Cranberries are an elegant evergreen shrub of the lingonberry family, which is known to us for its delicious and very healthy fruits.
The first European settlers called the cranberry "Craneberry" (literally, berry-crane), since the open flowers on the stems reminded them of the neck and head of a crane. In 17th century New England, cranberries were sometimes called "Bearberries" because people often saw bears eat them.
The people called cranberries the northern berry, since it is widespread in the northern and northwestern regions of the European part of Russia, Western Siberia, Kamchatka and Sakhalin. It grows in sphagnum bogs and swampy forests.
For medical purposes, ripe berries are used, harvested after the onset of frost in autumn or early spring. Cranberries harvested in spring are tastier than autumn ones, they accumulate a lot of citric acid, but almost no vitamins remain.
The berries harvested in September are firm, however, they ripen and soften during storage. Cranberries harvested in late autumn, due to the presence of benzoic acid in it, remain fresh for 1-2 years. If berries that are stuck in frost are collected, then they need to be stored frozen. Berries soaked in a weak sugar syrup do not spoil throughout the winter.
Cranberry is used for metabolic disorders, hypertension, colds, sore throat, bronchitis, rheumatism, malaria, various inflammatory diseases accompanied by high fever (helps to reduce fever, quenches thirst, it is good to use it with honey, as well as in the form of syrup and infusion), with gastritis with low acidity, inflammation of the pancreas, diseases of the urinary tract and liver, anemia, atherosclerosis, headache, pulmonary tuberculosis, thrombophlebitis, glaucoma, as well as a general tonic, vitamin remedy in the treatment of cancer patients, skin diseases, removal of age spots.
Scientists have found that the chemical composition of cranberry juice contains many substances that have medicinal properties, including proanthocyanins and anthocyanins. These bioflavonoids are responsible for the coloration of leaves and berries. More importantly, these substances are valued for their medicinal properties: they are used to prevent diseases of the genitourinary tract, as well as to relieve the symptoms of diarrhea.
In addition, cranberries are a generous resource of vitamins, including vitamin A, carotene, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin C. Cranberry juice also contains essential minerals such as soda, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, sulfur, iron. and iodine. The norm for the body is a glass of cranberry juice a day.
Cranberries can serve as a digestive aid. Due to its high acidity level, it aids in the digestion of fatty foods and increases appetite. Several laboratory studies have shown that cranberries help prevent gingivitis (gum disease) and coronary heart disease.
Cranberries in various forms can also be used to eliminate skin diseases such as dermatitis and psoriasis, burns, wounds. Interestingly, sour cranberry juice is a good remedy for stress and depression.
Do you know these interesting facts about cranberries:
Cranberries are almost 90% water.
A good ripe cranberry bounces if it falls on a hard surface.
Some cranberry bushes are over 100 years old.
Cranberry juice helps with urinary tract infections by preventing E.coli from sticking to the walls of the bladder and passing them out of the body in the urine.
American Indians ground cranberries into a paste and mixed with dried meat to prolong shelf life; this mixture was called "pemmican".
In 1912, cranberry sauce was first canned.
Cranberries have been the official berry of Massachusetts since 1994.
The generic name for cranberry comes from the Greek words "oxis" - sharp, sour and "coccus" - spherical, ie. literally "sour ball".