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Cranberries (Vaccinium vitis-idaea)



disinfectant, diuretic, astringent, nerve-soothing, antiseptic, appetite-stimulating, germicidal, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antipyretic

Areas of application:

Urinary tract diseases, inflammation of the bladder, bladder problems, inflammation of the urethra, kidney, helps with eating disorders, gastrointestinal problems, gout, rheumatism, arthritis, high blood pressure, lowers cholesterol levels, rheumatic diseases, fever, diabetes, diarrhea, sore throat, cold, cough

Plant parts used:

Leaves and fruits

Collection time:

Leaves from May to August, fruits in September

To find:

On acidic soils, in Central Europe in higher altitude coniferous forests and in heathland landscapes.


Tannins, arbutin, salidrosite, flavonoids, vitamins, minerals, fruit acids, pectin


☕ Tea: Pour 1/4 liter of boiling water over 1 teaspoon of leaves and let it steep for 10 minutes. Drink 3 cups daily.

The cranberry grows as an evergreen, compact, upright to creeping dwarf shrub and reaches heights of between 10 and 40 centimeters. The above-ground parts of the plant are downy hairy. Its roots reach a depth of one meter. The leaves, which are arranged alternately and in two rows on the branches, are divided into a petiole and a leaf blade. The petiole is downy hairy. The simple, leathery leaf blade is elliptical or obovate with a wedge-shaped blade base. The shiny, dark green upper side of the leaf is bare or downy hairy on the main vein. The underside of the leaf is pressed with glandular hairs. The five or six pairs of lateral veins are fine and inconspicuous on both sides of the leaf. The entire to slightly sinuous-notched leaf edge is slightly bent, the tip is finely pointed and rounded to blunt or indented. Up to eight flowers grow together in terminal, downy-hairy and hanging, racemose inflorescences. The quickly ephemeral, downy-hairy bracts are broadly ovate and there are also bracts. From the end of May to the beginning of August, the initially dark red flower buds open. The flower cup (hypanthium) is bare. The flowers have 4-5 petals. The hermaphrodite, radially symmetrical and stalked flowers have a double perianth. The four to five sepals are broadly triangular. The four to five white to pink, long petals are fused together in a bell shape. The straight corolla lobes are triangular-ovate. There are 8-10 short stamens. Five to six weeks after fertilization, from the end of August to the beginning of September, the berries ripen, initially white and later bright red. Under good conditions, cultivated varieties also ripen a second time in September and October. Under favorable climatic conditions (Netherlands), ripe lingonberries can be found from the end of June. The round, four-chambered, multi-seeded berries have a diameter of 5 to 10 millimeters and a sour or slightly bitter taste. (partly Wikipedia)

🛑 Be careful of the leaves, as side effects are to be expected. Tea should not be drunk regularly, as it contains the poison "arbutin."

Due to their high mineral and vitamin content, cranberries are often preserved. It is too hard and unsuitable for eating raw. It must be cooked or steamed beforehand.

They are particularly popular as jam with game dishes, and they are also commonly used as an addition to compote.

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