Origin: Cranberries belong to the Native Americans and have originated before the 16th century. It is believed that the native Americans used to mix deer meat and mashed cranberries to make pemmican. Pemmican was the convenience food that kept them full for long and could be eaten after a long period of time as well. They also believed that cranberries had medicinal value, and were used to treat arrow wounds and other ailments. Cranberry juice was also used to make a natural dye for rugs, blankets, and clothing.
The Cranberry was also considered the symbol of peace by Delaware Indians in New Jersey. Cranberries have had a variety of names ever since they got discovered. Eastern Indians called them "sassamanesh." Cape Cod Pequots and the South Jersey Leni-Lenape tribes called them "ibimi," or bitter berry. The Algonquins of Wisconsin state called the fruit "atoqua." German and Dutch settlers came up with "crane berry," because the vine blossoms resembled the neck, head, and bill of a crane. That’s why we have the name Cranberry.
It is also believed that the Cranberries were first served at Thanksgiving in Plymouth. The recipes with cranberries have been popular ever since the 1700s. The first cranberry was grown and harvested by Captain Henry Hall in Dennis, Massachusetts.
Scientifically: Cranberries are scientifically known as Oxycoccus. They belong to the genus Vaccinium of the family Ericaceae. Cranberries are low, creeping shrubs or vines up to 2 meters (7 ft) long and 5 to 20 centimeters (2 to 8 in) in height. Cranberries have slender, wiry stems that are not woody and have small evergreen leaves.
The flowers are usually dark pink in color and are distinct in style. They’re usually reflexed petals. The pollination usually happens by bees. Te The fruit is a berry which is larger than the leaves of the plant. Initially, it is light green and turns red when ripe.
Usage: Cranberries have been an important part of Thanksgiving celebrations and are part of the tradition. The cranberries are also referred to as Superfood because of high nutritive value and antioxidant content. The consumption of cranberries helps in treating urinary tract infections, prevent cancer, boost immunity, and lowers blood pressure. They are low in calories and high in vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin K. They contain an antioxidant called proanthocyanidins which help in treating multiple diseases.
Cranberries also help in collagen formation in the body, which helps in improving skin texture and reverses the anti-aging process. Cranberries have anti-inflammatory which helps in treating and fighting the free radicals. Cranberries can be consumed fresh, dried or canned. Cranberry juice is also very popular and is favored by all. Adding cranberries to your smoothies, cereals or oatmeal makes an excellent breakfast meal. Cranberries muffins or pies are also popular desserts.
Below are some DIYs with Cranberries:
- Extract some fresh cranberry juice and apply it all over the face for 10 minutes. Rinse later. This remedy helps in treating any blemishes or acne on the kin.
- Take 2 tablespoons of fresh cranberry juice and add a tablespoon of gram flour. Mix them and apply on the face. Wash it off after 15 minutes. This remedy helps in removing pigmentation.
- Mix equal quantities of mashed cranberries and yogurt together. Apply this mixture on the face and keep it on for 10 minutes. This remedy helps in providing glow to the skin.
- Mix equal parts of cranberry juice and orange juice. Apply this juice concoction on the face. Let it dry for 15 minutes. Massage and wash it off. This helps in achieving and soft and firm skin.
- Boil a cup of cranberries in water until the solution reduces to half. Let it chill and then use it as a hair rinse. This helps in strengthening the roots and promotes hair growth.