The wild strawberry looks like a small version of the strawberry plants most people are familiar with. They grow in dry, grassy places and in open woodlands. They spread from root runners and have the same delicate white five pointed flower which develops into a scarlet berry. They are a wonderfully pretty little plant to have in any garden, and if you find the right spot for them, they will happily pop up year after year, moving from place to place. Wild strawberries need the very cold temperatures in winter so don’t be tempted to look after them too much. They are beginning to appear all over my garden now with fresh new leaves.
Traditionally they have been used to remove stains from teeth and to ease sunburnt skin. The leaves and fruit were used for dysentery and fevers. They were also used as a gargle for sore throats and the leaves as a laxative, or for gout. The fresh leaves of the wild strawberry can be used in salads but this is a basic tea recipe.
This is a pale yellow tea, that has a really delicate taste and can be drunk to treat eczema and applied topically too. It has been linked to helping joint pains and digestive problems I also found reference to it being mild enough for babies and children and that mixed with a tiny bit of honey can be applied to babies heads for cradle cap. You leave it on for half an hour and then wash off. The leaves are rich with iron, so this is also a good tea to sip if you are prone to anemia.
- handful of young leaves
- 250ml of boiling water
- lemon juice
Put the leaves on a wooden board and give them a bash with a rolling pin, drop the leaves into the water and then cover and infuse for 5 minutes. Strain into cups and then serve with a squeeze of lemon juice. I think it is perfect without any sweetening, just with the twist of lemon.