Friday, 13 June 2008


Strawberry (Fragaria vesca) is a helpful herb for the skin and digestive system. The astringent properties of the root and/or leaves are useful in diarrhoea and the fruit is recommended for feverish conditions and as a cure for rheumatic gout.

Culpepper suggests strawberry as a cooling remedy for wheals on the face and hands, which is supported in the traditional practice of running a cut strawberry over the face straight after washing to whiten the skin and remove slight sunburn.

A cool, moist, astringent, tonic herb with mild diuretic and laxative effects.

Gather the leaves in early summer and dry for infusions.
The roots can be lifted in autumn for use in decoctions.

PLEASE NOTE: These notes on the history and use of herbs have been compiled for general interest and are not intended as medical advice, for which you should consult a professional herbalist.

'A Modern Herbal' Mrs M. Grieve FRHS ed. Mrs C. F. Leyel (1973)
'The Herb Society's Complete Medicinal Herbal' Penelope Ody MNIMH (1993)
'RHS Encyclopedia of Herbs and Their Uses' Deni Brown (2002)


Rose said...

I'm enjoying all your posts about the different properties of herbs (but realizing one has to be careful in using them). I never realized a strawberry was an herb, though.

Cheryl said...

Hi Hedgewitch.....Gosh I didn't relise that strawberry leaves and roots had so many healing properties. How interesting.

Hedgewitch said...

hi rose! yes, the definition of a herb is a bit confusing as everyone uses the word differently. really its any plant that you can use medicinally (which includes vegetables and all sorts!) though most people would think of the culinary herbs used in the kitchen. so glad you're enjoying my little efforts :-)

hi cheryl .. yes, handy to have around! I have dried and used strawberry leaves in the past. just wait till the next one I've got lined up .. sunflowers!

naturewitch said...

Hi Hedgewitch

Don't you just love Mrs Grieve? It's such a great book and gives a lot of the historical information that modern texts often leave out.

Have you read any of Matthew Wood's books? He is a North American herbalist who learned a lot from the native people. His book, Herbal Wisdom, is fantastic and he has just released a new book, The Earthwise Herbal (Vol1?), which is supposed to be even better. His website is

Happy reading!

Hedgewitch said...

yes, she's wonderful, naturewitch! I have a big collection of herbals because they vary so enormously in what they have to say about a herb. when I do one of my information sheets, I like to use Mrs Grieve because there's often history and folklore of great interest buried in there .. but also, it balances the 'fashions' in herbs, because many that were formerly used aren't included at all in modern texts.

many thanks for the info on Matthew Woods, which I will follow up with interest! my main interest is in native UK plants .. I think the plants that grow naturally near by are those that can heal you best .. but am always interested in reading about other traditions.