Cowberry

red bilberry
Fig. 9. Cowberry (top-branch with fruits, below - the branch with flowers).

Cowberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.) is a wild plant. Contains tanning substances, arbutin and other Decoction of leaves or its extract is used as a diuretic. Most often leaves brewed and drunk as tea.
The snow in the forest still clinging any cleavage, and cranberries already is all fresh and green. So it under snow wintered. Not her terrible frosts and snowstorms. The leathery leaves are falling all at once, but gradually, the old fall, young keep on stalks. This evergreen plant.
Grow curly Bush cranberries in the tundra, in the pine, less deciduous forests. Meets cranberries in belomestnykh together with Heather, zelenovskiy, often near blueberries, and peat bog with blueberry. The spread is we almost everywhere, except the southern areas of the European part of Russia, Central Asia, the most part of Kazakhstan and Transcaucasia.
The leaves of cowberry should be collected in spring (April - early may), still no buds or they just appeared, and autumn (late September - October). The leaves collected in the summer, when drying blacken.
Tear the leaves hands, Odegova with branches from the bottom up. Pick off the shoots should not, because bushes easily pulled: root system lies in the ground and shallow. Cowberry grows slowly. Her small bushes sometimes there are peers giant oaks. Re blanks on the same plot valid in 5-10 years.
Dried leaves under a canopy, where they wind blows and no direct sunlight. Spread sheets thin layer and often mix.
The autumn purple burn in the forest berries of cranberries. In the Urals and in Siberia it happens so much, that and do not have time to collect. And berries of cranberries contain many nutrients, there is so indispensable to an organism of physiologically active substances. Wonderful cranberries and what to keep berries her simply. Fall asleep in the barrel, fill in with water, and it is all winter. Its berries are benzoic acid, so they do not grow mouldy. Delicious soaked cranberries and very useful. The leaves of cowberry used as a diuretic kidney disease, diseases related to the violation of mineral metabolism, in particular when a gout, an osteochondrosis, arthritis. Berries are used for avitaminosis.
Inexperienced collectors often confused berries of cranberries with very similar berries bearberry, which grows here - in dry pine forests.