Vaccinium vitis-idaea (also known by the common name cranberry) is a small evergreen shrub of the family Ericaceae. The red fruits are edible. It should be noted that this is not the Vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry) with which it is often confused.
The original habitat of the species is that of the circumboreal forests of northern Eurasia and North America, and extends from the temperate area to subarctic climates.
The plant is in the form of semilignous shrubby bushes, with a perennial stem and horizontal growth crawling stems, up to 2 meters long. The leaves are small and oval, bright green on the upper page, paler on the lower page. The vertical jets (5-8 cm) that develop from the buds on the stolons, can be vegetative or give origin to the fruit.
The flowers are white-pink, bell-shaped, facing the ground. They are formed by 4 petals curved backwards and can be single or small bunches. They bloom in the second half of the summer.
Fruits are round berries, of 0.5-1 cm of diameter, the peel is shiny and hard, of bright red color that with the maturation turns to dark red. The pulp is dense, rich in seeds, with a sour and astringent taste due to the high content of tannins, which give the blueberry antioxidant properties.
Cranberry is useful for its healing properties in homeopathy for the adjuvant treatment of blood circulation problems, also helps in cases of diarrhea and constipation, in the couperose, in the irritable colon, in the hemorrhoids, in the problems of the urinary tract, in cystitis , in prostatitis, in urethritis.
The main components of the cranberry are: Flavonoids, arbutin, iron, manganese.
Blueberry is a plant usually used in herbal medicine for diuretic, disinfectant and hypoglycemic properties and facilitates the assimilation of calcium through the intestinal mucosa.
It is also known as a regulator of the intestine and in remedies for menopause, because it has a strong estrogenic action.
European blueberry prefers acid soils, moist but well drained characteristic of mountain ranges.
The cranberry can be grown in all those areas where the giant blueberry is grown, since the demands and needs regarding the soil are practically the same.
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