Crowberry - a plant of the heath family.
Other names crowberry - shiksha, crowberry. For growth it chooses bright place, it can be found on the tundra, crevices of rocks, pine forests and swamps. It grows well in acidic soils crowberry.
The Latin name for the plant translates as "carved in stone" that adequately reflects the conditions of his life. According to another theory, the name crowberry was due to the fact that it has diuretic properties. By the ability to enhance the formation of urine its effect is comparable with the pulp of watermelon.
Externally, the plant looks like undersized crowberry bush creeping, long stems which are sometimes as high as 1 meter. The surface of the branches covered with white or amber dot glands. Stems are dark brown, heavily branched and densely covered with tiny leaves. Leaflets narrow, elongated to 10 mm in length, their edges are twisted downward because of which like spruce needles. Leaves on a branch held not less than 5 years and the life expectancy of the plant up to 100 years.
Crowberry flowers inconspicuous, small, with a pink or red coloration of petals, they appear in the April - May. Growing dropsy small clearing - courtines. She lives in symbiosis with mushrooms, receiving from them a number of mineral substances, and instead of giving the products formed in the process of photosynthesis.
Fruiting in August crowberry black or red berries with a tough skin and seeds. Outside they are covered with a bluish bloom and a little reminiscent of blueberries. Crowberry juice in purple and very watery. Because of the low content of sugars and acids it fresh on the palate, which is also reflected in the title of the berries. Fruits of winter on twigs plants and remain on until the spring shoots.
In the North Vodyanik widely used for food, pickled or fresh by adding it to milk. In cooking, it has been applied in the manufacture of wine, drinks, jams, seasoning for fish dishes. Berries crowberry included in the list of ingredients required tolokushi - traditional northern dishes of chopped fish and seal oil. For winter storage Vodyanik soaked in barrels, where it is stored for a long time due to the presence of benzoic acid in the berries. It is also the fruit of a well maintain their useful properties in a frozen form.
The berries of this plant in the old days was obtained dye for wool. The juice crowberry contains pigment anthocyanin, which gives proof red cloth.
Miniature varieties derived crowberry, which are successfully used in the design of the Alpine hills. Crowberry black long-civilize and bred to produce fruit. Propagated by seeds and cuttings it.
Useful properties crowberry
The composition crowberry are tannins, flavonoids, saponines, alkaloids, coumarins, resins, essential oils and fatty, several vitamins.
Crowberry has long been used for therapeutic purposes, both berries and vegetative shoots with leaves. It improves metabolism, is used for general fatigue, headaches. Due to the high content of vitamin C strengthens the immune system crowberry, it helps fight infections and colds, prevents the symptoms of hypovitaminosis C.
The infusion of branches has wound-healing effect in the case of bruises, scratches and cuts. Especially popular this tool among the peoples of the North. A decoction of the roots of crowberry are sometimes used in the treatment of eye diseases.
The healing properties of crowberry are used in the treatment of diseases of the liver and kidneys, the nervous system (especially with epilepsy and paralysis), gastrointestinal tract. Crowberry well helps with edema, as its berries and herbs have a diuretic effect.
With cosmetic purpose crowberry decoction of the leaves is used to strengthen the hair. Baths with crowberry grass used in diseases of the peripheral nervous system.
Caution Used berries crowberry required only in the case of individual intolerance.