Rowan Berries

topic posted Wed, October 4, 2006 - 4:59 AM by  Unsubscribed
Hello everyone,

I am hoping someone may be able to help. I am trying to find out what Rowan Berries' medicinal properties and uses are (in addition to their nutritional value) plus in what form you would take them.

Many thanks
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    Re: Rowan Berries

    Fri, October 6, 2006 - 7:00 AM
    I'm not sure about their medicinal properties, but I think you can make them into jam, although it can be bitter.
  • Re: Rowan Berries

    Mon, January 22, 2007 - 1:49 PM
    Have asked the same question myself. Couldn't find any medicinal uses listed anywhere, or any nutritional information.

    However, i found this recipee for rowan jelly.

    3lb rowan berries strigged from their stalks, 3 firm apples, peeled, cored and chopped, 6 pints water, 6 whole cloves, a few juniper berries, sugar.

    Boil fruit in water with cloves and juniper berries. Tip into jelly bag or muslin cloth, and leave to drip overnight. Next day measure juice and add a pound of preserving sugar to each pint of liquid. Heat gently to dissolve sugar, then boil hard for ten minutes. Test for setting by putting a little jelly on a cold saucer, and after a few minutes push edge with finger. If it wrinkles setting point has been reached. Decant into warmed jars and seal with butter. (Do not use metal lids.) Flavour improves with maturity (about six months)

    I tried this recipee with an early August harvest of berries. I've been told they are usually harvested in Oct. I also made the mistake of adding cardomoms instead of cloves (oops!), but i wouldn't swap the result for anything.
    It was my first time Jelly making. So simple to do! The resulting jelly was indeed bittersweet but in the most intensely more-ish way. Couldn't get enough of it. Goes great with any red meat or poultry.

    I'm sure it must be good for something.
  • Re: Rowan Berries

    Wed, January 24, 2007 - 1:53 PM

    Folk-medicinal uses
    Fresh rowan berry juice is usable as a laxative, gargle for sore throats, inflamed tonsils, hoarseness, and as a source of vitamins A and C. Rowan berry jam will remedy diarrhea. An infusion of the berries will benefit hemorrhoids and strangury. The bark can also be used as an astringent for loose bowels and vaginal irritations. Rowan is also used for eye irritations, spasmic pains in the uterus, heart/bladder problems, neuralgia, gout, and waist constrictions.

    Rowan berries as food
    Rowan berries on Prince Edward Island.Rowan berries can be made into an excellent, slightly bitter, jelly which in England is traditionally eaten as an accompaniment to game, and into jams and other preserves, on their own, or with apples, pears etc. The berries can also be a substitute for coffee beans, and have many uses in alcoholic beverages: to flavour liqueurs and cordials, to produce country wine, and to flavour ale.

    Rowan cultivars with superior fruit for human food use are available but not common; mostly the fruits are gathered from wild trees growing on public lands.

    Rowan berries contain sorbic acid, an acid that takes its name from the Latin name of the genus Sorbus. Raw berries also contain parasorbic acid, which causes indigestion and can lead to kidney damage, but heat treatment (cooking, heat-drying etc.) and, to a lesser extent, freezing, neutralises it, by changing it to the benign sorbic acid. Luckily, they are also usually too astringent to be palatable when raw. Collecting them after first frost (or putting in the freezer) cuts down on the bitter taste as well.

    Etymology, and other names
    Rowan flowersThe name "rowan" is derived from the Old Norse name for the tree, raun or rogn. Linguists believe that the Norse name is ultimately derived from a proto-Germanic word *raudnian meaning "getting red" and which referred to the red foliage and red berries in the autumn. Rowan is one of the most familiar wild trees in the British Isles, and has acquired numerous English folk names. The following are recorded folk names for the rowan: Delight of the eye (Luisliu), Mountain ash, Quickbane, Quickbeam, Quicken (tree), Quickenbeam, Ran tree, Roan tree, Roden-quicken, Roden-quicken-royan, Round wood, Royne tree, Rune tree, Sorb apple, Thor's helper, Whispering tree, Whitty, Wicken-tree, Wiggin, Wiggy, Wiky, Witch wood, Witchbane, Witchen, Witchen tree. Many of these can be easily linked to the mythology and folklore surrounding the tree. In Gaelic, it is Rudha-an (red one, pronounced quite similarly to English "rowan").

    One particularly confusing name for the rowan, still used in both the UK and North America, is "mountain ash", which implies incorrectly that it is a species of ash (Fraxinus). The name arises from the superficial similarity in leaf shape of the two trees; in fact, the rowan does not belong to the ash family, but is closely related to the apples and hawthorns in the rose family.

    Medicinal Usage

    Medicinally, Rowan berries are a laxative, and can also be used for sore throats, inflamed tonsils, hoarseness, even diarrhoea. A decoction from the bark is used as an astringent.

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