common cranberry - oxycoccus palustris pers.
Heather Family - Ericaceae
Botanical characteristics. Evergreen creeping shrub. The leaves are small, dark green, egg-shaped, with a pointed top, wrapped edges, with a glossy finish on top and bluish bloom on the bottom. Flowers axillary pink-red clustered in brushes on peduncles. The fruit is a dark red berry. It blooms in May - June. The fruits ripen in September - October.
Spread. It grows on moss bogs, mars, wetlands, often forming overgrown carpets.
Used plant parts. Medicinal raw material is the whole plant, collected in the usual way, during the whole growing season of the plant. Berries can be picked in autumn and spring, which are well preserved under the snow due to the high content of benzoic acid.
Chemical composition. All parts of the plant contain phenolic compounds, arbutin; triterpenoids; ursolic acid; flavonoids: hyperin, quercetin; tannins, saponins. The fruits contain carbohydrates: glucose, sucrose, fructose, sorbitol, pectic substances; organic acids: quinic, ursolic, benzoic, malic, ascorbic, citric; essential oil, vitamins, phenol carbonic acids: chlorogenic; catechins, tannins, anthocyanins.
Application. Cranberry has long been used in medicine. It is included in the domestic pharmacopoeia of all publications. It is used in hypertension, liver, kidney, pancreas, ascites, diathesis, fever, rheumatoid diseases, as a febrifuge, metabolic disorders, Addison's disease.
All cranberry preparations have antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antihypertensive, anti-sclerotic, anti-scintillation effect, have a positive effect on water-salt metabolism, stimulate the activity of the pancreas, show a hemostatic effect. It adversely affects the cholera vibrio.
In Lithuania, cranberries are used in the treatment of cancer, as a fortifying, with angina, stomatitis, pharyngitis, enuresis, as an anthelmintic, to improve vision, mainly night, with hemorrhoids.
In folk medicine in many countries of the world, it is used for various diseases, because the berries have anti-microbial and diuretic properties, used for the prevention and treatment of diseases of the kidneys, bladder and urinary tract.
Fresh juice and berry extract increases the secretion of gastric and pancreatic juice, therefore it is used to treat hypatic gastritis and pancreatitis in the initial stage of the disease.
In the experiment, the juice and berry extract have an antibacterial agent for streptococcus, Escherichia coli, protea and the treatment of purulent wounds, as a fungicidal, cardiotonic, hypotensive agent.
In some countries in Europe and Asia, cranberries are considered an anti-cancer agent.
All preparations of cranberries are effective in cosmetics, as well as to remove pigment spots. Externally used water infusions and decoctions, mainly flowers and leaves for women's diseases, eczema, glaucoma, ringworm.
Cooking For infusion take 15 g of flowers, pour 200 ml. boiling water, insist on a water bath for 15 minutes, cooled for 45 minutes, filtered. Take 1/3 cup 2-3 times a day. The same infusion is used externally.
Contraindications. In the literature there is evidence that fresh juice and berries are contraindicated in gastric ulcer and 12 duodenal ulcer. In these cases, decoctions and infusions of cranberry flowers and leaves should be used under the supervision of a physician.