The name of lingonberry (Vaccinum Vitis-idaea), also known as cowberry, foxberry or mountain cranberry, originates from the Swedish name lingon for the species, and is derived from the Norse lyngr, or heather. The berries collected in the wild are a popular fruit in northern, central and eastern Europe, notably in Nordic countries, the Baltic states, central and northern Europe. They are used in food and beverages, health products and cosmetics. The berries are quite tart, so they are often cooked and sweetened before eating in the form of lingonberry jam, compote, juice, smoothie or syrup. The raw fruits are also frequently simply mashed with sugar, which preserves most of their nutrients and taste, and frozen.
What do lingonberries contain?
Lingonberries contain a unique composition of antioxidants such as proanthycyanidins, resveratrol, and anthocyanins, as well as being a rich source of vitamins, fibre and minerals. The berries also contain plenty of organic acids, vitamin C, vitamin A (as beta carotene), B vitamins (B1, B2, B3), and the elements potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
What are the benefits on lingonberries?
In folk medicine, lingonberries have been used as an apéritif, astringent, depurative, antiseptic, a diuretic, a tonic for the nervous system, and to treat rheumatism, and various urogenital conditions.