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Monday, April 19, 2010

Berries of the Coast

When I was younger I had the opportunity to live on tribal lands. Moving from what was considered a small town to a small village differed in many ways. There was a small store that didn't sell much, not even gasoline at the earlier location. There really wasn't much offered business-wise, but the other offerings were incredible if you took advantage of them. Taking advantage dcoesn't mean depleting or destroying the ammenities. Well, I can remember early spring, around this time and late summer. Many berries would rippen and reach their perfect and somewhat indescribable and amazing tastes. Exploring in the deep woods where I have come in to contact with many creatures: bears coyotes wild dogs(not too sure what the crap it was, so that is how I will describe it), cougers, elk and many other strange animails. Coming across berries and exploring them were other kids that lived there their whole lives made it safer- they had learned from the elders what was consumable. That was awesome and incredible experience to taste these wonderful berries that are listed below. Some yes obvious, some- not really. Other berries were tasted, but I've forgotten the names or wasn't given the true name. None were psychedelic, which may be a good thing, I was too young to be able to comprehend that! In a near blog I will have some yummy recipes with these berries and some more postings of other edible plants/berries. Have a great one to everyone! :)

Wild Strawberries
Fragaria vesca
FRESH: Eating fresh strawberries acts as a tonic for the liver and is also beneficial for curing gastritis. Strawberries are also effective for speedy recuperation after a bout of hepatitis. These fruits provide a calming effect during feverish situations, and do not lead to fermentation in the stomach.
POULTICE: Crushed strawberries may be applied on the skin affected by sunburn. It is also helpful in treating skin irritations.
TONIC WINE: Permeate strawberries in wine to prepare a conventional medication to ‘revive the spirits and make the heart merrier'.

Gaylussacia baccata
One serving of wild huckleberries has more antioxidant power than any other fruit or vegetable, thus helping a person to fight against aging, cancer and health diseases.
Huckleberries aid pancreas in digesting sugars and starches.
Since the berries are high in iron, they help in building blood.
Huckleberries are used in preparing packs for relieving running sores, eczema and skin disorders.
They are associated with lowering cholesterol; protecting against heart disease, muscular degeneration, glaucoma, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and peptic ulcers; and healthier elimination.
Being a good source of vitamin B, huckleberry supports and speeds up the metabolism rate, keeps skin and muscle tone healthy. It improves immune system function, promotes cell growth and division and helps in preventing pancreatic cancer.
Since it is high in vitamin C, the berry protects body against immune deficiencies, cardiovascular diseases, prenatal health problems, and eye diseases.
It also helps in protecting the cells against the damaging effects of free radicals and prevents premature skin wrinkling.
The tea made from dried huckleberry leaves proves helpful in case of poor starch digestion.
The berry ensures proper functioning of nerve and muscle tissues, such as the heart and skeletal muscles, due to its high content of potassium.
The potassium in huckleberry regulates water balances and eliminates wastes.
Clinical studies show that huckleberry promotes eye health, especially in case of diabetic patients.
It fights infections, promotes insulin production and treats urinary tract infections.
Huckleberry It acts as a laxative and treats diarrhea naturally.

Salmon Berries
Rubus spectabilis
Bears eat the viscera and rumen of their prey along with salmon berries all of which are high in nitrilosides. Vitamin B-17 (nitriloside) is a designation proposed to include a large group of water-soluble, essentially non-toxic, sugary, compounds found in over 800 plants, many of which are edible. These factors are collectively known as Beta-cyanophoric glycosides. They comprise molecules made of sugar, hydrogen cyanide, a benzene ring or an acetone. Though the intact molecule is for all practical purposes completely non-toxic, it may be hydrolyzed by Beta-glycosidase to a sugar, free hydrogen cyanide, benzaldehyde or acetone. Dr Krebs et al. found that the body has a second line of defence against cancer. This is formed by a group of substances known as nitrilosides. The cancer cell has an enzyme, beta-glucosidase, which when it comes in contact with nitrilosides, converts those nitrilosides into two molecules of glucose, one molecule of benzaldehyde and one molecule of hydrogen cyanide. While the hydrogen cyanide may exert some toxic effect, it is the benzaldehyde that is extremely toxic to the cancer cell. What is so significant about this is that this is a target-specific reaction. Within the body, the cancer cell, and only the cancer cell contains the enzyme beta-glucosidase. Thus, the benzaldehyde and the hydrogen cyanide can be formed in the presence of the cancer cell, and only the cancer cell. Thus they are toxic to the cancer cell and only the cancer cell. Normal cells contain the enzyme rhodanese, which converts the nitrilosides into food.

