These Canadian Native Fruits Show Great Medical Potential
Canada, that lovely country on the northern American border, apparently has more than just ice and polar bears, if one's allowed to make a tongue in cheek comment, full of amazing nature and its own native fruits found to have rather interesting health benefits (buffaloberry, chokeberry and sea buckthorn). Hockey and maple syrup are not the only famous items of export, it seems, making this huge polite country even more intriguing.
In truth, the second-largest country in the world is known for its breathtakingly beautiful wildlife. It's no wonder that Saskatchewan now has decided to harvest its native berries and use as medicinal extracts. But with names like buffaloberry and sea buckthorn, let alone chokeberry, one must wonder how it will be viewed. Amusing and quite intriguing, one would hope not to die choking on the latter fruit.
What exactly makes these 3 Canadian natives so special?
A new study published on October 9 in the Canadian Journal of Plant Science points out the potential food value in these nutrient-rich fruits, recommending these fruits to be cultivated for the local and international markets.
- Buffaloberry has been found to be high in ascorbic acid, with levels at least 4x greater than that reported for oranges.Other names for Buffaloberry include: soapberry, bullberry, rabbitberry, chaparral berry, silverleaf, soopolallie, and graise de boeuf. Native to North America, this fruit was often used in the preparation of "Indian ice cream" from beating hot water, the berries and sugar together before having it frozen as a frothy delicacy. It should be eaten in moderation, since too much can cause diarrhea or even become fatal. Native Americans used it for the medicinal purposes of treating constipation, tuberculosis, sours, swelling, cuts, arthritis, venereal diseases, stomach troubles, fevers, broken bones, mosquito bites, sore eyes, acne, boils, stomach cancer, gallstones, toothaches, headaches, and a gynecological aid.
- Chokecherry, also known as Aronia, was found in the study to contain high levels of anthocyanin pigments, also known as anti-oxidents, with a concentration shown to be much higher than the levels reported for fruits such as cranberry. Other studies have pointed out its anti-inflammatory, as well as weight and blood glucose regulatory abilities. It also works to kick major cancer behind!
- Sea buckthorn seemed to contain high levels of lipids not normally seen in a fruit. Doctor Oz has recommended the berry as a weight loss superfruit, while Dr. Weil points out its use for treating radiation burns, sunburn, and eczema in Russia, but coughs and indigestion in both China and India. If you want some Vitamin C or E or some Omega-3, this berry does just the trick.
With such great benefits, more studies are underway to figure out just how to optimize their use in the medicinal world.