Strawberry plants are amazing. Not only do they make such beautiful decorations for our gardens, most part of the plants have their various uses, including strawberry leaves. We might have already known a thing or two about strawberries. Unless we’ve been living under rocks this whole time, we could probably come into consensus that the sweet, shiny red fruits are one of the best fruits to have, be it in our fruit salad, desserts or just eaten fresh.
As we’ve discussed in our older articles, strawberries do have so many benefits both to maintain our overall physical health and to keep our appearances fresh over time. The good thing is, the fruit of the strawberry plants is just the start of the fun. Turns out, researches had it that the leaves of said plant also possess some amazing health benefits that are so important it made us wonder how we didn’t figure them out before.
Here are the health benefits of strawberry leaves:
1. Promotes Digestive Health
One of the best thing about strawberry leaves, compared to other leaves, that’s it, is that they contain chemical compound called tannins. Tannins are bio-molecules that bind to proteins, amino acids and alkaloids, and some other things that have low pH level (or to put it simply, acidic) that put our stomach into hard works and potentially stress them out.
That’s why, drinking some strawberry leaves tea can help keeping our stomach from aching caused by excess air (bloating), acids or stomach cramps from stress. Additionally, because the tea has diuretic property (can stimulate urination), it can be used to treat diarrhea, intestinal and urinary problems.
2. Eases Pain Caused by Arthritis Symptoms
Besides keeping our bodies from harmful acidic substances, strawberry leaves do have their own acid, although this one is good for our health. The name is diuretic caffeic acid. Cool naming aside, this chemical compound plays important role in removing water from our joints. How did it have anything to do with arhtritis? Actually the presence of water in joints has harmful effects, one of them is causing painful inflammation in our joints and bones, consequently makes our joints stiff and harder to move with.
The joint inflammation is one of the symptoms of arthritis. Arhtritis itself is a kind of chronic joint disorder which is kind of similar to rheumatism. So, we learned that besides easing our stomach, strawberry leaves tea can also keep our joints from aching, just how amazing is that, right?
3. Provides Various Vitamins and Minerals
Not only the fruits, strawberry leaves are also by themselves nutritious. They contain high amounts of vitamin C (actually they are considered to be the highest source of vitamin C available in nature), iron and calcium, which are essential micronutrients for maintaining overall body health. From protecting our body from catching cold and other harmful toxins by increasing the effectiveness of our immune system, increasing the strength of our bones and thus helping to prevent osteoporosis, to improving hemoglobin production as well as quantity of the red blood cells in our body.
4. Can Purify Our Blood
First of all keep in mind that this is not related to vampire mythology whatsoever. The good thing about strawberry leaves tea is not only is it soothing and relaxing to drink for our mind and body, but also beneficial for our blood. As explained in earlier point, strawberry leaves contain iron which is an important component for the formation of red blood cells and hemoglobin.
Fairly essential for us all especially to support our daily lives at work, sport or study. Extremely important for women, especially women in their periods and pregnancy which need more iron in their bodies than others. Not only that, strawberry tea also contain antioxidants such as tannins, flavonoid (naturally found in tea leaves, herbs and spices), and ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) which can help our body fighting against free radicals and bad cholesterol.
5. Helps Protect Us Against Cancer
People mostly drink tea for its soft, relaxing tastes, but most of us also drink tea because they contain antioxidants that are essential for maintaining our overall physical health. Strawberry leaves contain various antioxidants, which are rather unique because the antioxidants are found normally in different sources, starting from tannins, which are commonly found in grape vines, to flavonoids that found in herbs and spices, and lastly ascorbic acids which are found in fruits with sour tastes like citrus, grapefruits, and apples.
Those reasons are probably why some people would even dare to come out dubbing the plants as “superfood.” There are, however, special kinds of tannins in strawberry leaves called ellagitannins. Reseaches had it that ellagitannins have been associated with decreased rates of cancer death. There is this one study that suggested strawberries as number one among a list of eight foods that help in reducing rates of cancer death, as concluded from a group of over 1.000 elderly people.
