Wednesday, 21 October 2009

The humble Arbouses (Strawberry Tree)

After a recent fall down some stone steps in the dark (always carry a torch in Corsica), this weeks Wednesday excursion has been postponed, so in search of a bit of fresh air, I found myself in the garden examining the fruit trees.

The first one to catch my eye was the Arbouses, commonly known as the strawberry tree. At the moment the fruit is really ripe so the red berries look really pretty in the gardens, but we don’t really eat the fruits as they are pretty bland. Apparently, the proper name ‘Arbutus unedo’ derives from unum edo meaning ‘I eat one’ (only) which is pretty much how I feel about them!

People often turn them into jams and liqueurs, and I’d started to question why so I quizzed my friends at GreenWheelbarrow. It seems that this tree has all sorts of medicinal properties. The bark is a diuretic whilst the roots can be used to combat hypertension as well as some cardiovascular disorders.

The leaves are rich in tannins and the fruit is rich in vitamin C. The plant has anti-inflammatory properties and is also effective against rheumatism as well as a urinary antiseptic, and an astringent. Wow! And I thought they just looked pretty!

1 comment:

  1. Bonjour Claire,

    Je suis sur un ordinateur ultra rapide avec toutes les touches qui fonctionnent alors j'ai tout de suite profité pour visiter le site de Directcorsica le blog. Fantastique , les photos , les commentaires, je reserve mes prochaines vacances pour la Corse.

    Apres les 2 photos des arbouses ce serait "gastronomoques" de rajouter des photos de pots de confitures et de liqueurs, non ?

    Comme c'est l'automne et les récoltes j'attends une sortie aux chataignes et aux champignons de ta part avec des idees cuisines !

    A bientot
    Patricia et le Capitaine