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Strawberry

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The garden strawberry, Fragaria vesca, is a hybrid species that is cultivated worldwide for its aggregate accessory fruit, strawberry. The fruit is widely appreciated, mainly for its characteristic aroma but also for its bright red color. Fragaria vesca belongs to the family Rosaceae. Strawberries are short-lived herbaceous perennials, producing for 2 to 3 years. Strawberry growth will start from the crown. Strawberry crowns are perennial but their roots are annual.
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Botanical Names
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Indian Names
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Chemical Constituents
Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese. They are also a very good source of dietary fiber and iodine. Plus, strawberries are a good source of potassium, folate, vitamin B2, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, copper, and vitamin K. Strawberries also contain an array of beneficial phytonutrients, including flavonoids, anthocyanidins and ellagic acid. Strawberry is a rich source of folic acid.
Pesticide Limits
A limit for pesticide is one of the major issues in standardization of medicinal plants and products in view of the worldwide widespread use of pesticides in cultivated plants. The presence of pesticides in extracts increase the health risk by many folds. The pesticides can be extremely irritant on skin as well as in the internal organs, it is essential to monitor concentration as a part of GMP. Various analytical methods for the quantitative determination of pesticides by gas chromatography coupled with mass-spectrophotometer are in use. Konark Research Foundation (KRF), a NABL certified lab is well equipped with the latest technology and instruments and monitors the pesticide limit as part of its GMP.
Chromatographic Profile
From the pharmacopoeial perspective, a better quality control of raw material can be achieved by specifying quantitative test procedure for the determination of the range or a minimum content of the active ingredient or marker substances. A chromatographic finger profile represents qualitative/ quantitative determination of various components present in a complex plant extract, irrespective whether or not their exact identity is known. Thin layer chromatographic technique is the simplest and least expensive method that provides plenty of information on the composition of raw herbs and its preparation. For quantitative analysis of active ingredients or marker substances with simultaneous separation and detection High Pressure liquid chromatography is the best technique. We use the latest model of HPLC for all its analysis.
Limits of Impurities
A test requirement for foreign organic matter would ensure the extent of contamination of extraneous matters such as filth and other parts of botanicals not covered by the definition of the herbal drug. Since sand and soil are predictable contaminants of botanicals, test requirements for ‘total ash’, water soluble ash’, ‘acid soluble ash’, residue on ignition and sulphated ash would be expected to limit such contaminants. Test requirement for heavy metals in botanical raw material are probably more relevant for parts of plants growing under ground than for the aerial parts of the plant. The presence of high levels of minerals interacts with the final product there by affecting its keeping quality.
Microbial Limits
If the raw herbs are to be used directly without boiling in water prior to consumption, restrictive limits on microbial contaminants are required for pathogens such as Salmonella sp. Enterobacter and E. coli which are causative agent for various gastrointestinal diseases. A lower level of yeasts and molds and a limit on total aerobes are considered appropriate in plant material for topical use. The presence of aflatoxins detected by chemical means is generally independent of the number of viable molds that are detected using microbiological methods. Aflatoxins in microgram quantity are capable of giving serious hypersensitivity reactions which can be extremely harmful to human health.
Pharmacology
Strawberry fruit acts as laxative, diuretic, and astringent. Both the leaves and the fruit were in early pharmacopoeias, though the leaves were mostly used. The fruit contains malic and citric acids, a volatile matter, sugar, mucilage, pectin, woody fiber and water (2). It is easily digested and is not subject to acetous fermentation in the stomach. It is also recommended for stone. The plant is 'singularly good for the healing of many ills,’ and it is efficient to cure rheumatic gout. Vitamin C(Ascorbic acid) is essential for healthy teeth, gums and Bones; helps to heal wounds, scar tissue, Fractures; prevents scurvy; builds resistance to infection; aids in the prevention and treatment of the common cold; gives strength to blood vessels; aids in the absorption of iron. The berries cool the liver, blood and spleen, or a hot choleric stomach. They refresh and comfort fainting spirits and quench the thirst. They are good for inflammations. It is also recommended for sluggish liver, gout, rheumatism, constipation, high blood pressure, catarrh and even skin cancer.
