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What is Fragaria Vesca?

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  • Written By: Dee S.
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  • Last Modified Date: 02 December 2016
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Fragaria vesca may be better known under its common names, wild strawberry, alpine strawberry, or woodland strawberry. It is a perennial plant that grows low to the ground. Although many people love the wild strawberry as a food source, other people use the leaves and the fruit for medicinal purposes. People claim it can be used as a diuretic, an astringent, and to treat diarrhea.

The leaves of fragaria vesca typically grow in groups of three. The white flowers turn into red berries or strawberries. Although it is native to Europe and parts of Asia, it can grow almost anywhere in North America as well.

The first reports of fragaria vesca being used for medical purposes came during the Middle Ages. At that time, it was believed to calm and cool the liver, intestines, and stomach. In addition, the leaves and roots were thought to tighten loose teeth and treat gum disease. It is still used in modern times to treat medical ailments.

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The leaves of fragaria vesca contain flavanoids, oils, and tannins. As a result of these properties, some homeopathic medicine practitioners believe that they make a good astringent and a diuretic. Because of its use as an astringent, some practitioners use the leaves of fragaria vesca to treat sore throats and to ease the pain associated with minor cuts and burns. In addition, many practitioners recommend that people use the leaves to treat dysentery and diarrhea. The leaves are usually infused with water in the form of tea.

The fruit of fragaria vesca is also believed to be a homeopathic remedy for certain ailments. For example, many practitioners claim it has diuretic and cooling properties. As a result, it is sometimes recommended for people who suffer from tuberculosis, arthritis, gout, and rheumatism.

The wild strawberry is also a popular aid for people wanting to remove plaque and tartar build-up on the teeth, prevent tooth decay, and reduce the likelihood of gingivitis. People are told to add a few drops of a tincture made from the leaves to their gums before they floss. In addition, some people even apply the herb to the gums of their pets to reduce the pet’s bad breath.

As with any homeopathic remedy, it is best to consult with a medical doctor before using fragaria vesca. Some people are allergic to strawberries. Those people should use caution before using any substance made from the leaves or fruit of the plant.

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LisaLou
Post 8

I once made a strawberry tea with the leaves of some wild strawberry plants. I know there are high amounts of vitamin C in their leaves and was also curious as to what they would taste like.

While I wasn't expecting the tea to have a sweet strawberry taste like the berries have, I was somewhat surprised at the taste. To me it tasted kind of like spinach, and I didn't care for it at all. Spinach tea doesn't taste any better than it sounds.

Even though I didn't like the taste of it, I am sure it was still good for me. If I were to do it again, I think I would mix something else in with it to give it a better taste.

I also made sure the leaves had not been sprayed with chemicals and were pesticide free before using them.

golf07
Post 7

I you have ever been fortunate enough to eat wild strawberries, you will have a hard time going back to the store bought berries.

Even having the opportunity to pick strawberries at a field, is much better than what you find in the store.

I always look for berries that are firm, small and dark red. It seems like the smaller berries are usually sweeter than the bigger ones.

There are several acres of timber and land that surround my house, and there is one spot where I can always find some wild strawberries growing every spring.

These are the sweetest treats I have ever found out in the wild like this - even better than wild raspberries.

You can also grow your own strawberries even if you don't have a lot of garden space. My mom has had good luck growing them in containers on her deck.

Perdido
Post 6

As a child, I roamed through meadows and woods a lot. I remember running across fields of wild strawberries and being so happy at what I found.

I felt like I had come upon a secret garden tended by invisible fairies. The little berries were a gorgeous red, and the white flowers were so pure.

I showed my grandmother what I had found one day, and she told me that each flower was a promise of another strawberry. This seemed so magical to me.

These plants bloomed and made fruit from the spring all the way through the fall. The only garden grown berries I had ever seen just produced fruit for a short while, and this quality made the wild berries seem even more special.

cloudel
Post 5

@StarJo – Fragaria vesca don't usually get around by distributing their seed. My aunt, who is a wild plant expert, told me that their germination is not very good.

What they do instead is spread through their roots. They develop a system underground, so they reach out beneath the dirt the way that regular strawberry plants reach over land with runners.

I have always grown regular strawberries in my garden, and I watch throughout the season as they send out runners. They multiply quickly this way, and the following year, I will have a bunch more strawberry plants.

I think it's cool that wild strawberries do this in a sneaky way. It is a pleasant surprise to find several more wild plants the following spring, especially since you had nothing to do with it.

StarJo
Post 4

Do fragaria vesca plants multiply by dropping seed, or do they have some other form of reproduction? My neighbor has some in her garden, and I have always wondered why my yard has remained strawberry-free. If they reproduce by seed, I would think that they would have traveled to my yard by now.

My neighbor built her garden around the wild strawberry patch. She didn't want to dig them up, so she arranged for them to be the central part of her garden. She planted blackberries and blueberries near them, so she has all the ingredients for mixed berry smoothies.

She heard about a Native American recipe for strawberry bread from her grandmother, and she made it for me once. She mashes up the berries with some cornmeal. The bread has the texture of cornbread but the flavor and sweetness of strawberries.

lighth0se33
Post 3

@chivebasil – They certainly sound like wild strawberries. The only difference is that in my experience, they have tasted very sweet and delicious. Maybe yours just aren't in nutritious soil.

There is a patch of wild strawberries growing in a field beside my house, and I eat them like they are candy. They are small and elongated, and I always wait until they are dark red to harvest them.

I prefer wild strawberries over grapes when it comes to fruit you can pop in your mouth. I keep a carton of them in my refrigerator to keep them from spoiling, and they last about a week before getting dark spots.

gravois
Post 2

This article mentions all these amazing homeopathic remedies that can be made from the wild strawberry. Where could I go to find some of these remedies. I am a regular at my local health food store but I can't remember ever seeing a tincture of wild strawberry for sale on the shelves.

It sounds heavenly. I love strawberries and have always thought they were good for more than just shortcake. I would love to try brushing with strawberry oil. If anyone has a good link for finding this stuff let me know. Thanks!

chivebasil
Post 1

I have never heard of this plant but I think I may have it growing in my backyard. Every summer there is a small patch towards the fence that gets covered in this tiny plant that grows what look like miniature strawberries.

The strawberries look exactly like their larger equivalents, except that they are smaller than the size of a jelly bean. I have eaten them before and honestly they are not very good, more bitter than sweet. But they look unmistakably like strawberries. Are these wild strawberries or something else?

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