The inhabitants of our country, especially those who live in Siberia, beyond the Urals, in the middle lane and Transcaucasia, are familiar with this wild edible berry. But, what is especially pleasant, bilberry, in addition to excellent taste, has numerous medicinal properties, so by savoring this berry, we both enjoy and bring great benefits to our own health. What is blueberry and what is it useful for, let's look in more detail.
- Calorie and blueberry composition
- How is blueberry useful for human health?
- The benefits of blueberries
- The benefits of blueberry leaves
- Storage and methods of harvesting blueberries for the winter
- Rubbed with sugar
- The use of blueberries in traditional medicine: the treatment of diseases
- With anemia
- With gastritis and colitis
- With hypertension
- With diarrhea
- With colds
- For pain in the joints
- With inflammation of the genitourinary system
- With eczema, skin inflammation, lichen, burns
- For rinsing for sore throat and gum disease
- How blueberries are used in cosmetology
- Contraindications and possible harm
Calorie and blueberry composition
Blueberries, as befits a berry, is not a high-calorie product: 100 g of berries contain, according to various sources, from 44 to 57 kcal, so you can eat it without fearing for your waist.
Approximately 85% of blueberries consist of water, but the remaining 15% represent an amazing balance of vitamins and other useful elements necessary for the human body.
The nutritional value of blueberries (carbohydrates, proteins and fats in percent): 7.6; 1.1; 0.6%. About 2.5 - 3% of blueberries are dietary fiber, and about 0.2% is ash. Among the macronutrients that make up blueberries, first of all, it is necessary to select potassium, then, descending, followed by phosphorus, calcium and magnesium, as well as sodium. Berry contains trace elements from manganese, copper, iron, zinc and selenium.
There are so many vitamins in blueberries that it is probably easier to name those that are not in it. In addition to ascorbic acid and beta-carotene (which blueberries are especially rich in), there is vitamin E, a more rare but healthy vitamin K, as well as almost the entire B-group: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 9 .
Not less berries are useful and blueberry leaves. There are a lot of tannins, resin acids (triterpene group) and carotenoids, which, in turn, are a source of vitamins, phytohormones, essential oils and other substances useful to the body.
How is blueberry useful for human health?
Speaking of blueberries, in the first place, usually have in mind the benefits for the eyes, which has this berry. Indeed, the anthocyanins contained in the berries and leaves of the plant have a beneficial effect on our eyesight, help the eyes to carry increased loads, renew the retina, improve the movement of blood in the organs of vision, increase its sharpness.
In addition, the berry has a beneficial effect on the liver, gallbladder and the cardiovascular system. Regular consumption of blueberries helps to eliminate harmful substances and radionuclides from the body.
Vitamin B5 contained in blueberries has a positive effect on metabolic processes in the body, and the glycoside mirtillin is indicated for diabetes mellitus. Bilberry’s ability to alleviate rheumatism symptoms, improve blood circulation and lower cholesterol levels is also noted.
Finally, blueberries have a fortifying effect on the body, improves immunity, as well as the functioning of all organs and systems.
The benefits of blueberries
Blueberries have useful properties to dissolve blood clots and relieve inflammation of the outer shell of the eyes.
The fruits of the plant, both in fresh form and in the form of compotes, jams and jams, have a beneficial effect on the urogenital system of the stronger sex, since their regular use improves erection and reduces the risk of premature ejaculation. That is, it can be said that blueberries are a kind of lifesaver for men experiencing difficulties in their sexual life. No less useful are blueberries and during pregnancy, because during this period a woman’s body, on the one hand, especially needs vitamins and microelements, on the other hand, it is most at risk of various diseases, while the consequences of a normal viral infection for a healthy woman, or during pregnancy can be extremely dangerous.
Finally, the use of many chemicals to future mothers is contraindicated, while a natural source of nutrients will restore the body without any side effects and risks for the baby.