Health Benefits
The Strawberry is a useful in medicine and cosmetics. The fresh fruit removes discoloration of the teeth. A cut Strawberry rubbed over the face immediately after washing will whiten the skin and remove slight sunburn. For a badly sunburn face it is recommended to rub the juice well into the skin. In addition to being consumed fresh, strawberries can be frozen, made into preserves, as well as dried and used in such things as cereal bars. Strawberries are a popular addition to dairy products, as in strawberry-flavored ice cream, milkshakes, smoothies, and yogurts. Strawberries, like other berries, are famous in the phytonutrient world as a rich source of phenols. In the strawberry, these phenols are led by the anthocyanins and by the ellagitannins. The anthocyanins in strawberry not only provide its flush red color, they also serve as potent antioxidants that have repeatedly been shown to help protect cell structures in the body and to prevent oxygen damage in all of the body's organ systems . Strawberries' phenol content makes them a heart-protective fruit, an anti-cancer fruit, and an anti-inflammatory fruit, all rolled into one (5). Rich in polyphenols and Vitamin C, it provides protection for the skin contains soothing properties and is a wonderful toner to reduce the appearance of pores. Strawberry extracts considered astringent when the extract is obtained from the root. The fruit, in addition to malice and citric acids, sugar, mucilage, pectin, woody fiber and water, also contains ascorbic acid that lends credence to early claims of bleaching properties. The extract from the fruit was recommended for use on sunburned areas to soothe the skin.
Application in Cosmetics
Every one is well familiar with its health benefits but what is gaining more popularity nowadays is the role of strawberries in skin care. In fact this lovely juicy fruit is a great skin care additive particularly for oily skin. It is a good skin cleanser and astringent that helps to eliminate excessive oils, clears any pigmentation and improves skin tone making it younger looking and smoother. These also clear up acne and blemishes and reduce under-eye puffiness. A regular use of strawberries gives a soft and supple skin and encourages a healthy glowing complexion (7). Strawberries contain salicylic acid that rids the skin of dead cells, makes the skin pores smaller and the face look brighter and shinier. They gently refresh and exfoliate the skin, remove impurities, and reduce redness and swelling, which is wonderful for a cleansing and skin softening facial mask. In addition, the antioxidants in the fruit help to repair skin damage and counteract aging effects .
Research References
1. Törrönen, R. and Määttä, K. 2002. BIOACTIVE SUBSTANCES AND HEALTH BENEFITS OF STRAWBERRIES. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 567:797-803 2. Wang SY, Jiao H: Scavenging capacity of berry crops on superoxide radicals, hydrogen peroxide, hydroxyl radicals, and singlet oxygen. J Agric Food Chem 2000 , 48:5677-5684. 3. Chang WC, Yu YM, Chiang SY, Tseng CY: Ellagic acid suppresses oxidised low-density lipoprotein-induced aortic smooth muscle cell proliferation: studies on the activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 and proliferating cell nuclear antigen expression. Br J Nutr 2008 , 99:709-714. 4. Navindra P. S., Berry Fruits for Cancer Prevention: Current Status and Future Prospects J. Agric. Food Chem. 2008, 56, 630–635. 5. Hannum SM: Potential impact of strawberries on human health: a review of the science. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 2004 , 44:1-17. 6.Wolfe KL, Kang X, He X, Dong M, Zhang Q, Liu RH: Cellular antioxidant activity of common fruits. J Agric Food Chem 2008 , 56:8418-8426. 7. da Silva Pinto M, Kwon YI, Apostolidis E, Lajolo FM, Genovese MI, Shetty K: Functionality of bioactive compounds in Brazilian strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa Duch.) cultivars: evaluation of hyperglycemia and hypertension potential using in vitro models. J Agric Food Chem 2008 , 56:4386-4392. 8. Prior RL, Wu X, Gu L, Hager TJ, Hager A, Howard LR: Whole berries versus berry anthocyanins: interactions with dietary fat levels in the C57BL/6J mouse model of obesity. J Agric Food Chem 2008 , 56:647-653. 9. Tsuda T, Ueno Y, Aoki H, Koda T, Horio F, Takahashi N, Kawada T, Osawa T: Anthocyanin enhances adipocytokine secretion and adipocyte-specific gene expression in isolated rat adipocytes. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2004 , 316:149-157. 10. Sesso HD, Gaziano JM, Jenkins DJ, Buring JE: Strawberry intake, lipids, C-reactive protein, and the risk of cardiovascular disease in women. J Am Coll Nutr 2007 , 26:303-310. 11. Yu YM, Chang WC, Wu CH, Chiang SY: Reduction of oxidative stress and apoptosis in hyperlipidemic rabbits by ellagic acid. J Nutr Biochem 2005 , 16:675-681. 12. Meenakshi S, Liya Li, Jeremy C, Caroline K, Abraham , Kovoor and Navindra P. S. Effects of Fruit Ellagitannin Extracts, Ellagic Acid, and Their Colonic Metabolite, Urolithin A, on Wnt Signaling† J. Agric. Food Chem., 2010, 58 (7), pp 3965–3969