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Gifts of Siberia: Cranberry

A chapter on how cranberries bestow health, longevity, and beauty to all...

It is hard to imagine a severe, extended Siberian winter without cranberries. This berry is an indispensable source of potent vitamins that come to our rescue during the frigid season. During late autumn, the marshlands in the northern regions of Western Siberia are adorned with a verdant moss carpet adorned with glistening ruby beads. This is how the berries ripen, which we use to create delightful kissel (a berry starch drink) and mors (a fruit drink).

Despite the harsh realities of swamp life, this bright savage manages to absorb a wealth of nutrients. After the first frost, cranberries, brimming with juice and at their peak of ripeness, are ready to be harvested. They are also gathered in the spring, and although snow-covered berries might be tastier, their storage capabilities are less robust, and they lose some of their vitamins over the winter. Skilled harvesters use specialized equipment for collecting cranberries, such as the "bayan", a wooden box worn on the shoulders, or a specially designed scoop that functions like a comb.

Crane, marsh, unique

There are several theories of how the berry was named. German and Dutch settlers named the berry “crane-berry” because the blossom resembles the head and neck of a crane. Intriguingly, these birds have a penchant for consuming cranberries before embarking on their overseas journeys. Eventually “crane-berry” was shortened to cranberry. The Latin name for cranberry, "oxycoccus", translates as "sour ball," which aptly describes the berry's tangy, bitter taste. Although it may not be favored when eaten raw, we actively dry, freeze, boil, and transform it into flavorful sauces.

Siberian cranberry is a true superfood. One cup of fresh berries contains:

  • Vitamin C (25% of the daily value),
  • Vitamin A (9% of the daily value),
  • Vitamin K (6% of the daily value),
  • Vitamin E and B vitamins (8% of the daily value),
  • as well as impressive amounts of iron, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and copper.

A benefit with a sour taste

This wild berry has been renowned for its medicinal properties since ancient times, and thanks to the research of modern scientists, the list of its therapeutic benefits continues to expand.

Powerful antioxidant. Cranberry contains a lot of antioxidants: Myricetin protects cells from free radicals, ursolic acid has a pronounced anti-inflammatory effect, quercetin helps reduce the risk of a number of diseases and malignant neoplasms.
Thanks to its antioxidants, this rejuvenating berry exerts a miraculous influence on the skin. It normalizes its condition, restores and strengthens, stimulates collagen production, and bolsters protection, thus preventing inflammation.

To prevent urinary tract infections. The flavonoids, proanthocyanidins type A found in cranberries, inhibit the attachment of infection-causing bacteria to the mucous membrane of the bladder and urinary tract, thereby slowing down their reproduction. Scientific experiments demonstrate that the consumption of cranberries can effectively lower the risk of developing these diseases and alleviate the symptoms of infections. Today cranberry is utilized in the production of medications aimed at addressing urogenital tract ailments.

Natural antibiotic. The significant quantities of Vitamin C and proanthocyanidins present in cranberry boost the body's immune defenses, enhance resistance to infections, and expedite recovery from colds. Cranberry morses, relished by every child, possess excellent antipyretic and tonic properties.

For the heart health. Anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, quercetin, B vitamins, copper, potassium, and magnesium have the ability to enhance good cholesterol levels, inhibit the formation of atherosclerotic plaques, enhance blood vessel elasticity, and regulate blood pressure. Consequently, they contribute to a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Good for the intestines. Type A proanthocyanidins are also notably effective at inhibiting Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria responsible for stomach ulcers and associated with cancer development. Vitamins C, A and E contribute to improved digestion.

To maintain brain and physical activity. Thanks to high amounts of potassium and B vitamins, cranberries strengthen the nervous system and improve cognitive function. In cases where there are no contraindications, cranberries are recommended for pregnant women as they support normal fetal development and reduce the severity of toxicosis.

For healthy teeth and gum. Proanthocyanidins prevent bacteria from adhering to the tooth surfaces, rendering the berry effective in combating cavities and gum disease.

For weight loss. Vitamin C and other antioxidants, pectin, tannins accelerate the breakdown of adipose tissue cells and block the formation of new fat deposits, stimulate the acceleration of metabolism.

Siberian Wellness harnesses the full potential of this natural vitamin treasure trove. Siberian cranberry can be found in the following products:

  • B-Complex and Cranberry Vitamins – Essential Vitamins (cranberry powder)
  • Immunotops. Chewable Tablets with Vitamins A, C and D (Cranberry and Banana) (cranberry powder)
  • Rejuvenating Face Cream – cosmetics with ENDEMIX™ complex (cranberry oil)