All About Mountain Ash

People have long discovered the unique healing effect of eating red mountain ash. Despite the fact that fresh berries are sour, bitter, and tart, they make incredibly tasty and healthy jams and medicinal teas. So what is red mountain ash good for? Let’s talk!

In Old German, the mountain ash was called “Raudnian”, which literally means “turning red”. Apparently, the Germanic tribes were referring to the leaves and berries of the tree that turn red in the fall.

Rowan has been growing for thousands of years on the European continent, in Asia, and in North America. For many centuries, rowan was considered a magical tree by the ancient Germans, Scandinavians, Celts, and Slavs.

Today, the vast majority of rowan trees still grow in the wild. However, there are a few “cultivated” trees bred for tastier berries. For many centuries, mountain ash has been valued not only for its medicinal properties.

The composition of mountain ash

Rowan contains a significant amount of nutrients, including

  • vitamins A (even more than in carrots), B, C, D, E, K, and PP;
  • organic acids (citric, tartaric, malic);
  • micro- and macroelements (potassium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, iodine);
  • salts of manganese, copper, and cobalt;
  • tannins, pectins, and flavones;
  • essential oil.

The caloric content per 100 grams of the product is 50 kcal.

Useful properties of rowan berries

The healing properties of red mountain ash are effective and useful:

  • Carotene, which is abundant in rowan fruits, increases visual acuity
  • Vitamin P helps to overcome depression.
  • Rowan has a positive effect on the cardiovascular system. Vitamin C strengthens the walls of blood vessels.
  • Red mountain ash is useful in the case of thyroid gland diseases because it contains iodine.
  • Due to sorbic acid, rowan berries do not allow microbes and fungi to grow, so they are useful in case of problems with the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Rowan is recommended for people suffering from hypertension.
  • Rowan infusion is an excellent choleretic agent.
  • Rowan will be very useful for constipation
  • People who have problems with urination are advised to take rowan berries orally.
  • Chokeberry contains such a high concentration of vitamin P that it is even higher than black currant. Therefore, mountain ash is able to regulate blood cholesterol levels.
  • Due to the presence of pectin in berries, it normalizes and facilitates digestion.
  • In the case of atherosclerosis, black mountain ash is a must-have product on the menu.
  • These berries cleanse the body of heavy metals and remove radioactive substances.
  • It has a positive effect on the functioning of the endocrine glands.
  • Rowan juice is good for many diseases. In particular, in case of problems with the gallbladder, and heart diseases, as a wound healing and antimicrobial agent.
  • For women, mountain ash is a reliable helper, as the trace elements contained in it help regulate the menstrual cycle and help to get rid of menopausal symptoms.

Rowan in cosmetology

Due to the high concentration of nutrients, trace elements, and vitamins, rowan fruits have been used even in cosmetology.

Nourishing hair masks are prepared from ripe berries, which in the shortest possible time can naturally improve the structure of brittle and thin hair. The composition of the berries, saturated with vitamins and useful enzymes, will make the hair shiny and help to preserve the color longer when dyed.

In the past, rural women used to dye their hair with rowan berries if they wanted to give it a long-lasting and bright reddish tint. To obtain a different color, other ingredients were added to the mass prepared from the berries.

Nowadays, rowan hair dye can be purchased in almost any store.

Rowan is also used to prepare rejuvenating masks for the skin of the hands and face. A gentle scrub made from ripe fruits will cleanse the skin and help smooth out small wrinkles.

Rowan is also often used to make anti-aging cosmetics. For example, a cream with a whitening effect also has nutritional properties.

With the help of a decoction or tea based on mountain ash, you can eliminate the effect of fatigue on the skin of the hands and face, or remove bags under the eyes.

The use of mountain ash in folk medicine

Ripe berries of red mountain ash have been used for medicinal purposes since ancient times by our ancestors. Usually, berries are picked in the fall to prepare an infusion or decoction.

Rowan berries picked during the first frost are no longer as healthy and nutritious, so they will no longer have the medicinal properties of berries.

Healing infusions and decoctions are not prepared from freshly picked fruits. They must first be separated from the stalk and dried in the sun, in an oven, or in a special dryer.

Traditional medicine provides for the use of not only the berries of the red mountain ash but also its flowers for medicinal purposes.

A decoction of rowan flowers will help to overcome cough and eliminate the inflammatory process. It can be used to treat liver diseases and their complications or to take the same decoction for prevention purposes.

Traditional medicine suggests the use of a decoction of young rowan blossoms even for the treatment of hemorrhoids! Decoction is also used in the treatment of goiter.

Harm and contraindications

Despite the presence of a huge number of medicinal properties and benefits, mountain ash has a number of contraindications that should never be ignored.

Doctors do not recommend consuming rowan berries for people with high blood clotting levels.

Rowan berries should not be eaten by those who suffer from complications of coronary artery disease, varicose veins and thrombophlebitis, stomach ulcers, and gastritis with high acidity. Rowan is also contraindicated in case of diarrhea.

It is not advisable to use it for people who have had a stroke or heart attack.

It is important to note that mountain ash is strictly contraindicated during pregnancy, as it can harm the fetus. There is evidence that in ancient times women used rowan as an effective contraceptive. Rowan is also harmful to children under one year of age.

Rowan is a valuable and useful product, but it should be used with caution, as uncontrolled use can do more harm than good. Be careful and healthy!

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Written by Bella Adams

I'm a professionally-trained, executive chef with over ten years in Restaurant Culinary and hospitality management. Experienced in specialized diets, including Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw foods, whole food, plant-based, allergy-friendly, farm-to-table, and more. Outside of the kitchen, I write about lifestyle factors that impact well-being.

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