Alkekengi. A very singular and pretty plant cultivated in gardens. The Winter Cherry has a running root in the ground, shooting forth at several joints in several places. The stalk rises about a yard high, whereon are set many broad and long green leaves, somewhat like Night shade, but larger : at the joints come forth whitish flowers, composed of five leaves each, which produce green berries inclosed with thin skins, which are red­dish when ripe, and as large as a cherry. The pulp encloses flat yellowish seeds, which being gathered and strung up, are kept all the year for use. They flower in July; and the fruit is ripe about August, or the beginning of September.

Herbal Remedies and Medicinal Uses of Cherries (Winter Cherries):

The leaves being cooling, may be used in inflammations, but they are not so purgative as the berries and fruit. They promote a copious and an easy discharge of urine, and are excellent for the gravel. The berries and leaves distilled, or made into a decoction, with milk and a little sugar, must be drunk morning and evening. Or, take three or four good handfuls of the berries, either green or dried, and having bruised them, put them in so many gallons of beer or ale when it is new and tunned up. This drink, taken daily, has been very useful in urinary diseases, etcetera. It prevents the accumulation of stone. The decoction of the berries in wine and water is the most usual way, but the powder of them taken in drink is more effectual.
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This page and the rest of the encyclopedia of medicinal herbs was reproduced from old herbals written in the 1700 and 1800s. They are of historical interest to show the traditional uses of various herbs based on folk medicine and ancient wisdom. However the traditional uses for these herbs have not been confirmed by medical science and in some cases may actually be dangerous. Do not use the these herbs for any use, medicinal or otherwise, without first consulting a qualified doctor.

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