Monday, May 18, 2009

Wild Strawberries

wild stawberry blossoms
There is more to the wild strawberry plant than just tasty berries. The leaves and roots can be used as well as part of your garden pharmacy.

Many forms of the wild strawberry exist, and all are very tasty and useful. We love our wild strawberry plants- no work to keeping them, no cost involved, just lots of tasty little berries. We have moved a few of ours around and have cut a few bushes growing in the patch, but there is so little work involved that it doesn’t feel like work.

Each spring we look forward to all the white blossoms (as do the bees) knowing that in June we will have the sweetest tasting berries you could ask for. They may be small, but they make up for their size with flavor.

Wild strawberries that are growing in an inconvenient location can be moved, and they will also grow in containers (however they may not come back the following spring if the container is too small). They are lovely in hanging baskets.

Uses for Wild Strawberry:

It is best to pick the leaves for drying before the fruit sets.

Leaves can be used to make a mouthwash for sore gums--mix about ¼ cup of leaves to ½ cup boiling water. Let steep 30 minutes, cool and use twice a day.

Add fresh or dried leaves to your bath water for a relaxing bath.

A tea from the leaves is said to strengthen the blood.

Leaves and flowers are a good tonic for nervous livestock. They are used for treating diarrhea, impure blood and are good for fever. Sheep and goats love them, as do most livestock.

Dried leaves can be used in potpourri.

Dried roots can be used as a tea to relieve diarrhea.

Roots can be used in making toothpaste.

Crushed berries can be applied to sunburn (cover with a damp cloth). Let sit about 15 minutes and then rinse off the berries with warm water.

The fruit is high in Vitamin C.

To help remove stains from your teeth, rub strawberries over them.
Dry the berries and use in herbal wreath making.

The fruit has many uses: add to cereal, salads, eat with cream, or do as we do-- pick a spot within easy reach of the berries, sit down and start eating!