The benefits of blueberry leaves
Not only berries, but also blueberry leaves have healing properties. Compresses prepared from them help with hemorrhoids and can even cure certain skin diseases, such as dermatitis, rashes, eczema, as well as petriyaz or Zhiber's lichen, which, by the way, often occurs in children and pregnant women, according to some for weakened immunity.
Storage and methods of harvesting blueberries for the winter
If you live in the regions where this healthy berry grows, blueberries, of course, are best consumed fresh. But the main medicinal properties of fruits and leaves, as already mentioned, are beginning to manifest when the product is consumed by the course, on a regular basis, therefore, it is impossible to do without preparing raw materials.
To obtain therapeutic raw materials, the collection of blueberry leaves should be carried out in early summer, when the shrub is in bloom. Later leaves somewhat change their chemical composition, as a result, certain useful properties in them are preserved, while others are completely or partially lost. As a general rule, after the appearance of the berries, fruits should be collected, not leaves. Collected leaves are separated from the stem and dry away from the sun's rays, stirring occasionally. The shelf life of such raw materials - until the next harvest.
- for harvesting, you should choose a dry and sunny day and do it in the morning, as soon as the dew dries on the berries;
- collected berries should be picked as quickly as possible, getting rid of rotten, overripe, crushed or damaged fruits;
- each berry should be freed from the stalk before drying;
- Then the berries are quickly washed under running water, thrown into a colander, allowed to drain, sprinkled evenly on gauze, paper or regular towels and allowed to dry completely.
Frozen blueberries are almost as healthy as fresh.
The benefits of frozen blueberries in winter are simply indisputable, since at this time our body especially needs vitamins. The only condition: in no case do not freeze the berry again - after the first defrost, blueberries must be used.Another tip: be sure to keep frozen berries in a tightly closed container and avoid contact with other “inhabitants” of your freezer, especially meat, fish and other animal products.
Rubbed with sugar
To save the blueberries for the winter, you can also grind it with sugar. This method is more preferable than, say, jam or compote, because the product is not subjected to heat treatment, but still less successful than drying and freezing, of course, if we are talking about the use of berries for medicinal purposes.
In particular, in case of diabetes mellitus and for losing weight, such a product cannot be precisely used, although otherwise this preparation is quite capable of saving most of the beneficial properties of the berry. Enumerated and prepared berries as described above need to be crushed: if you have time and patience, rub through a sieve, if you want to speed up the process, smash with an immersion blender or skip through a meat grinder (of course, in this case the effect will be much worse than after the sieve).
Then the puree is mixed with sugar in the ratio of 1: 1.5, mixed and left for a couple of hours.After a while, we lay out a ready-made treat for sterile jars, from the top we fall asleep with an additional layer of sugar, cork tightly and store in a cellar or in a refrigerator.
The use of blueberries in traditional medicine: the treatment of diseases
Blueberries have found very wide application in traditional medicine, and its fruits and leaves are almost equally popular.
For anemia, freshly squeezed juice from blueberries is extremely beneficial. To take such a drink you need three times a day before eating half a glass, adding a tablespoon of honey to the juice. It is also good to drink blueberry tea. Dried leaves of bilberry and strawberry are mixed with grass of sedge and watercress, dried blackberry root and flowers of white ashberry (ratio 3: 1: 3: 2: 3: 3), and then 4 tablespoons of the collection are steamed with a liter of water, the composition is drawn and they drink during the day in equal parts with an interval of about 4 hours.
With gastritis and colitis
Blueberries in gastritis is a great helper, as the plant is able to normalize acidity, relieve colic and have a general stabilizing effect on the work of the stomach. It is recommended to use infusions of berries, prepared in one of the following ways:
1. Two tablespoons of freshly chopped blueberry puree pour a glass of boiled water, let it brew for 8-10 hours. Drink a quarter glass for half an hour before meals. Reception continue until the state is stabilized.
2. The same version, but use hot water (boiling water) and insist just a couple of hours.
In addition, when gastritis can also be taken several times a day, 10 drops of alcohol tincture of blueberries. For its preparation for a bottle of vodka you need to take 100 grams of fresh berry puree and insist for three weeks.
