Benefits of Strawberry (Rasbhari)
Botanical Name : Fragaria chiloensis
Family Name : Rosaceae
Hindi Name : Rasbhari
A stout stoloniferous herb with long arching runners, leaves thick, blunt toothed, bluish green more or less glossy above and pale below, flowers white, borne in small clusters; fruit varying in shape, fairly large, scarlet, covered with achenes which do not project much outside the surface.
A small genus of low perennial creeping herbs, strawberry is distributed in the wild state in the temperate and sub-tropical regions of the world. Four species are recorded in India, viz. F. daltoniana, F. nilgerrensis, F. vesca and F. chiloensis.
The majority of the cultivated forms have been derivatives of F. chiloensis, a native of the Pacific coast of North and South America.
Strawberry is essentially a crop of the higher elevations in India and its cultivation is confined to certain parts of Kashmir, Punjab, U.P., Mumbai, Chennai and Mysore.
Refreshing, nutritive, tonic, astringent, diuretic.
Forms of Use
Ripe strawberries are bright red in colour with a soft melting flesh of sweetish flavour. They are esteemed as dessert and consumed not so much for their food value, as for their flavour. Strawberries are ranked high among "small fruits."
Strawberry is richer in vitamin C (50-90 mg/l00 g) than orange and lemon. The vitamin C content is particularly high in fresh fruits of rich flavour. Other vitamins reported to be present are: thiamine (Vitamin 81) (0.5 mg/l00 g) and riboflavin (Vitamin 82) (0.08 mg/l00 g). Sugars (mostly reducing sugars, i.e. glucose & fructose) make up 70-80% of the total soluble solids and 50% of the total solids.
Strawberries contain pectin (as calcium pectate), 0.154% and organic acids (citric and malic), 0.7-1.6%.
The mineral constituents of the fruits are: Copper (0.02 mg/ 100 g of fruit) and iodine (0.01-0.03 mg/l00 g of fresh fruit). The flavour of the fruit is attributed to the presence of volatile esters. Salicylic acid has been frequently identified in distilled juices, most often as methyl salicylate (as claimed). The pigment responsible for the deep red colour is anthocyanins.
Strawberry juice contains: total solids, 7.71 %; acids (as citric), 0.71 %; invert sugar, 4.46%; sucrose, 0.24%; tannin, 0.13%; and ash 0.43%.
Large quantities of strawberry are quickly frozen, sliced or whole with sugar. Strawberries may be made into preserves, jams, jellies or syrup; they may also be canned. Fresh strawberries and strawberry syrup are used in soda-fountain beverages and ice creams. Strawberry wine is prepared by adding sugar to crushed fruit or juice, fermenting the mass with or without the addition of yeast, straining the liquid and storing for use as wine.
(i) The leaves are mildly astringent and diuretic.
(ii) As strawberry contains vitamin C more than lemon and orange, it can be used against scurvy.
(iii) It is a refreshing tonic.