Origin: The blueberry has been consumed by the native North American for hundreds of years now. Blueberry has been part of American fruit folklore since years. It is believed that many years ago after the Europeans arrived in North America, they started cultivating the blueberry farms and took the blueberry plant back to Europe as well. After this, blueberry was not only popular in America but also in Europe. Today the fruit is well recognized for its sweetness and nutrition. It is sold worldwide and is making the lives of the people healthier.
The blueberries are not only consumed as a fruit but its juice is also relished. Blueberries became a significant food source and were preserved and canned. Around the civil wartime, a beverage made with blueberries was given to the soldiers during the Civil War. The leaves and roots of blueberry plants were also used for medicinal purposes. Many blueberry canning factories were established in 1880.
Scientifically: The blueberry belongs to the genus Vaccinium. Vaccinium is the family of all blueberries and it includes more than 450 plants. Blueberry plant grows wild around the world and there are so names given to different blueberries.
Blueberry shrubs grow in different sizes that vary from a few inches to 10 feet. The plant also has colored flowers which are of different colors like white, pale pink, red, and sometimes light green. The plant bears small blueberry fruits that have a dark blue-purple color.
Blueberries have a sweet taste when ripe and the plants produce fruit once a year during the summer months. The other names for blueberries are cowberry, cranberry, farkleberry, lingonberry, partridgeberry, whortleberry, and sparkleberry.
Usage: Besides the fruit, the berries are also crushed and the juice is extracted. The North American have used blueberry juices for years to treat numerous medical ailments as well as a dying agent for their clothes. Blueberries are used as a flavor in different cuisines. Blueberries add an interesting flavor to cakes, bread, and cheesecakes, etc. Blueberries are considered the king of antioxidant foods. It helps in fighting skin damage, fight cancer-causing cells and reverse the signs of aging. It reduces cholesterol levels and balances blood sugar. These are incredibly healthy and nutritious. Blueberries make an amazing skin and hair care ingredient.
Below are some DIYs with Blueberries:
- Take half a cup of blueberries, a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of honey. Blend them together and apply on the face for 15 minutes. Rinse later. This is a great mask to moisturize the dehydrated skin.
- Take a tablespoon of fresh blueberry puree and some yogurt to make a thick paste. Apply this paste on the face for 10 minutes. Gently massage and then rinse. This helps in reducing the appearance of acne.
- Take some fresh blueberry paste and add a heaping spoon of aloe vera gel to it. Mix it and apply on the face. Leave it on for 15 minutes and then rinse. This helps in achieving clear and refreshed skin.
- Take 4-6 blueberries, oatmeal, 2-4 almonds, and some lemon juice. Blend them together and add some more juice if needed. Apply this mask for 15 minutes and gently massage in scrubbing motion and wash it off. This mask is great for oily skin.
- Boil few crushed blueberries in about 500 ml of water. Boil until reduced half. Let it chill. Use this water as a hair rinse and let it sit for 15 minutes. Rinse it later. This hair rinse adds shine and smoothness to hair