Herbs in alphabetical order
Grape - shrub with more or less twisted stems bearing small, round, green branches adorned with large, alternating and palm like leaves. The tiny flowers are grouped in a light green panicle. The fruit is a berry of variable color (from light green to deep blue depending on the variety) that contains between 5 and 10 seeds. A plant originally from good stock can live for 600 years.
The grape is one of the oldest fruits in history. Grape seeds have been found in mummy cases in Egyptian tombs that are more than 3,000 years old. At the time of Homer, the Greeks were using wines, and the Bible tells of grape cultivation in the time of Noah.
The Mission Fathers of California were the first to grow the European type of grape in the USA. This variety became known as the Mission grape and remained the choice variety until 1860 when other choice European varieties were introduced into this country. Between 6,000 and 8,000 varieties of grapes have been named and described, but only 40 to 50 varieties are important commercially. Table grapes must be attractive in appearance and sweet and firm. Large size, brilliant color, and beautifully formed bunches are the qualities desired.
There are four classes of grapes: wine grapes, table grapes, raisin grapes, and sweet (unfermented) juice grapes.
Grapes are used throughout the world for curative purposes. In France, it is not uncommon for people to use grapes as their sole diet for many days during the grape season. The low incidence of cancer in these areas has been attributed to the high percentage of grapes in the daily diet. The therapeutic value of grapes is said to be due to high magnesium content. Magnesium is an element that is needed for good bowel movements. Grapes are wonderful for replacing this chemical element.
The juice of the Concord grape is one of the best to use. Juice from other grapes, however, can be used as well. If the juice is too sweet or upsets the stomach, a little lemon juice can be added. Mix with pineapple juice or any citrus fruit, if desired. Used in combination with whey, soy milk, and an egg yolk, it makes a wonderful tonic for the blood.
Grape skins and seeds are good for bulk, but sometimes are irritating in conditions of colitis and ulcers, so they should not be eaten by persons who have these conditions. When chewed well, bitter grape skins make a good laxative. There is also a laxative element found in the seeds.
Grapes are wonderful for promoting action of the bowel, cleansing the liver, and aiding kidney function. They are alkalinizing to the blood, and high in water content, so they add to the fluids necessary to eliminate hardened deposits that may have settled in any part of the body. They are wonderful for the kidneys and the bladder and are very soothing to the nervous system. The high content of grape sugar gives quick energy. Dark grapes are high in iron, which makes them good blood builders.
As grapes do not mix well with other foods, it is best to eat them alone. Make sure they are ripe, as the green acids are not good for the blood. Crushed grapes may be used as a pack on a tumor or growth. Any infected area will improve after a grape pack is applied. It can be placed on the area of disturbance for a period of three to four days.
Flowers, leaves, raw berries, seeds.
Grape leaves, especially the red leaves, are astringent
and anti-inflammatory. They are taken as an
infusion to treat diarrhea, heavy menstrual
bleeding, and uterine hemorrhage, as a wash
for canker sores, and as a douche for vaginal
discharge. Red leaves and grapes are helpful
in the treatment of varicose veins,
hemorrhoids, and capillary fragility. The sap
from the branches is used as an eyewash.
Grapes are nourishing and mildly laxative,
and they support the body through illness,
especially of the gastrointestinal tract and
liver. Because the nutrient content of grapes
is close to that of blood plasma, grape fasts
are recommended for detoxification. The
dried fruit (raisins or sultanas) is mildly
expectorant and emollient, with a slight
effect in easing coughs. Wine vinegar is astringent,
cooling, and soothing to the skin.
HABITAT AND CULTIVATION
Native to southern Europe and western Asia, grapes are cultivated in warm temperate regions throughout the world for their fruit and to produce wine. The leaves are collected in summer, the fruit in autumn.
- Leaves, juice and small branches: flavonoids,
tartaric salts, choline,
inositol, beta-carotene, minerals (calcium,
fiber, tannins, chlorophyll.
The sap can be used
directly on suppurating wounds or
diluted in the same volume of boiling
water to treat eye infections.
SLIMMING HERBAL TEA
Boil the plants for 5 minutes, infuse for 10 minutes. Drink all the liquid during the day, between meals. To eliminate water retention and intercellular toxins, drink 3 to 4 cups (750 ml to 1 liter) daily, before meals, for 10 to 30 consecutive days.
Red wine catechins are extracted from the skin of red wine grapes. The most active red wine catechin is resveratrol, a compound the grape plant manufactures in the skin of the fruit to deter gray mold. Although red wine catechins are found in purple grape juice and red wine, resveratrol is most abundant in immature grapes (which are more susceptible to mold) and in grapes grown in damp climates, especially on Long Island in New York.
Resveratrol is a helpful anticancer supplement. It has been shown to slow the development of atherosclerotic plaques and to protect the heart. In addition, it may reduce the inflammation that causes eczema.
Benefits of red wine catechins for specific health conditions include the following:
Resveratrol is usually taken in tablet form. Unless dietary restrictions prohibit the consumption of sugar, drinking 12 to 14 fluid ounces (450 to 500 milliliters) of purple grape juice or one glass of red wine daily will have similar benefits.
Some studies have reported that the flavonoids in red wine can be absorbed from the intestine more efficiently than those in red grape juice. However, other research has found that there is no significant difference in the levels of catechins between alcoholic and nonalcoholic red wine. In fact, concentrations of catechins in plasma dropped more swiftly if alcohol was consumed.