Cranberries and lingonberries are not the same, even if this fallacy can occur in everyday life. They belong to different species but are related to each other.
Lingonberries or cranberries – two species of a diverse genus
Vaccinium is the name of the genus, which includes both the cowberry and the cranberry under its umbrella. Translated into German, these are the blueberries, and they include 450 to 500 species and subspecies.
- Cranberries are mainly found in Northern Europe, where they are cultivated but are mostly collected from the wild. They are also found in North America and Asia.
- Cranberries can be recognized for their dark red color and bitter taste.
- To thrive, it does not need too much sun exposure, preferably constant partial shade. A snow cover in winter provides insulation and thus protection against frost damage. These occur in the plant from a temperature of -22 degrees.
- For the lingonberry, the soil should contain as little time as possible, be acidic, and be low in bases.
- Cranberries are larger than their relatives and taste milder. Their demands on the environment differ only slightly from those of cranberries.
- Cranberries are also called American cranberries, which also give information about where they are most commonly found. North America has a yield of up to 300,000 tons a year.
- The fields are flooded for the harvest. Four large air chambers in the berry mean that they float to the surface of the water and can be easily harvested.
- Both fruits are often used in jams and chutneys. Dried, they offer a delicious snack or an accompaniment to muesli. Consuming them raw is not recommended because they don’t taste particularly good and can cause constipation.
Useful properties for use as home remedies
The lingonberry has gained popularity in recent years as it is believed to help treat urinary tract infections.
- Whether, for example, cranberry juice supports the treatment of such an infection is controversial. What has been confirmed is that the tannic acids contained in the berry can have an anti-inflammatory effect.
- Arbutin can be found in the herb of the cranberry and the fruit, although in smaller amounts. This substance is not found in many plants and is a urinary disinfectant.
- The cranberry contains many organic acids and pectins. When taken correctly with plenty of water, pectins lower the cholesterol level and have a positive effect on the intestinal flora.
- The cranberry has similar properties and contains anti-inflammatory agents.