6. Treating High Blood Pressures
It is said that strawberry leaves also have vasodilatory effects. But what is vasodilatory effects? judging from how it sounded, they must be quite awesome effects, aren’t they? To some extents, yes. Vasodilators are the names of subtances that dilate blood vessels, examples are nitric oxides that are found abundantly in spinach.
Thus, vasodilatory effects are the ability for some chemical substances to dilate blood vessels. They dilate the blood vessels by relaxing the muscles in the walls of arteries, which in process allows more blood flow. That makes it way easier for heart to pump blood and lower the much-dreaded tension.
7. Used as Popular Folk Medicines
Turned out, long before strawberry leaves gained their name in health and diet media, before a handful of research managed to isolate and analyze the substances contained in the leaves, people of old have been using them as traditional medicine long time ago. Traditional old folks are known as wise, so it is best for us to listen to them, isn’t it? They just know what’s best for us, we should learn more from them.
8. Traditional Cure
So what uses do people of old have with the leaves? Apparently, a lot. From rheumatoid arhtritis and excessive menstrual bleeding which do have medical and scientific explanations to back them, as discussed on earlier paragraphs, to some other uses like treating skin rashes, respiratory complaints, leucorrhoea, catarrh, nervousness, and water retention, which unfortunately haven’t backed by enough research yet. In spite of that, we can say for sure that strawberry leaves do have some amazing benefits, like antioxidants, relaxing effects, and diuretic effects that are proven to be great at dealing with stiffness, high blood pressure, and bodily fluid problems.
So, those are the benefits of strawberry leaves, granted, much more researches are needed to truly discover the greatness of these plants. As for now, we can start adding more strawberry leaves to our diets as well as our home medical uses, because the nature has provided so much for us to reap, and it is our choice to fully realize their benefits. Thanks for reading, stay healthy, stay well-informed.
How to Use Strawberry Leaves
Indeed, there are many health benefits of strawberry leaves. Now let’s find out how to use it:
- Consume Strawberry Leaves
It may came off as strange the first time we heard it, especially if we didn’t really have any prior experiences of consuming herbal leaves before. Yes, people do consume strawberry leaves, but not the way we might think of. In fact, people have been using the leaves of strawberry plants to brew tea for a while now. The whole process mainly consists of drying and brewing, just like what people do with tea leaves.
The parts used, however, might range from just the leaves to the whole leaves with some stem and flower particles. The strawberry leaves can also be extracted and combined with other ingredients in tablets, which are widely marketed as herbal health supplements.
Still, we’d like to adhere to the traditional ways and go on to say that brewing strawberry leaves into a tea is indeed the best way to consume strawberry leaves. How about the taste? It is said that strawberry leaves have mild, fruity flavors and can produce soothing, pleasant feelings to the stomach. How do we make tea off strawberry leaves? It’s surprisingly simple.
The only thing we need is of course some strawberry leaves, fresh or dried, crushed, and boiling water. Steep the leaves in boiling water and wait for approximately five minutes, then remove the leaves to drink the tea. We can have it plain, hot and cold, or we can also add some taste by mixing it with some honey. One thing to keep in mind is to use fresh strawberry leaves which can be bought from local farmer or can be grown by ourselves, avoid leaves from plants that have been treated with pesticides at all cost.
- Use Them in Bath
We can add some of those leaves in our bath water too, as it turned out. The bath water, after mixed with some strawberry leaves, can be used for treating aching muscles and as throat gargle (of course we can also use the tea discussed earlier for this purpose). It is even recommended by The German Commission E to prepare wild strawberry leaves for external use, especially for treating skin problems like rashes.
Meanwhile, there are many health benefits of strawberry leaves for body. Indeed, you can use strawberry leaves for natural health treatments.
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