The Medicinal Herb Info site was created to help educate visitors about the often forgotten wisdom of the old ways of treating illnesses. Many of today's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants and other items found in nature.

We are not suggesting that you ignore the help of trained medical professionals, simply that you have additional options available for treating illnesses. Often the most effective treatment involves a responsible blend of both modern and traditional treatments.

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Alpine Cranberry

Contents:

Common Names | Parts Usually Used | Plant(s) & Culture | Where Found | Medicinal Properties
Legends, Myths and Stories | Uses | Formulas or Dosages | Nutrient Content | How Sold | Bibliography

Scientific Names

Alpine Cranberry

Alpine Cranberry

  • Vaccinium vitis idaea L.
  • Vaccinium macrocarpon
  • Heath family

Common Names

  • Alpine Cranberry
  • Cowberry
  • Mui
  • Red bilberry
  • Whortleberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L. or bilberry)

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Parts Usually Used

Leaves, berries
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Description of Plant(s) and
Culture

Alpine cranberry is a small evergreen plant; grows from a creeping rootstock to a height of 4-10 inches. The leaves are alternate, obovate, pale green with brown spots underneath, and have rolled edges. Its reddish-white, bell-shaped flowers grow in a terminal cluster from May to August. The fruit is a red berry.
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Where Found

Grows in European coniferous forests with dry soil and also in mountain marshes.
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Medicinal Properties

Leaves: antiseptic, astringent, diuretic

Berries: astringent, refrigerant
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Legends, Myths and Stories

The common cranberry is called “Mui” by the Chinese because the shape of the fruit resembles a small plum or tiny peach. Bottled commercial cranberry juice (not cranberry drinks) can be substituted for fresh when the fresh cranberry is not available. Drink 4 to 6 oz. of juice 3 times a day for urinary infections. Repeat this dosage at least 2 to 3 weeks until results are obtained, or longer if necessary. Bedwetting conditions can be treated with 4 ounces of the juice once a day, around 3 or 4 o’clock in the afternoon.
Commercially prepared cranberry juice beverages are often laden with sugar and high in calories. Be sure to obtain the pure juice.
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Uses

The infusion of the leaves is used for bladder problems. Alpine cranberry can be substituted for bearberry in recipes and formulas, using double the amount of leaves and it tastes much better. A decoction of the leaves is used for gout and rheumatism. The berries are good to eat and help increase the appetite; can be used for diarrhea.
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Formulas or Dosages

Gather leaves after the berries are ripe.

Cold extract: use 1 tbsp. leaves with 1/2 cup cold water; let stand for 10 hours.

Decoction: use 1 heaping tsp. dried leaves to 1/2 cup water. Take unsweetened, a mouthful at a time.
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Nutrient Content

Vitamins A and C
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How Sold

Commercially prepared cranberry juice beverages are often laden with sugar and high in calories.
Capsules of cranberry extract are available in health food stores and are not only more potent but fewer calories.
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Bibliography

Buy It! The Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

Buy It! The Nature Doctor: A Manual of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, by Dr. H.C.A. Vogel; Keats Publishing, Inc., 27 Pine Street (Box 876) New Canaan, CT. 06840-0876. Copyright Verlag A. Vogel, Teufen (AR) Switzerland 1952, 1991

Buy It! American Folk Medicine, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1973

Buy It! How Indians Use Wild Plants for Food, Medicine & Crafts, by Frances Densmore, Dover Publications, Inc., 180 Varick Street, New York, NY 10014, first printed by the United States Government Printing Office, Washington, in 1928, this Dover edition 1974

Buy It! Earl Mindell’s Herb Bible, by Earl Mindell, R.Ph., Ph.D., Simon & Schuster/Fireside, Rockefeller Center 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10020

Buy It! Planetary Herbology, by Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., O.M.D., Lotus Press, PO Box 325, Twin Lakes. WI 53181., Copyright 1988, published 1992

Buy It! Secrets of the Chinese Herbalists, by Richard Lucas, Parker Publishing Company, Inc., West Nyack, NY, 1987.

Buy It! Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, New World Dictionaries: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

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