Benefits of Cranberries
All over the world, cranberries are making waves in terms of health and medicinal value. Let us start this article by learning briefly about the cranberry fruit. We will see what they are, which family they belong to, where they grow in the US, their scientific name, etc. We will also take a general look at the different health and medicinal usages of cranberries.
Some Basic Information about Cranberries
Cranberries are from the family that we commonly know as ‘berries’. They are very closely related to the blueberries. They mostly grow as vines, and do not grow too tall. The cranberries were, earlier on, not on the list of agricultural plants. They used to just grow wild. From the year 1816, however, cranberries have been grown as agricultural plants in the US.
Cranberries –A Brief History
The cranberries were not discoveries made by the Europeans that landed in America. They were being used, long before the Europeans came, by the native Indians. The cranberry has always had a special place in the life and culture of the native Indians. The Indians living in different parts of America in those days had different names for these berries. In the area that is now Massachusetts, the berry was called ibimi, which literally translates to bitter fruit. In the area that is now New Jersey, the fruit was called sasemineash.
Usages of Cranberries
The Indians had different used for the cranberries. They made the pemmican from cranberries. A pemmican is a kind of cake that lasts for a very long time usually. It is made by mashing the cranberries along with dry meat. They also ate the cranberries raw. Besides food value, the cranberries also served the medicinal purposes of the Indians, something that is being realized now and put to good use by the people today too. The Indians used the fruit to prepare medicinal potions and pastes. Besides, the juice from the berries was also used to make dyes with which to color their clothes.
Current day cranberry-based food products include cranberry sauce, which was first prepared in the year 1917 by Elizabeth Lee from Ocean County, New Jersey.
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