Origin: Strawberries, natively belong to North America, and the Native American Indians used to make many dishes from them. It is believed that the first colonists in America shipped the native larger strawberry plants back to Europe as early as 1600. Later, many varieties were discovered in Central and South America. Early Americans did not bother cultivating strawberries because they were abundantly available in the wilds.
The word strawberry comes from the Old English streawberige because the plant sends out runners which could be likened to pieces of straw. It is also believed that the practice of mulching strawberries with straw led to its name. Some also believe the practice of selling strawberries skewered on the straw led to its name.
The strawberries were not cultivated actively, until the Renaissance period in Europe. The full spring cultivation began in the 19th century when eating strawberry with cream was a desert.
Scientifically: Strawberry is a low-growing perennial plant of the genus Fragaria in the rose family (Rosaceae). It is generally red when ripe, but can also be green, white, or yellowish in different species or varieties. There are more than 20 different species and many hybrids and cultivars. The most common strawberries grown commercially are the Fragaria × ananassa. Strawberries are considered to be a social fruit where both male and female crop are required to produce fruit. The crop usually takes 8 to 14 months to mature.
Usage: Strawberries are a great source of vitamin C and manganese. Strawberries are also full of antioxidants, which help in fighting cancer-causing radicals. Strawberries also help in delay skin aging. Apart from medicinal properties, strawberries make a great dessert fruit when eaten alone or with chocolate sauce and whipped cream. Strawberries are used to make jams, preserves, tarts, pies, smoothies, shakes and cakes.
Below are some DIYs with strawberries for overall beauty:
- Take some strawberry puree; add a teaspoon of fresh milk cream and a teaspoon of honey. Mix all the ingredients together and apply on the face for 10 minutes. Rinse later. This face mask helps in giving nourished, clean skin.
- Crush 2 strawberries into a coarse paste and some lemon juice to it. Apply the mixture for 10 minutes. Gently scrub the face and wash it off. This DIY remedy helps in removing the dead skin and tan.
- Mash 2 strawberries with some cocoa powder and add a teaspoon of honey. Combine all the ingredients together and apply on the face. Let the mask sit on the face for 15 minutes. Rinse later. This mask helps in making skin soft and plump.
- Mash 4-5 strawberries with a banana. Add half a cup of yogurt to make a paste. Apply this paste on the hair for 45 minutes. Shampoo the hair later. This remedy helps in nourishing the hair, making them soft and manageable.
- Strawberries work excellently in teeth whitening. Mash a strawberry and add a teaspoon of baking soda to it. Mix them together and take a toothbrush and use it as toothpaste. Use this paste and brush thrice a week and you’ll get sparkling white teeth.