Friday, November 22, 2013

Wild Cranberry (Lingonberry)


Other than the blueberry, I'd say the wild cranberry is the next most popular berry in Alaska. I went out a few times this fall to gather them. Once with a friend, the rest with just Buddy and myself. 


One of the many ski trails



Of course I nearly got lost one time by myself. I was picking on a cross country ski hill so there were tons of paths and I got all confuzzled. It was a super gorgeous day out and honestly I was doing more sight seeing than berry picking. Until I saw a bunch of fresh bear poop. Then I sorta skeedadled out of there. Which is when I got turned around and couldn't figure out which path I had come from. But eventually I figured it out and Buddy and I never saw a bear. Just some moose prints in the mud. My fingers were ready to grab that ol' bear spray, though! :)

Vaccinium vitis-idaea

Properties:

  • Antiinflammatory
    The lovely little flowers in the spring
  • Powerful antioxidant
  • Antiseptic
  • Astringent
  • Diuretic
  • General tonic
  • High in flavonoids
  • High in vitamins A & C
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Potassium
  • Omega 3's (the seeds)

Helps With:

Very powerful antioxidant that is extremely beneficial to the cardiovascular and immune systems. 

The high amount of flavonoids is said to help lower blood sugar and help relieve hay fever and other allergies.

Most people know about using cranberry juice for urinary tract infections. That is in part due to the antiseptic property. But wild cranberry juice can also help prevent E. coli and other nasty bacteria because the create an environment that the bad guys don't like. 


The unripe berries

Wild cranberries are wonderful for stimulating digestion and can even help ease nausea. Especially morning sickness. Plus the berries can help reduce and relieve uterine cramping during and after pregnancy.

Eating wild cranberries can help prevent tooth decay.

Cranberries can also be used topically to heal cuts and wounds.

Tidbits:

Other common names for the wild cranberry is lingonberry or low bush cranberry.

Gathering the berries after the first frost is generally considered the best time to pick as the berries become a bit sweeter and firmer.


Cranberry patch in the spring


Getting More:
  • Use like you would regular cranberries
  • Make cranberry sauce, jam or jelly
  • Dehydrate a batch of my Super Immune Leather
  • Put them in smoothies
  • Make cranberry muffins, pancakes, etc.
  • Dehydrate them whole and eat like fruit snacks :)
  • Make your own cranberry juice by blending 2 cups berries with 4 cups water along with a little honey. Blend till smooth and drink as is or strain off the pulp.


Bethany
|





1 comment:

  1. What about Cranberry pie, cranberry cobbler,and cranberry wine? (Dad)

    ReplyDelete

I love your comments! It's fun knowing you are reading my blog. :)