.

Other uses of the herb:

The fruit is used as a tooth cleaner. The fresh fruit removes stains from teeth if it is allowed to remain for about 5 minutes. The fruit is also used cosmetically in skin-care creams. It tones and whitens the skin, combats wrinkles, lightens freckles, soothes sunburn and whitens the teeth.

Propagation of Wild Strawberry:

Seed - sow early spring in a greenhouse. The seed can take 4 weeks or more to germinate. The seedlings are very small and slow-growing at first, but then grow rapidly. Prick them out into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out during the summer. Division of runners, preferably done in July/August in order to allow the plants to become established for the following years crop. They can also be moved in the following spring if required, though should not then be allowed to fruit in their first year. The runners can be planted out direct into their permanent positions.

Cultivation of the herb:

Woods, grassland and scrub, on basic soils, sometimes becoming locally dominant in wods on calcareous soils.

Known hazards of Fragaria vesca:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.