Scientific Name:Vaccinium vitis-idaea
About this Herb:A small evergreen shrub with edible sour fruit, it is a native to boreal forest and Arctic tundra throughout the Northern Hemisphere from Eurasia to North America. Small bell shaped flowers in shades of white or pale pink bloom in the early summer in clusters.
Common Names:Cowberry, Bilberry, Red Bilberry, Csejka Berry, Foxberry, Quailberry, Mountain Cranberry, Red Whortleberry, Lowbush Cranberry, Mountain Bilberry, Partridgeberry, Redberry
Uses:Leaves have been used to treat urinary tract infections, gout and rheumatism. The berries when eaten can stimulate the appetite and can be used to treat diarrhea. Alpine Cranberry is an astringent, diuretic and as a tonic to treat nervous system problems. Leaves gathered after berries have ripened will have stronger medicinal properties.
Applications:Decoction: Add 2 tsps. of crumpled dried leaves to ½ cup of water and boil until only ¼ cup remains. Strain, and take 1 tsp. by mouth 4 times a day.
Tonic: For UTI, Gout or Rheumatism, make a decoction of leaves and after straining, add liquid to alcoholic beverage such as whiskey or bourbon. For nervous system, make decoction with mashed berries instead of leaves.
Juice: Drink as much cranberry juice as you want to flush kidneys and as a source of vitamins C and A.