Sloe Berry

Health Benefits of Blackthorn
The diuretic, laxative, astringent, and anti-inflammatory qualities of blackthorn have given this herb recognition for its medicinal uses in the following ways:

1.Improves Digestion

Prunus spinosa or blackthorn helps to improves digestion,relieves constipation, heals dyspepsia, reduces bloating, and cures diarrhea, mainly in children. Additionally, herbal tea prepared by steeping two teaspoons of dried blackthorn flowers in a cup of water stimulates appetite. Just consuming blackthorn jam or marmalade cures indigestion or upset stomach.

2. Treats Breathing Disorders

A preparation that contains flowers of prunus spinosa is considered useful for the treatment of ailments of the respiratory tract. Due to their expectorant properties, the flowers can fight common cold and cough. Decoction prepared from the bark of this tree can be taken to lower fever.

3. Dental caries

Prunus Spinosa can be used to prevent caries in the teeth. Antibacterial action of this herb against Streptococcus Mutans, a gram-positive bacterium,can help to reduce the incidence of tooth decay and caries.

Additionally, it also acts as an antioxidant and prevents oxidative stress that is known to increase the risk of dental caries. It works by preventing the free radicals from attacking the teeth and initiating the process of tooth decay.

4. Helps in Detoxification of Body

Herb is utilized for the purpose of detoxification and is known to have depurative properties. This herb tends to eliminate any toxic substances present in the blood and is known to be rich in rutin which is one of the prime compounds which helps in detoxification. It is also known to prevent gout and rheumatism from occurring.

5. Cancer Management

Prunus spinosa fruit is effective in the management of cancer. It prevents the growth of cancer cells and reduces its multiplication.Health-promoting compounds present in prunus spinosa suppress the production of inflammatory compounds which otherwise damage the DNA and further worsen the condition.

Thus, it makes the environment disapproving for the cancer cells to survive and reduces the population of these cancer cells.

6. Treats Kidney and Bladder Problems

Flowers of prunus spinosa can be used to remove fluid retention, treat kidney stones and other kidney problems because of their diuretic properties. Additionally, the herb is considered good for managing bladder spasms. It also helps relieves cramps in the stomach and nerve pain.

7. Relieves Fatigue and General Exhaustion

Drinking water infused with powdered blackthorn bark has a calming effect on the nerves. Thus, it helps relieve fatigue and boosts vitality. Additionally, blackthorn extract mixed in tea or water is also useful in this regard.

When dealing with issues like insomnia, shivers, lack of interest, etc. due to menopause, one can steep half a teaspoon of dried blackthorn flowers in a cup of boiling water for about five minutes. Strain and drink this herbal tonic when it cools.

8. Cardiac disorders

Prunus Spinosa is highly effective in the treatment and prevention of heart diseases. This herb is loaded with powerful flavonoids including Quercetin, Binofuranoside, and Kaempferol. It consists of phenolicacids and anthocyanins, which can promote the health of the heart. It improves the heart functions and thus, decreases the risk of cardiac diseases such as cardiomyopathy, heart attacks, and cardiac failure.

Flavonoid compounds present in Prunus Spinosa reduce inflammation in the heart and help to fight oxidative stress. These effects of the herb can prevent damage to the cardiac cells and muscles against inflammation and oxidative stress thus reducing the risk of heart diseases.

9. Reduces Inflammation of Mouth and Pharynx

The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines has approved the use of this herb for getting rid of mild inflammation of mouth and pharyngeal mucosa.

When dealing with sore throat, you can gargle with fresh juice extracted from ripe sloe berries. Additionally, you may gargle with an infusion prepared from blackthorn leaves to heal inflamed tonsils.

To prepare this infusion boil about four blackthorn leaves in 16 ounces of water for 10 minutes. Strain the solution. Gargle with it two to three times in a day.

10. Works as an Excellent Beauty Remedy

Pulp of ripened sloe berries is mixed with other ingredients to make commercially available astringent face masks to enhance your beauty.

Besides, you can apply blackthorn extract on your skin to maintain skin elasticity for younger looking skin as it is rich in vitamin C and tannins. Application of blackthorn oil can prevent stretch marks.

11. Sore Throat and Bad Breath

Based on studies, blackthorn has anti-inflammatory,astringent and laxative properties. Its fruit can be used as a mouth rinse to remove bacteria or viruses causing sore throat, coughs, tonsillitis and other common oral related issues. It also has a great amount of anti-bacterial agents that help fight bad breath. It can even recover breathing for people with asthma or those who unexpectedly suffer from breathing disorders.

Traditional uses and benefits of Blackthorn

Flowers, bark, leaves and fruits are aperient,astringent, depurative, diaphoretic, diuretic, febrifuge, laxative and stomachic.
An infusion of the flowers is used in the treatment of diarrhea (especially for children), bladder and kidney disorders,stomach weakness etc.
In small amounts this exceedingly poisonous compound (Hydrogen cyanide) stimulates respiration, improves digestion and gives a sense of well-being.
Fruit is good for all kind of fluxes and hemorrhages.
It is used in gargarisms for sore mouths and gums, and to fasten loose teeth.
Bark reduced to power, and taken in doses of two drachms, has cured some agues.
Juice expressed from the unripe fruit is a very good remedy for fluxes of the bowels.
Flowers and fruit can make a tonic for diarrhea.
Sloe syrup has anti-rheumatic properties and can help fight influenza.
Plant is also used for nosebleeds, constipation and eye pain.
Sloes can also be made into a paste for whitening teeth and removing tartar, and the leaves can make a mouthwash.
­­­Some people apply black hawthorn flower directly on the skin for rashes, “skin impurities,” and “blood purification.”
Peeled bark boiled in water was a gypsy remedy for bronchitis.
A compote or jam made from the berries combats poor appetite.
An infusion made from the dried flowers is used for blood cleansing in skin diseases and rheumatic complaints and as a gargle for mild inflammation of the mouth and throat.
In the Tyrol a Sloe is tied to the left side of the chest as a remedy against jaundice.
In many regions there is a custom of eating three flower stalks of the blackthorn bush three times in succession. This is said to provide protection against fever and gout.
Culinary uses

Fruit can be consumed raw or cooked.
Fruit is more usually used in jellies, syrups,conserves etc. and as a flavoring for sloe gin and other liqueurs.
Some fruits that we ate in December were fairly pleasant raw.
Unripe fruit is pickled like an olive in France.
Seed can also be consumed raw or cooked.
Do not eat the seed if it is too bitter.
Leaves are used as a tea substitute.
Dried fruits can be added to herbal teas.
Flowers are edible and can be crystallized or sugared.