Cowberry. Than this autumn berry is useful?
In the beginning - two words about orientation, in good sense... At entomophillous plants pollen is rather durable, but water for it is pernicious. And the Nature invented the mass of various ways of protection of precious pollen against dew and a rain. One of the most successful - orientation of kolokolchaty or cup-shaped flowers an open pharynx of a nimbus down. As if they yawn modestly so, hiding a yawn from strangers, inclining to the earth.
At some plants (for example, at the adonis spring or at an anemony) such orientation is temporary - pedicels are bent and flowers hang only periodically, before a rain or just in cloudy weather, and also at night when humidity increases and by the morning dew drops out.
At cowberry, bilberry, a lily of the valley and a foxglove similar orientation is continuous - and remains for all the time, for the entire period of blossoming while pollen needs protection.
Cowberry, Rhodococcum vitis - idaea (L. ) Avror. (a synonym - Vaccinium vitis idaea L.) family Cowberry (Vacciniaceae) - an evergreen low shrub 8 - 25 high (to 30) cm with spiralno the located elliptic leathery leaves having curved edges. From above dark-green, from below leaves, light-green with blackish dot dimples, for the winter remain green.
A nimbus at flowers - kolokolchaty, it is pale - pink or white, with four cloves. Flowers are collected on the ends of last year`s branches in the dense hanging brush from 2 - 8 flowers. Cowberry from May to June blossoms. Berry is formed of the lower ovary.
The mentioned low shrub prefers the coniferous and mixed woods. Cowberry is widespread in Asia, North America, in Europe, mainly in the Arctic and moderate climatic zones. Meets also in the territory of Ukraine - to Polesia, the Carpathians, occasionally in adjacent districts forest-steppe rayonov in the woods of Belarus.
A cowberry fruit - red, with mealy slightly bitterish pulp, berry - contains about 9% of sugars (glucose, fructose and sucrose), about 2% of organic acids (lemon, wine, oxalic, salicylic, apple), including to 0,085% of the free benzole acid protecting the berries and products, for example, fermented with cowberry from rotting.
Salicylic acid with its antiseptic properties also promotes long storage of berries in fresh (rather fresh) look.
Besides, berries contain glycosides arbutin and vaktsiniin, tannins and antotsianovy pigments, carotene, vitamin C and manganese, and in leaves, except an arbutin - flavonoids, hydrochinone, ursulovy and gallovy acids. In seeds there are more than 20% of the oil containing linolenovy and linoleic acids.
Cowberry fruits - remarkable all-strengthening and an antiscorbutic. It is useful to eat berries at avitaminosis, at articulate rheumatism, gout, cystitis, a piyelita, uterine bleedings, an urolithic illness, diseases it is warm - vascular system, including at a hypertension. Berries of cowberry possess the diuretic and knitting action.
Broth from all parts of a plant was applied in traditional medicine as protivokashlevy means. Boiled cowberry with honey was given at a blood spitting to TB patients.
Cowberry juice improves appetite, and dried berries are a fine component for vitamin tea.
It should be noted that disinfecting and antirheumatic action of leaves and fruits of cowberry is caused first of all by existence in them of an arbutin who in a human body is split on the sugar and hydrochinone having the expressed bactericidal properties and promoting removal of uric acid.
Berries of cowberry can be eaten both in fresh, and in the processed look - for example, for production of confectionery (a stuffing for caramel, mousse, jam), syrups, compotes, other drinks.
Soaked and fermented cowberry is eaten on a garnish for fried meat, fish dishes, added to salads, sauerkraut.
Despite rather weak sweet (in comparison with the immediate family, blueberry and bilberry), cowberry enjoys the true popularity to which numerous “stars“ plodovo - a berry Kingdom can envy!. And all thanks to durability of berries, and also specific bitterish smack.
Finishing a short sketch, it is possible to add that from the dried-up and fried fruits it is possible to prepare the coffee substitute possessing the best tastes than “coffee drink“ from barley and chicory. Though it, as they say, on the fan...