The cranberry is a small plant that rarely reaches three feet high. It has creeping branches that arise from the highly branched stems angular green and covered with leaves alternate, ovate and deciduous. The flowers are isolated and are shaped vesicle, between green and pink. The fruits are blueberries.
It breeds in colonies forming extensive forests and heath land without lime, especially in the mountains of the northern half of the peninsula. Its astringent properties are known since the Middle Ages, being widely used as antidiarrheal general.
It blooms from April to June, fruits ripen well into the summer. Of medical interest are its leaves and fruits, the leaves should be harvested when the plant reaches its maximum development, the fruit is harvested a little later, when they have gained a bluish color, almost black, a sign that they are already mature. It is important to start the leaves without damaging them not to darken during the drying process should be done as soon as possible. The fruits, bittersweet and very rich in vitamin C-can eat freshly harvested.
In terms of their properties, we can say that plant is very astringent, it also has virtues as an antiseptic and anti-diabetic, although the latter property is still debated. In folk medicine has been used against many diseases, although in most cases without merit. It is known that exercise leaves an astringent, antiseptic and anti-diarrhea, possibly due to the presence of tannins catechists. As for fruits, possess anti-inflammatory, anti-bleeding and vitamin P action, ie, improve microcirculation, increase the resistance and capillary permeability control. Are known to contribute to the regeneration of retinal vascular system, increasing visual acuity. The cranberry is absolutely indicated in varicose veins, hemorrhoids, edema due to venous insufficiency, capillary fragility and diarrhea-all about the fruit. The leaves are used to cure diarrhea and in case of diabetes. Externally, it can be applied in superficial mycosis (fungal infections) eczema and stomatitis.
Infusion. From the leaves. It adds a teaspoon of chopped leaves to a cup of boiling water. It may take 3 to 4 cups a day.
Decoction. Like the infusion, but boil water leaving the leaves for 5 minutes.
With the fruits can be equally infusion and decoction. But the best way to manage it alone, freshly plucked from the shrub. If you want you can add sugar. In some Central European countries much sugar is added sufficient to produce a slow fermentation, thus paving the blueberry wine.
Any pharmacy found the plant in multiple dosage forms.
HABITAT: Sierra de Gredos and Guadarrama
PART USED: Fruits and leaves
CASTILIAN: Arandilla, ráspano
CATALAN: Mirtil, naiet
BASQUE: Gabi, arabí
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