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Wood Strawberry

  • Fragaria vesca L.
  • Rosaceae
  • Rose family



Common Names

herbsAlpine strawberry
herbsCommon strawberry
herbsMountain strawberry
herbsPineapple strawberry
herbsWild strawberry


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.


Where Found

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 to Europe.


Medicinal Properties

Diuretic, tonic, stomachic, mild astringent


Biochemical Information

Vitamin C, tannin


Uses

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 amounts.

Tincture: 5-15 drops in water 3 times a day.


Nutrient Content

Berries have high vitamin C content


Warning

Juice of berries can cause dermatitis in sensitive or allergic conditions.

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