- Types and varieties of dogwood
- Dogwood composition
- Calorie content
- How to choose and store
- Health benefits of dogwood
- Dogwood harm to health
- How to grow dogwood
- Living root system
- Reproduction methods
- Dogwood treatment
- What to cook from dogwood
Cornel has a unique taste and contains many valuable substances.
Dogwood is beautiful due to its exoticism and fragrant pulp. Many people underestimate the plant’s fruits, and this ancient tree has not lost its relevance today. Just like thousands of years ago, dogwood berries are loaded with vitamins and medicinal properties. You only need to hear about the benefits of dogwood once so that it will conquer your heart forever and take place in your diet.
Types and varieties of dogwood
Dogwood is a shrub with an ancient history. Modern gardening has more than 50 species of this plant, among which there are both shrubs and small dogwood trees. The color palette and shapes are also very diverse; you can find burgundy-red, yellow, pink, and even black ones, round, pear-shaped, or fruit in the form of barrels.
The most common types of dogwood are real, flowering, Swedish, medicinal, head, and others.
The real dogwood, known as Derain, comes from Turkey. This type of dogwood is common in countries with a continental climate; therefore it is also called European. The red fruits of the plant ripen in late winter or early spring.
Blooming dogwood grows in America, where it is popular as an ornamental plant. Plants of a flowering species – trees up to 5 meters high, fruits of various shapes and color palettes, breeders annually bring out new flowering dogwood colors.
The Swedish dogwood is a creeping plant. Most often, it grows in places with high humidity, peaty terrain on the mountains of Europe.
The homeland of the medicinal dogwood is Japan, Korea, China. It is used by oriental medicine to treat many diseases of the stomach, genitourinary system. The plant differs in that it can be grown on any soil, at any temperature.
More details on types
Another species of the dogwood family originates in China and the Himalayas – the head dogwood. The fruits of this plant are red in color with an orange tint. The head dogwood is an ornamental species with horizontal branches.
From all the varieties of dogwood, the most common among gardeners in our country, we may name various fireflies, seeds, amber, and seaside.
The firefly variety has high frost resistance and distinctive juiciness of berries. One such plant brings more than 40 kg of dogwood per season. Ripened in early autumn, the fruits do not crumble until March, delighting the owners with vitamins from the branch; the firefly tolerates frost and cold up to -30 degrees well. The dogwood berries of this variety are pear-shaped and have a cherry color.
Plants of the seed variety are very unpretentious in care: they tolerate heat, drought, cold, frost well, and seldom suffer from diseases. The fruit is dark red in color, with sour notes on the palate. Cornel of this variety is good for cooking, for the preparation of preserves and dogwood jam.
Amber dogwood is a shrub bred in the 80s of the last century. It got its name from the unusual color of ripe fruits. At the peak of maturity, the yellow berries become so transparent so that the pit is visible. Its tenderness and astringency distinguish the pulp of amber dogwood; it is a perfect choice to prepare desserts.
Cornelian cherries ripen earlier than other fruit varieties; already in the middle of summer, you can enjoy ripe berries. Also, a feature of the variety is the color of the fruits – during the ripening period, they turn from bright red berries into almost black ones.
The composition of the dogwood determines the popularity of this berry. Depending on the type and variety of dogwood, the place of its cultivation, as well as the degree of maturity, the chemical properties of the dogwood berries may differ. So, ripe fruits contain less organic acids and more sugars.
Ripe dogwood contains many vitamins (C, PP, A), organic acids, dietary fiber, saccharides, and essential oils. Surprisingly, dogwood contains more vitamin C than lemon and other citrus fruits.
Berries contain multiple useful minerals: phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, iron, sulfur. Essential oils are a part of the dogwood fruit’s seed, and the leaves contain tocopherol and ascorbic acid. The older the leaf, the more tannins, rutin, and sugars it contains. Even dogwood bark contains useful elements – glucoside, tannins, and others.
The calorie content of the typical dogwood is small, only 44 kcal. During heat treatment, the calorie content of the berry increases. There is 205 kcal per 100 g of product in dry dogwood, and the presence of proteins and carbohydrates increases significantly.
How to choose and store
Autumn is the best time to collect dogwood, but the berry is getting a special aroma after the first frost. Ripe fruits are the richest in nutrients; therefore, it is necessary to choose hard and pick color-rich dogwood berries. Specialists do not recommend to use darkened or soft berries – they are overripe.
You can store dogwood in the refrigerator, in the freezer, dried or cured. The shelf life of the dogwood depends on the storage method. The berries storage time in the refrigerator is up to two weeks. To do this, rinse the dogwood, spread it on a napkin so that the glass is water. It is better to transfer the berries to plastic dishes and store them in the refrigerator’s vegetable section.
