Summer is in full swing. The season for picking and harvesting wild berries is coming – one of the most healthy products for health. Today we will talk about the healing properties of blueberries, the features of its collection and storage.
1. Antifungal and antiviral action
Ripe blueberries contain gallic acid. This is a unique substance with the strongest antiviral and antifungal activity. In addition, all parts of the plant (especially leaves and young shoots) are rich in tannins that have a similar effect.
In folk medicine, decoctions and infusions of blueberries and leaves are used for gargling in case of inflammatory diseases of the throat and mouth, as well as for washing poorly healing wounds and festering ulcers.
2. Anti-aging effect
Blueberries contain a large amount of antioxidants (in particular, anthocyanins, belonging to the group of bioflavonoids). Substances of this type help the body get rid of excess free radicals, promote the elimination of toxins, have an immunostimulating and rejuvenating effect.
3. Support brain activity
The high concentration of gallic acid and antioxidants makes blueberries one of the best means of supporting the activity of the central nervous system. People who regularly consume these berries for food retain a good memory and a high ability to concentrate for a longer time.
4. Vision improvement
Blueberries are well known for their eye health and visual acuity benefits. It is necessary for persons whose professional duties are related to long-term work at a computer monitor or the study of documents.
5. Prevention of tumors
Recent clinical studies have shown that gallic acid and resveratrol, which are part of blueberries, inhibit the growth of malignant cells in breast cancer. Berries improve the condition of patients, with virtually no side effects. In addition, the biologically active substances that blueberries are rich in strengthen the body's defenses and help patients more easily endure the unpleasant effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
6. Improved digestion
Blueberries have a pronounced astringent effect. In folk medicine, fresh and dried berries are used as an antidiarrheal agent. Preparations from blueberries relieve the unpleasant symptoms of enterocolitis, improve appetite.
There is evidence that wild blueberries contain substances that increase the activity of beneficial intestinal microflora. It has been clinically proven that daily consumption of one to two handfuls of berries for a week normalizes the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract.
7. Cardiovascular Support
Substances contained in blueberry shoots and berries strengthen the walls of blood vessels and help maintain heart health. The use of fruits helps to reduce blood pressure in hypertensive patients.
8. Weight correction
100 grams of blueberries contain only 44 kilocalories. Berries have a low glycemic index and are rich in beneficial fiber that stimulates the intestines. Therefore, blueberries are quite suitable for inclusion in the diet of people seeking to lose weight.
In the young shoots of the plant there is inositol, which has a hypoglycemic effect. Herbal raw materials are included in the composition of pharmacy fees intended for the treatment of diabetes mellitus.
9. Help problematic skin
The popularity of cosmetic products containing blueberry extract is growing rapidly. It is believed that the substances that berries are rich in normalize the condition of the skin and prevent the appearance of acne. It is recommended to use blueberries inside for people suffering from dermatoses, eczema, lichen planus and psoriasis.
Berries are also useful for viral diseases with skin manifestations. In addition, they contain resveratrol, which is able to improve the condition of skin exposed to long-term exposure to ultraviolet rays.
A decoction of shoots and leaves of blueberries is used to rinse hair in order to reduce their fat content. This remedy relieves irritation on the skin, and also reduces sweating of the legs and hands.
Features of the collection and storage of blueberries
Bilberry shoots and leaves are harvested during the flowering period of the plant and dried in a well-ventilated area. Berries are harvested ripe, always in dry weather.
The following methods are used to prepare for storage.
Drying. The berries are placed in a special dryer and kept at 40 °C until slightly dried. Then the temperature is increased to 70 °C and dried to such a state that the fruits do not get their hands dirty and do not stick together. Berries intended for drying should not be washed. Dried blueberries can be stored for up to two years.
- Quick Freeze. Frozen berries retain their properties for 8-10 months.
- Extraction of juice. The berries are crushed (ideally, rubbed with a wooden pestle). The mass is squeezed out by a press. A little water is added to the cake and the spin is repeated to maximize the extraction of colorants. Sugar (80 grams per 1 liter) is added to the resulting liquid, the mixture is heated to 80 °C, poured into a sterilized container and rolled up. Juice must be diluted with water before drinking.
- Preparation of "raw jam". Washed blueberries are placed in a sterilized glass jar, poured in layers of sugar (700-800 grams per 1 kg of berries) and periodically shaken to compact. The container is sealed with a plastic lid. The product must be kept refrigerated.
Blueberries are also used to make jams, marmalades, marshmallows and other delicacies, but their preparation requires prolonged heating, which largely deprives the product of its beneficial properties.
Eating blueberries in food has very few contraindications. You should not feast on raw berries and abuse dishes prepared from it for urolithiasis, pancreatic diseases and individual intolerance. Excessive infatuation with fresh blueberries can lead to constipation.
Today, shops offer fresh and frozen blueberries almost all year round. As a rule, these are berries of cultivated varieties that are grown in specialized garden farms.
It is believed that wild blueberries have more pronounced healing properties, but they should be collected carefully. It is impossible to harvest vegetable raw materials in forest belts located near highways and railways, large settlements and industrial enterprises. It is important to remember that blueberries can absorb heavy metal salts and other harmful substances. At the slightest doubt about the quality, the presence of an uncharacteristic coating on the surface of the fruit or leaves, a strange smell, the collection of wild blueberries should be abandoned.