Cranberry – this berry is familiar to us from childhood. Hike for this berry is as popular as going to the woods for mushrooms. Cranberry honey, cranberry juice – all children eat these goodies with big pleasure, without thinking, that they are very useful for the body. Cranberry, honey and garlic, mixed together. are astonishingly useful, because each ingredient has a great therapeutic value for our health. By the richness and variety of minerals and biologically active substances, cranberry is one of the most useful wild berries.
Cranberry – is a shrub with slender red stems, reaching 100 cm (40”) in length. The leaves are ovate, alternate, leathery, height is up to 16 mm (0.6”), width is from 3 mm (0.1”) to 6 mm (0.2”) with curled down edges. Color of the leaves is dark green and lighter below. This shrub blooms with dark pink small flowers of cubic form. Fruit – is a juicy red berry, pear-, spherical or ovoid shape with a sour taste.
Shrubs are flowering in May – June, fruits ripen only at the end of August and remain on the plants under a layer of snow until spring.
Cranberry is most often found in the forests of the European continent, North America and Asia. To the north it extends up to the Arctic Circle, it grows abundantly in the forest-tundra. In the south it grows in the north of Spain and Italy. A lot of cranberries are in the Far East and Siberia.
It grows in peat bogs, extensive moss and sphagnum bogs. In the area of Europe and Asia there is a small-fruited cranberry, and in North America there is a large-fruited cranberry – up to 20 millimeters (0.8”) in diameter.
Collecting and drying of cranberries
For medical treatment people use berries, but the leaves of this shrub are also very useful. Ripe berries are harvested in the autumn, before the snow or in early spring. “Nival” cranberry, which is collected in the spring, almost devoid of important for human vitamin C, although it tastes sweeter than in autumn. Cranberry, which is collected green and hung up in the attic to get the color of ripe berries, is not suitable for harvesting.