Rubus ursinus
Rich in antioxidant vitamins A and C
Although there are no clinical studies to date proving these effects below in humans, medical research shows likely benefit of regularly consuming blackberries against:
pleurisy and lung inflammation
anti-thrombosis (inhibition of blood clotting)
several types of cancer
endotoxin shock
cardiovascular diseases
age-related cognitive decline.
When the plant antioxidant story became public a few years ago, one of the first fruits to rise to the top of the ORAC charts was the blackberry. A member of the rose family (Rosacea) and Rubus species of brambleberries (also called "caneberries"). The genus Rubus contains over 740 species as perennial, deciduous, woody shrubs with long vines ("brambles" up to 20 ft long) covered by firm thorns that made blackberry brambles useful as a defensive barrier along English land borders during the 16th century.
Rubus also includes roses and diverse other major fruits, including strawberries, apples, pears and peaches. While it may be difficult to see common characteristics among such diverse fruits and the blackberry, there is one important botanical similarity: the flower. All these Rubus plants typically have 5-7 white/pink petals around a central cluster of yellow stamens.

Rubus parviflorus
Has large, maple-shaped leaves which make the 3 to 5 foot thornless bushes easily identifiable throughout the season. The tasty red berries were eaten fresh and dried by the Native Americans. Thimbleberries grow in clearings, along roadsides and shorelines, and in open woods. They are among the most shade tolerant of the native berries. The quarter-size red fruit and sort of tastes like raspberry-watermelon but not as firm. Thimble berries resemble small raspberries. Black cap raspberries are often overlooked as an edible item by people because they are mistaken for rotten raspberries as they feature a very dark color.

The Loganberry
Rubus loganobaccus
The loganberry is one of my favorites. It's tarty taste is like a mix of strawberries, raspberries and blackberries all combined. It makes great tasting jam! The dark red when ripe. There's an interesting article on WikiPedia about Loganberries. The debate goes on as to which is the best: Loganberries, Tayberries or Boysenberries; all of which are closely related.
Some of the medicinal value of berries relates to their content of polyphenolic compounds from the flavonoid class. These chemicals are responsible for much of the color of plants in general, but are most concentrated in small fruits. Though their specific physiological effects vary, they all play an important role in protecting and balancing the cardiovascular system, DNA and its reproductive pathways, the liver, and the immune system. When you consider how crucial these deep physiological functions are to our overall wellbeing and longevity, you can see why folks get so enthusiastic about the health benefits of berries!


  1. Useful information. My sister will find this an interesting read. As always another great entry.

  2. Hi Misty, you have a very nice site. Very helpful reads here. cheers always and more power online!

  3. Hi Misty! nice resources I didn't know strawberries are a tonic for the liver. In our province there are lots of them but we treat them as ordinary fruits didn't know about it's benefits. Nice information! Continue sharing!

  4. Hello friend,
    Thank you for following my blog on Google Friend Connect. I have also followed your blog there.
    Let's keep in touch.

  5. Hi Misty,,great posting..I like berry:) Thanks for sharing!

  6. Hi Misty, great pics and resources you've here. Thanks for sharing them.

  7. Don't forget the marionberry. We used to grow those at the farm we lived on in Oregon, when I was a boy. I miss those things!

  8. Marionberry and blackberry synonymous, at least that's what I was raised to believe- a marionberry is a type of blackberry. Anyone can correct me if I may be wrong. Thanks! :)

  9. Uh... well, kind of, I guess. You probably wouldn't notice the difference, but they're a different berry - albeit by a technicality. They're a cultivar, and they are usually mixed-in with blackberries that are exported. They're a bit sweeter and more earthy than a typical blackberry, so they add a desirable taste to a blackberry harvest.

  10. Oh, this brings back fond memories of living in Oregon and picking wild Blackberries each year. I would like it if you would follow my blog as well. I do post a few things regarding the Pacific Northwest since it was home to me for 11 years.

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