In frozen form, dogwood fruits can be in storage for a year, retaining vitamins and aroma. Interestingly, the cold especially affects the berries – they become sweeter. Before freezing, rinse the fruit thoroughly and let it dry. After that, spread the berries on a flat plate in one layer and send them to the freezer for 4-5 hours. During this time, the fruits will freeze, then transfer to bags or other containers for storage.
Tips on storing
Homemakers prefer to store dogwood in a dry form for up to one year. To do this, it is necessary to prepare the fruits in the standard way – wash and dry, then put them on a flat surface in one layer and leave them in a ventilated area. Avoid direct sunlight on the berries; periodically turn them over to dry evenly on all sides. When the dogwood is dry, you need to transfer it to a rag bag for further storage and consumption.
Tips on drying
Keeping the dogwood in a dry form seems to be an overwhelming task for many of us. However, it is not difficult to prepare a dried dogwood, and its properties and unique taste will saturate your body with benefits for one year. To do this, prepare, rinse the berries, transfer them to a bowl, and cover them with a layer of sugar. After a day, the juice will appear that you’ll need to drain. But do not rush to get rid of it; it good to use as a fresh jam or store in a glass container. Put the remaining berries on the fire, drench in light sugar syrup, heat without boiling. After that, separate the liquid’s cornel fruits and place them on a baking sheet in one row; leave for 20 minutes in the oven at 80 degrees. Cornel is ready to eat, transfer it to convenient containers.
Health benefits of dogwood
Due to its useful composition, dogwood is a storehouse of useful elements for people’s health. It has a beneficial effect on the body’s metabolism, stimulates appetite. Beta-carotene, which is rich in red dogwood, strengthens vision and eye vessels. Pectin prevents toxic substances from entering the body, neutralizes the harmful effects of carcinogens, and supports the gastrointestinal tract’s functioning.
With regular use, cornelian cherry prevents the deposition of salts in the joints, ensures the full functioning of muscles, increases the body’s protective functions, improves immunity, participates in cell renewal, and rejuvenating the body.
Cornel is a good solution for men who want to increase their sex drive. The berries of this plant are an oriental aphrodisiac. Also, for men’s health, dogwood is useful for its tonic properties; it allows you to restore the body’s emotional state and muscle structure quickly.
Dogwood harm to health
Cornel is a tonic, so you should not use it before bedtime. This can cause insomnia and disruption of the body’s nervous system. Not good for people with constipation problems. Due to the increased content of acids, cornelian cherry has several contraindications for exacerbation of stomach ulcers, gastritis, and other diseases.
It is necessary to consume dogwood in moderation; otherwise, allergic reactions or serious indigestion may occur. In the presence of chronic or acute forms of the disease, it is necessary to consult a doctor.
How to grow dogwood
Dogwood is a thermophilic tree; it feels good in a warm mild climate, but, if you wish, you can choose a variety for moderately cold regions. The most favorable time for planting is in autumn when leaf fall begins. For dogwood, choose a calcareous soil, a semi-illuminated area, on the south or southwest side of the garden, away from the fence.
A healthy seedling guarantees a rich harvest in the future and does not require additional costs for treatment and restoration. Requirements for seedlings:
- Age 2 years
- Height 1.5m
- The presence of 3 to 5 skeletal branches
Living root system
After examining the seedlings and choosing a planting site, we prepare a hole with a radius of 60 cm and the same depth. To do this, remove the top fertile soil layer with a shovel, mix it with nitrogen, phosphorus, and potash fertilizers. Set the lower layers to the other side. Then we put the bush in the hole; while the root collar remains 3 cm above the ground level, we gently untwist the roots, fill it with mixed soil composition and two buckets of water. When the soil subsides, add the necessary amount of the remaining soil. It is advisable to tie a fragile seedling to a peg so that the plant quickly takes root.
This culture is good to plant in pairs, ensuring timely pollination during early flowering when the bees have rest in winter. It is quite simple to care for the dogwood – to prevent the roots from drying out, loosen the soil, and monitor pests and diseases’ appearance.
Cornel is propagated by seedlings, layering, cuttings, grafts, seeds. With various reproduction methods, planting with seedlings is most popular; the. The plant retains all the parent tree properties, taste, color, fertility, grows quickly, and berries appear in the third year.
The next method to propagate dogwood is to make layering. To do this, in the fall, you need to bow the annual shoots of the culture to the ground, pin, cover them with soil and water. After a year, separate and move the tree to a permanent place.
For propagation by cuttings in the summer, an annual shoot of a healthy shrub is chosen. Then cut out its central part 15-20 cm long, leave 2-3 leaves, soak in any solution of a growth stimulator. After 6 hours, you should plant it in the fertile, moist soil of the site.
Tips on budding
Budding or grafting is carried out on wild bushes, bringing them to a cultivated form. At the end of summer, a shoot with 2-3 live buds is cut from a noble bush. On a wild bush, select an intact branch and make a T-shaped incision on the bark in the center. Next, separate the bark from the wood with a knife and insert the scion into the pocket, fix it with adhesive tape. In spring, a shoot will appear from the grafted bud, and a branch will grow.