American scientists conducted an experiment, as a result of which it was found that people who ate a glass of blueberries a day had significantly improved blood pressure indicators, in particular, the increased "upper" rates dropped markedly. That is why Blueberries are very useful not only for hypertension, but also for its prevention.
In addition to fresh berries, with hypertension, you can apply a decoction of blueberry leaves. Approximately a tablespoon of raw materials should be crushed, pour a glass of boiling water and stew in a water bath for half an hour. Remove, cool, cool. Take several times a day before meals.
Bilberry has a bonding effect on the intestines, so it can be used for food poisoning, accompanied by diarrhea. To do this, the best infusion of berries, prepared by one of the above methods.
Blueberries for colds are shown both in natural (fresh, dry, frozen) form, and in the form of jelly, compotes and jams. Also used infusions and alcoholic tincture of blueberry leaves, prepared by any of the methods described above.
You can also prepare a particularly refined medicine: blueberries are mixed with a small amount of water, put on the fire and languish over low heat for 20 minutes. Then a glass of dry red wine is poured into the mixture, everything languishes for another 20 minutes, filtered and drunk a tablespoon three times a day.
Berries can be used dry or fresh, but in the latter case you can take less water (3 tablespoons of dry berries will need 100-150 ml of water).
For pain in the joints
With rheumatism and joint pain to help ease the condition of a decoction of a tablespoon of dry blueberries, poured with two cups of boiling water and evaporated to half.The broth should be drunk hot to a quarter glass before eating. The number of receptions - four times a day.
You can cook blueberry jelly: in three glasses of water, add two tablespoons of dried blueberries, boil, strain, add a couple of teaspoons of starch, a little sugar and brew.
With inflammation of the genitourinary system
In the summer, people suffering from disorders of the genitourinary system, it is recommended to eat a day for a pound and more fresh blueberries. In winter, dried or frozen fruits can be used. Regular use of the product stabilizes the kidneys and reduces the painful manifestations of the disease.
In the acute stage, it is recommended to use a decoction made from dried leaves of blueberries.
With eczema, skin inflammation, lichen, burns
For the treatment of skin diseases, blueberries can be used as an external agent.
Dried blueberries are poured with water in a ratio of 1: 5 and cooked until half the liquid boils away. The resulting mixture is spread on a gauze and used as a compress on the affected skin. A similar dressing should be changed several times a day, gently soaking dried gauze with warm water or milk whey.
Instead of decoction for a compress, you can use freshly squeezed blueberry juice or mashed potatoes made from fresh berries.
For rinsing for sore throat and gum disease
The oral cavity is rinsed with a decoction of blueberries (fruits are poured with five parts of water and languish until half the liquid is evaporated, then the broth is filtered).
How blueberries are used in cosmetology
As mentioned earlier, blueberries are a natural antioxidant and antiseptic, so that it is used not only in traditional medicine, but also in cosmetology, in particular, for skin care.
Regular decoction of blueberry leaves - a great cleanser that reduces the appearance of acne and other problems on the skin of the face. If the same broth is frozen and the resulting ice cubes to wipe the face, it will add a tonic effect and reduce puffiness and dark circles under the eyes.
Contraindications and possible harm
The only direct contraindication to fresh consumption of bilberry is oxalaturia. This is a specific disease characterized by a sharply acidic reaction of urine due to the presence of salts of oxalic acid and calcium in it. Pancreatitis and other diseases of the pancreas - a reason to consult a doctor before eating blueberries, or eating it in limited quantities.
The rest of the berry will not harm your health, unless you use it without a measure (a side effect in this case is expressed in the binding effect of blueberries on the gastrointestinal tract). Another caveat concerns an allergic reaction, which is rare for blueberries, but is still possible. Considering the blueberry in terms of the ratio of benefits and harms, there is no doubt that the first outweighs. Observe the measure, be attentive to your body, listen to the signals that it sends you and enjoy the wonderful taste and aroma of berries or herbal teas, which, if you do not heal all your ailments, you will definitely restore strength and good spirits!