A tea made from the dried leaves is strongly astringent, diuretic, tonic and an antiseptic for the urinary tract. It is also a remedy for diabetes if taken for a prolonged period. Another report says that the leaves can be helpful in pre-diabetic states but that they are not an alternative to conventional treatment. The leaves contain glucoquinones, which reduce the levels of sugar in the blood. A decoction of the leaves or bark is applied locally in the treatment of ulcers and in ulceration of the mouth and throat. A distilled water made from the leaves is an excellent eyewash for soothing inflamed or sore eyes.Whilst the fresh fruit has a slightly laxative effect upon the body, when dried it is astringent and is commonly used in the treatment of diarrhoea etc. The dried fruit is also antibacterial and a decoction is useful for treating diarrhoea in children. The skin of the fruits contains anthocyanin and is specific in the treatment of hemeralopia (day-blindness). The fruit is a rich source of anthocyanosides, which have been shown experimentally to dilate the blood vessels, this makes it a potentially valuable treatment for varicose veins, haemorrhoids and capillary fragility.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 - 8cm with a heel, August in a frame. Slow and difficult. Cuttings of mature wood in late autumn. Layering in late summer or early autumn. Another report says that spring is the best time to layer. Takes 18 months.Division of suckers in spring or early autumn.
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Dislikes root disturbance, plants are best grown in pots until being planted out in their permanent positions.Tolerates some shade, succeeding in light woodland. Very tolerant of wind and exposure. Plants do not always do well in sheltered positions and they fruit better in an exposed position. They can also form the ground layer in acid woods. A freely suckering shrub when growing well. Plants quickly regenerate from below ground level if they are burnt and also tolerate some grazing. One report says the plant is self-sterile, another that it is self-fertile. The fruits are relished by wildlife and the plants provide food for a number of insect species.Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus.
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
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Polycultures & Guilds
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