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Grape

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  • Botanical: Vitis vinifera
  • Family: Vitaceae
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Grape

Botanical

Vitis vinifera

Family

Vitaceae

Known as

Wine Grape, Vitis vinifera, Weinstock, Traubenstock, Weintraube

Old Use

culinary, medicinal use

Collection Times

Leaves: May to August, Berries: October to August

Parts Used

fruit, leaves, seed

Aroma

sweet, warm

Medicinal

abdominal pain, antiseptic, bronchitis, bleeding, bronchitis, circulation, colds, coughs, cramps, hemorrhoids, laxative, liver weakness, immunity, joint inflammation, joint pain, nervousness, rheumatism, throat infections

Heart & Circulation

arteriosclerosis, bleeding, blood cleansing, blood forming, hemorrhoids, varicose veins

Hormone & Sexual Organs

gynecological issues

Infection & Inflammation

infections intestinal, throat infections

Muscle & Joints

arthritis, gout, joint pain, rheumatism

Mind & Nerves

obesity

Respiratory System

cough

Stomach & Intestinal

abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, liver weakness, indigestion, stomach pain, ulcers, vomiting

Skin & Hair

chapped skin, eczema, wounds

Properties

analgesic, anti inflammatory, astringent, diuretic, hepatic, relaxant

Extraction

cold pressed

Description

Vitis vinifera is a deciduous Climber growing to 15 m (49ft 3in) at a fast rate. It has larger fruits, 6-22 mm, which are sweet and vary in colour from green, yellow, red, or blackish-purple, with 2 or no seeds. 

Vine stems are "lianas" or woody, climbing vines and can be up to 35 m, climbing over trees, rocks or the pergola at the third floor of my neighbour's apartment. In cultivation it is usually reduced by annual pruning to 1-3 m. Most grapes have loose, flaky bark on older wood usually peeling from old stems in long shreds, but smooth bark on 1-year-old wood.

The leafs are cordate, usually palmately 5- to 7-lobed, leaf margins irregularly toothed (dentate), alternate and stipulate. The frizzy, long curly hairs can be found at the underside of the leaf; this arachnoid tomentum looks like the threads of a spiders cobweb. The veins at the underside of the leaf are also hairy. The upperside is glabrescent. Leaves can be quite large, sometimes more then 25 cm in width.

Properties & Uses

A yellow dye is obtained from the fresh or dried leaves. An oil from the seed is used for lighting and as an ingredient in soaps, paints etc. Cream of tartar, extracted from the residue of pressed grapes, is used in making fluxes for soldering. Especially when growing in hotter countries than Britain, the stems of very old vines attain a good size and have been used to supply a very durable timber

Traditional Use

Grapes are a nourishing and slightly laxative fruit that can support the body through illness, especially of the gastro-intestinal tract and liver. Because the nutrient content of grapes is close to that of blood plasma, grape fasts are recommended for detoxification. Analgesic. The fresh fruit is antilithic, constructive, cooling, diuretic and strengthening. A period of time on a diet based entirely on the fruit is especially recommended in the treatment of torpid liver or sluggish biliary function. The fruit is also helpful in the treatment of varicose veins, haemorrhoids and capillary fragility. The dried fruit is demulcent, cooling, mildly expectorant, laxative and stomachic. It has a slight effect in easing coughs. The leaves, especially red leaves, are anti-inflammatory and astringent. A decoction is used in the treatment of threatened abortion, internal and external bleeding, cholera, dropsy, diarrhoea and nausea. It is also used as a wash for mouth ulcers and as douche for treating vaginal discharge. Red grape leaves are also helpful in the treatment of varicose veins, haemorrhoids and capillary fragility. The leaves are harvested in early summer and used fresh or dried. The seed is anti-inflammatory and astringent. The sap of young branches is diuretic. It is used as a remedy for skin diseases and is also an excellent lotion for the eyes. The tendrils are astringent and a decoction is used in the treatment of diarrhoea. The plant is used in Bach flower remedies - the keywords for prescribing it are 'Dominating', 'Inflexible' and 'Ambitious'

Cautions

None known

Distribution

It is native to the Mediterranean region, central Europe, and southwestern Asia, from Morocco and Portugal north to southern Germany and east to northern Iran

Constituents

The leaves gathered in June contain a mixture of cane sugar and glucose, tartaric acid, potassium bi-tartrate, quercetine, quercitrin, tannin, amidon, malic acid, gum, inosite, an uncrystallizable fermentable sugar and oxalate of calcium; gathered in the autumn they contain much more quercetine and less trace of quercitrin.

 The ripe fruit juice contains sugar, gum, malic acid, potassium bi-tartrate and inorganic salts; when fermented this forms the wine of commerce. 

The dried ripe fruit commonly called raisins, contain dextrose and potassium acid tartrate.

The seeds contain tannin and a fixed oil.

The juice of the unripe fruit, 'Verjuice,' contains malic, citric, tartaric, racemic and tannic acids, potassium bi-tartrate, sulphate of potash and lime.