Fragaria vesca / Bosaardbei

Strawberry, Fragaria vesca L. [Fam. Rosaceae] is perennial plant indigenous to Europe. Although there are several varieties of wild strawberries, all of the species have similar medicinal properties. The leaves are a diuretic, astringent, and tonic and can be made into a mild and aromatic tea, which is most often used to treat diarrhea, intestinal and urinary complaints. Other traditional, though unsubstantiated, uses for strawberry leaf tea include leucorrhoea, catarrh (mucous) of the bladder, dysentery, rheumatism, rash, respiratory complaints, tension, and water retention. 

Strawberry leaves may also be added to bath water for aches and pains or used as a mouth and throat gargle. The German Commission E recommends preparations made from wild strawberry leaves for external use in treating rashes, as well as internally for treating gastrointestinal catarrh (mucous), diarrhea, intestinal toning, liver health maintenance, catarrh of respiratory passages, rheumatism, nervousness, bladder health maintenance, gravel, fever, as a diuretic and in support of vascular health. The leaf is also recognized as a blood purifier and is indicated for treating night sweats, to stimulate digestion, in anemia, as a tonic, to reduce profuse menstruation and, finally, to support natural loss of weight. 

The Commission E notes that activity in the indications has not been adequately substantiated. The anti-ulcer properties of water-soluble procyanidins prepared by fermentation of tannins from Fragaria vesca have also been studied. Complexes of procyanidins and cimetidine (an antiulcer drug) were prepared. The procyanidins increased the water-solubility of the cimetidine and prevented undesirable nitrosamine formation in the stomach by blocking its cyanamide function. An antibiotic, fragarin, has been isolated from strawberry leaves and may be a new kind of preformed antimicrobial compound (phytoanticipin). Antioxidant activity in the fruits and leaves of strawberry, blackberry and raspberry vary by developmental stage and leaves were found to have higher antioxidant activity. 

Active Ingredients: 
Strawberry leaves contain: Condensed tannins, ellagitannins, including pedunculagin and agrimoniin; flavonoids and proanthocyanidins; a small amount of ascorbic acid; and a very small amount of essential oil. An antibiotic, fragarin, has been isolated from strawberry leaves. Guanosine diphosphate derivatives of D-xylose, D-mannose, D-glucose and D-galactose have been identified in mature strawberry leaves. 



 Ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD) are collectively known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Although the pathophysiology of IBD is not known with certainty, immunological processes and reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been proposed to contribute considerably to the development of tissue injury.[1] It is thought that some of the intestinal and/or colonic injury and dysfunction observed in IBD is due to elaboration of these reactive species.[2] Commonly used drugs, in particular sulfasalazine and its active moiety 5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA), are potent ROS scavengers.[3] In many studies, it has been reported that antioxidants show beneficial effects in experimental colitis.[4] Fragaria vesca (wild strawberry) belongs to the family rosaceae. Plants contain flavonoids, tannins, volatile oils, methyl salisylate and borneol.[5] The fruits contain salicylic acid and are beneficial in the treatment of liver and kidney complaints, as well as in the treatment of rheumatism and gout.[6] Acetic acid induced colitis model is similar to human ulcerative colitis in terms of histological features, and has been used extensively in many experimental studies of IBD.[4,7] The effect of various herbal drugs (but not F. vesca) on experimental models of IBD has been reported earlier with the antioxidant potential as the main mechanism of action against IBD.[8,9] As the plant F. vesca is thought to possess anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties,[6,10] this study was undertaken to study the effect of F. vesca in experimentally induced IBD and to find its probable mechanism of action including its antioxidant potential.

References

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2. Pavlick KP, Laroux FS, Fuseler J. Role of reactive metabolites of oxygen and nitrogen in inflammatory bowel disease. Free Radic Biol Med. 2002;33:311–22. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

3. Miles AM, Grisham MB. Antioxidant properties of aminosalicylates. Methods Enzymol. 1994;234:555–72. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

4. Nosal’ova V, Cerna S, Bauer V. Effect of N-acetylcysteine on colitis induced by acetic acid in rats. Gen Pharmacol. 2000;35:77–81. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

5. Agrawal SS, Paridhavi M. 1st ed. Hyderabad, India: Universities Press; 2007. Essentials of crude drugs, Herbal drug technology; pp. 583–7. [Google Scholar]

6. Phillips R, Foy N. London: Herbs Pan Books Ltd; 1990. Plants for a future: Edible, medicinal and useful plants for a healthier worldhome page; Fragaria vesca-L. ISBN 0-330-30725-8; Available from: http://www.pfaf.org/index.html [last accessed on 2008 May 25] [Google Scholar]

7. La JH, Kim TV, Sung TS. Visceral hypersensitivity and altered colonic motility after subsidence of inflammation in a rat model of colitis. World J Gastroenterol. 2003;9:2791–5. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

8. Ko JK, Lam FY, Cheung AP. Amelioration of experimental colitis by Astragalus membranaceus through anti-oxidation and inhibition of adhesion molecule synthesis. World J Gastroenterol. 2005;11:5787–94. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

9. Zeytunlu M, Korkut M, Akgün E, Firat O, Aynaci M, Içöz G, et al. The comparative effects of calcium channel blockers in an experimental colitis model in rats. Turk J Gastroenterol. 2004;15:243. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

10. Plant information- Fragaria vesca. Available from: http://www.mountainherbestate/plant_information/straberry.html [last accessed on 2008 Sep 25]




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