Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Grape Vine Sap and Natural Remedies

Did you know that grape vines cry? It's known as “Les Vignes Pleurent” in Bordeaux and happens in the Spring when the temperature is rising. The sap drips like tears from the pruning cuts and is believed to have magical properties in Bordeaux. In fact, it can drip so readily that workers are often sprayed with it and passers by mistake it for rain drops.

Grape sap has been used for centuries by different peoples as a remedy – the sap was placed onto septic wounds, diluted in boiling water to cure eye infections, used as a shampoo to keep the hair shiny and as a scalp treatment.

Native Americans used other parts of the grape vine – the shoots and tendrils - to hasten the recovery of snakebite victims. This suggests that the plant was used to assist the all-important function of the liver. It was also used as a treatment for diabetes.

The grape leaves have an anti-inflammatory as well as astringent action and are used in natural remedies for the gastrointestinal tract, liver, bleeding and bowel upsets. It is also used in detoxification - grape based fasting is recommended as the nutrient content of grapes is almost similar to that of blood plasma and this is the normal herbal supplement recommended by herbalist for detoxifying the liver. The dried fruits of the grape - raisins or sultanas - can help ease coughs in affected patients and skin is also soothed by wine vinegar, which is also astringent and cooling to the body at the same time. All in all the grape vine is a very useful plant !

Images Courtesy of www.flickr.com

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