Bone propagation is the longest and most laborious process; mainly, breeders use it to develop new varieties. You should remove the pulp from the ripe fruit, place the seed in a substrate of sawdust or moss for a year, water, and feed regularly. By the next autumn, the seedlings reach 15 cm, and you need to transfer them to the open ground; they monitor the drying out of the soil and the ingress of sunlight.
The healing properties of dogwood have been known to humanity since ancient times. Until now, scientists find scrolls made by the Greeks with medical descriptions of the medicinal properties of dogwood. The ancient inhabitants of the Caucasus and Asia knew the recipe of lavash from dogwood. The mashed berries were spread over flat surfaces and dried. After that, they were rolled up and stored. Such lozenges were popular to treat scurvy by wrapping them around festering wounds. Dogwood performed disinfection, and they quickly tightened.
Use of cornel
Cornel is good to use as a reliable prophylactic agent. The use of dogwood prevents dysbiosis, migraines, arthritis, and much more. Diabetes patients and people at risk of this disease should drink a cup of cornel juice before eating. It stimulates the pancreas without raising blood sugar. Dogwood leaf tea has a tonic and tonic effect on the human body.
Cornel lotions are good to treat wounds and inflammations; it has a pronounced healing effect. Dogwood decoction is recommended for fatigue and headaches; it relieves stress and stimulates the brain’s effective work, preventing the development of sclerosis. Dentists recommend rinsing with dogwood tincture to prevent and treat oral diseases, relieve inflammation of the gums.
Thanks to iron and other elements that make up dogwood’s chemical composition, berries are used to treat anemia and other blood diseases to normalize blood pressure. Recommended for women to restore blood balance more quickly after menstruation. Cornel strengthens the walls of blood vessels in the body, is useful for venous diseases, leg edema.
Other health benefits
Doctors confirm the benefits of dogwood in the treatment of skin diseases. The berry must be in the diet to combat eczema. Due to the high content of vitamin C, dogwood is a good antipyretic agent, fights fevers.
To treat diarrhea in children, cornelian cherry jelly is boiled; it is also included in the diet for acute forms of stomach diseases. Cornel has an astringent effect. Therefore it is used for indigestion and hemorrhoids. Infusion of cornel leaves is a diuretic and choleretic agent. Therefore it is good to treat liver and kidney diseases.
Dogwood tea is a good choice for scalp treatment. It helps to eliminate dandruff by strengthening the hair follicle and nourishing the hair along its entire length. Face masks with the addition of cornel juice tone and smooth the skin.
What to cook from dogwood
The useful properties of dogwood are appreciated in cooking. The Internet is full of recipes and ideas, desserts, preserves, compote, jelly, syrups, liqueurs, wines, and much more are made from dogwood berries.
Dogwood jam is a tasty dish and a good way to store the nutrients of berries. The dogwood jam recipe is straightforward. Prepare 1.1 kg of sugar for 1 kg of berries. Dissolve sugar in 400 ml of water, bring to a boil over low heat, pour dogwood into the resulting syrup. Let it brew for four hours, then bring a little over low heat to a boil and simmer. Stir constantly so that the jam does not stick together. Pour the mixture into sterile jars.
You can make marmalade from dogwood. To do this, rinse and separate 250 g of berries from the seeds, transfer to a saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. After that, cook over low heat for 15 minutes, then rub the dogwood berries through a sieve or cheesecloth. Pour the resulting mass of 80 g of sugar and cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring constantly. Distribute the marmalade into sterile jars and roll-up.
A simple but beneficial drink for the whole family will be dogwood compote. For 1 liter of water, you need 200 g of berries and 80 g of sugar. Combine the ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a boil, then cook for another 10 minutes over low heat. Set aside the pot and let the compote cool. The tonic drink is ready.
Lovers of healthy smoothies have been adding dogwood to their drinks for a long time. A ubiquitous recipe for a dogwood-peach smoothie: for 100 g of dogwood, you need to take two medium-sized peaches, a sprig of mint, as well as honey, sesame seeds, flax seeds – a teaspoon each. Add all ingredients to a blender and stir. Add yogurt or milk as needed.
And even fans of meat dishes have something to offer – dogwood sauce. To prepare it, you will need 350 g of dogwood, a clove of garlic, a tablespoon of sugar, half a hot pepper, a sprig of mint, cilantro, and salt to taste. Transfer the clean dogwood berries to a pot of water, simmer over medium heat for about 20 minutes, drain the water and rub the fruits through cheesecloth or a sieve. Separate the juice and pulp of the berries. Grind the remaining ingredients with a blender or knife. Add the resulting mixture to the dogwoods, gradually adding the juice of the berries. Add salt to taste, refrigerate the sauce, and be ready to eat in an hour.