Myrtle berries, eaten as soon as they are picked or used to prepare the well-known and tasty liqueur, they are rich in properties, from digestive ones to those concerning the mind, memory, lucidity. Myrtle intended as a liqueur, would seem to date back to around 1800, it is certainly many years that the benefits of myrtle berries are known to us. Along with the leaves, berries are also for example rich in flavonols, useful for keeping the mind clear since they prevent the degradation of neural processes. This aspect makes the Myrtle Berries also excellent for one action to combat Alzheimer's and dementia.
In addition to the berries and daughters, the flowers are also used from myrtle, from which an essence is obtained that is used in the cosmetic field. The plant, called in the scientific world Myrtus Communis, belongs to the family of Mirtaceae, it is evergreen and grows spontaneously in the Mediterranean area. Almost all of them link myrtle to Sardinia, rightly so, but it is also found in nearby Corsica.
Are myrtle berries edible?
One hundred grams of Myrtle berries provides us with 20 calories, these are edible fruits that also contain blueberry. It is an essential oil rich in antioxidants and active ingredients such as, for example, mirtenol, geraniol, pinene, catechin, tannins, and then also sugars and resins. The blueberry, therefore also the myrtle berries, also contain citric acid, malic acid and vitamin C.
Having ascertained that they are edible, better specify that how collateral effect it could have the appearance of skin allergies, which is why pregnant women and children up to two years of age are better not to eat myrtle berries.
However, there are no real contraindications to taking myrtle. Also the leaves of the plant they are edible and we find them quite frequently ad flavor meat and fish dishes, or in well-liked infusions if sipped in the cold season.
Myrtle berries: when to harvest
From November to the end of January we can safely devote ourselves to the harvest of myrtle berries, obviously if we live in those areas where the climate goes towards the growth and flowering of the plant. A mild and Mediterranean climate, that's what it takes. If we are interested in flowers, however, we have to wait for summer to reach its peak, between July and August.
Myrtle berries: properties
Having said that the Myrtle berries they are most often consumed in the form of liqueur, typical of Sardinia, produced by macerating them in alcohol, I want to remind those who do not already know, the precious digestive properties that this delight possesses. More generally, myrtle contributes benefits in case of prostate and breast cancer and studies on antitumor properties linked to other similar problems are still underway.
Turning to the pathologies that afflict the respiratory tract, it turns out that they exist beneficial effects also in these cases but above all attributed to the leaves. Just prepare some a decoction, sweetening it with honey, to soothe any inflammation of the respiratory tract, decrease phlegm and cushion any unwelcomethe symptoms of a bronchitis. Always the leaves can help who suffers from asthma and constipation, thanks to their astringent properties, while myrtle essential oil strengthens the immune system, which is especially useful during the cold season.
Dried myrtle berries
We can comfortably get some Dried myrtle berries online on Amazon at 5 euros and 50 cents per 100 grams. Pour a level spoonful into a container with about 200 ml of water, and then let it boil for 10 minutes. After filtering, we will obtain a drink that can be sipped even 3 times a day.
Myrtle berries: recipes
The best known and most appreciated recipe that sees the protagonists Myrtle berries is that of the liqueur of the same name. To get 3 liters you need 1 1 liter bottle full of ripe myrtle berries, 1 bottle of 90 degrees alcohol, 800 grams of sugar and 2 liters of water. Filling with alcohol and closing the bottle with the myrtle berries, leave it to infuse in the dark for about twenty days so that the pulp absorbs the alcohol. Then we drain the berries, obviously keeping the infusion alcohol.
Separately, we boil water and sugar, adding them only at the end Myrtle berries which, in the water, soften, releasing the residual liquid. Once the mixture has cooled, drain it and add to it half a liter of pure alcohol and also that obtained from the initial infusion of the myrtle. After a final filtering we can enjoy our myrtle, preferably cold.
If you liked this article keep following me also on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest
You might also be interested in:
- Myrtle: plant and properties
- Broom: plant and cultivation
- La Maddalena National Park: what to see