Here’s my original writing that has since been edited and published in the “Cranberry Christmas” e-book. It is available for purchase at the Old Schoolhouse Magazine website: http://www.tosmag.com. I hope you enjoy my un-edited article.
Pearls of Crimson
Beneath the acres of sandy peat, acidic soil, and water lay hundreds of miles of intertwined vines of America’s crimson pearls. These red jewels of nature patiently blossom through the late frost of spring, and the hazy summer, awaiting full maturity by the cusp of fall. The water-filled “bogs” are the fields that cradle the fruit, carefully tended as the harvesters set forth to gather the coveted reward: the Cranberry.
The Cranberry has been planted and harvested for hundreds of years. This tiny, tart, red fruit had been a staple to the diet of indigenous members of the North American continent, and the early settlers of Europe discovered the fruit’s healing properties against diseases like scurvy. Today, scientists and engineers are learning that the Cranberry has some amazing power packed within its shiny red coating.
The inside of a Cranberry holds some of the world’s best healing agents such as vitamin C and fiber. These little gems of antioxidant power can fight off infections, boost the immune system, and restore balance at the cellular level. The ammunition of antioxidants also helps to ward off heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and ulcers.
The Cranberry may be considered as the “mitochondria” of all fruit; it is a powerhouse of energy that replenishes the weary body through the removal of free radicals and the resurgence of essential nutrients. The Cranberry contains a phytochemical called proanthocyanidin to help protect the cells from free radical damage. Other important free radical fighting phytochemicals include quercitin, an anti-inflammatory agent, and myricetin, an iron-binding, anti-inflammatory agent. They also contain hippuric acid, which promotes an anti-bacterial response, and may also help with arthritis.
A recent study by the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Science Daily, 2010) found that cranberry juice cocktail has blocked a bacterial strain called Staphylococcus aureus from forming an infection. These drug-resistant bacteria are creating havoc among hospitals, nursing homes, and other community sources. These types of scientific studies show promise of using a natural remedy, such as Cranberry juice, to help prevent bacterial-infected outbreaks of communicable diseases.
One of the popular ways to enjoy the benefits of cranberries is to drink a juice cocktail. Cranberry juice is well-known for its ability to prevent, or sometimes treat, urinary tract infections. Some people may not know that cranberries are used for other reasons beyond its stellar nutritional value. Cranberries may also be used in lotions and soaps; dried cranberries are gathered into vases for aesthetic home décor; fermented cranberries are transformed into wine; and, health supplements have created a cranberry extract in pill form! For the chocolate lover there are also chocolate-coated cranberry treats for a semi-healthy indulgence.
Who would have known that Cranberries are such amazing little fruit? Designed by an amazing Creator, this unique red berry holds nutritional and healing properties that have recently captured the attention of the scientific world. These pearls of crimson lay vast across the northern plains, awaiting their harvest to fulfill their duty for sustenance, for health, and for pleasure.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute (2010, September 3). Cranberry juice shows promise blocking Staph infections. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 14, 2010, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2010/09/100901132233.htm