- Fragaria vesca L.
- Rose family
Parts Usually Used
Leaves, berries and root
Description of Plant(s) and Culture
A small, perennial plant, with long runners; 3-6 inches high. These
runners root at the nodes to form tufts of long-stalked, hairy leaves,
each with 3 toothed leaflets. Leaves pointed, not rounded, at the
tip. Small, flat clusters of white 5 petaled flowers grow on long
stalks, the sepals are joined together behind each flower; calyx lobes
spreading or recurved. Flowers in May to August. Fruits with seeds
on surface (small strawberries).
This wild strawberry differs from the cultivated species (F. virginiana)
in that its leaves are more pointed and the fruits have seeds on the
surface, rather than embedded in the fruits.
Woods, embankments, along the edges of forest paths, in clearings,
in sunny glades, and meadows. Canada to Virginia; Missouri to North
Dakota, Iowa, and in the Rockies from Alaska to New Mexico. Native
Diuretic, tonic, stomachic, mild astringent
Vitamin C, tannin
Native Americans used root tea for stomach
ailments, jaundice, profuse
menses. In European folk medicine, leaf tea used as a blood
purifier, for indigestion,
and as a diuretic for gravel in the kidney. Tea also used as an external
wash on sunburn. Root tea is
a diuretic. Root can be used as a chewed stick for a substitute for
a toothbrush. Teeth that have become discolored or encrusted with
tartar can be cleaned with strawberry juice.
Strawberry leaves are used for eczema,
the outward appearance of acute or chronic blood
contamination, as a blood
purifier, and blood building agents. Poultices of leaves can be
used to treat ulcers and infected
wounds. Use a strong
tea or decoction of leaves or roots sweetened with honey and use freely
for children and adults for intestinal malfunctions of diarrhea,
dysentery, weakness of the
intestines, affections of the urinary tract. Will prevent night sweats
or, a strong tea used as a gargle will strengthen
the gums. Berries said to be effective in reducing fever.
Fresh juice can be used to clean the skin.
Formulas or Dosages
Use dried young leaves and roots; garden strawberries less effective.
Decoction: 1 tsp. fresh or dried herb to 1 cup of boiling
water, steep 15 minutes. Take 4-5 cups a day; children wineglassful
Tincture: 5-15 drops in water 3 times a day.
Berries have high vitamin C content
Juice of berries can cause dermatitis in sensitive or allergic conditions.