We all know wine as an intoxicating alcoholic drink that has very limited positive properties; rather much more negative ones. Grapes, from which wine is made, are very healthy. Nowadays there are mainly seedless grapes for sale, but the seed actually contains a lot of healthy substances. The seeds are used in phytotherapy together with the leaves as a medicine for various conditions. NB! This article is written from the personal view of the author and may contain information that is not scientifically substantiated and/or in line with the general view.
Botanical drawing of vine / Source: Franz Eugen Köhler, Köhler’s Medizinal-Pflanzen, Wikimedia Commons (Public domain)
- Vine naming
- Vine in ancient times
- Vine in folk medicine
- Active substances vine
- Grape leaf for blood vessel problems
- External application of grape leaves
- Trot in obesity
- Healing power of grapes
- Consult a herbal therapist
In science we use Latin names for plants so that everyone is talking about the same plant. Due to possible language confusion, it is difficult to use a plant name in your own language. The Latin name for grapevine is Vitis Vinifera . Vitis means ‘grape’ and vinifera ‘wine-bearing’. In Dutch the plant has a few nicknames: Red vine, Red vine, Vineyard vine. The fruit of the vine is of course called grape.
Vine in ancient times
The Sumerians are considered the first wine growers. According to historians, almost all forms of modern society first took place in Sumeria. From Sumeria, viticulture spread in all directions, to Persia, India, ancient Egypt and ancient Greece. Viticulture only really started in Egypt. It was said that wine came from Osiris. In ancient Greece, wine was mixed with water, herbs and honey and then drunk. Grape seeds were pounded by the ancient Greeks and mixed with vinegar as a remedy for hemorrhoids. Dioscorides, pioneer of medicine and herbal science, saw the green grape as a remedy for constipation. He used the leaves and tendrils as headache medicine. Pliny prepared an ointment from grape juice that he used against inflammation. At one time, instead of letting the vines grow across the land, the vine was allowed to climb up a pole. Then they started pruning them. It turned out that this made the grapes much larger. The ancient Romans were big wine fans. They brought it to Germany and France where this drink remains popular to this day.
Vine in folk medicine
In folk medicine, vine leaves were used for their astringent and hemorrhoidal properties for bleeding hemorrhoids. Unripe grapes were used to combat sore throats. Raisins, or dried grapes, were used to combat weight loss and constipation. In the 1970s, grape seeds were first examined in France and it was found that they contained OPCs or Oligomeric ProCyanides, which play a very strong role as an antioxidant. In addition, OPCs have a blood circulation-promoting effect.
Active substances vine
From the grapevine, the grape seeds, leaves, pomace or residue after pressing and the grapes are used in phytotherapy. Each part of the vine contains different active substances.
The leaf contains: a large number of flavonoids such as flavanols, anthocyanins, flavonols and flavones, phenolic acid, tannins, resveratrol, benzoic acid, benzaldehydes, minerals, organic acids such as tartaric acid, malic acid, succinic acid, and protocatechuic acid, potassium bitartrate, calcium bitartrate, calcium maleate, vitamin C and essential oil.
The marc contains: OPCs, anthocyanins, tannins, mucilages.
The grapes contain: Six types of natural sugars, 19 types of amino acids, three types of fatty acids, the phytosterols betasitosterol and ergosterol, at least 12 types of polyphenols including quercetin and kaemferol, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C and E, minerals. calcium, boron, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, selenium and silicon, fiber, enzymes, acetic acid, benzoic acid, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, citric acid, lactic acid, malonic acid and oxalic acid.
Grape leaf for blood vessel problems
The leaf has a healing effect on blood vessels and capillaries, just like the grape seeds, but the seeds have a slightly stronger effect. Some may not be aware of the edibility of grape leaves. You can make delicious dolmas from it; that is rice wrapped in grape leaves. Grape leaves protect the walls of blood vessels and ensure better venous circulation. Grape seeds may be a more effective medicine, but grape leaves have the advantage that you can use them in dishes. Due to the medicinal effect of grape leaves, it is prescribed by the herbalist for the following indications:
- Brittle capillaries, weak capillaries, rosacea,
- Grape leaf / Source: Joachim Schmid, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-3.0)
Bruises from a light blow,
- Bruises, petechiae or punctate haemorrhages,
- Varicose veins,
- Preventing vein wall inflammation,
- Excessive menstrual bleeding,
- Abnormal menopausal bleeding,
- Hot flashes and other menopausal complaints,
- Oral mucosal inflammation,
- Sore throat, tonsillitis,
External application of grape leaves
Because it has an astringent and anti-inflammatory effect, grape leaves are recommended externally by herbalists for the following indications:
Vine / Source: H. Zell, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0)
Rinsing and gargling:
- Oral mucosal inflammation,
- Sore throat, tonsillitis,
Eye bath, wash, compresses:
- Eye irritation from swimming pool water, seawater,
- Eye irritation due to fatigue and smoke,
Trot in obesity
Trot contains many mucilages that can absorb 20 times their weight in moisture. This gives you a feeling of satiety faster. That is why trot is used by obese people. You are more likely to feel full; in fact, you are actually full. This means you can’t overeat yourself. Another advantage of trot is that it makes digestion run more smoothly. In some cases, a poorly functioning liver that causes constipation is related to obesity. Eating trot will make your bowel movements easier. An additional advantage of trot is that it keeps the blood sugar level increase after a meal within limits. This is because the mucilages ‘envelop’ the carbohydrates, causing digestion to take place more gradually. These medicinal effects make trot an excellent remedy for:
- High blood sugar levels which can lead to diabetes mellitus.
As an external healing property, trot promotes blood circulation in the small blood vessels. Apply it to orange peel skin and it will disappear.
Healing power of grapes
- Because grapes prevent the conversion of LDL cholesterol to oxycholesterol, it is an excellent means of combating arteriosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.
- If you have had an illness, grapes are an excellent way to gain strength,
- Because it promotes bile secretion, cleanses the liver and stimulates digestion, grapes are used for dyspepsia.
- Grapes have a laxative effect and are therefore used as a constipation remedy.
- The grape purifies the blood and can therefore be prescribed for arthritis, osteoarthritis, detoxification programs and hives.
Consult a herbal therapist
Anyone who wants to use vine parts as a medicinal product is recommended to consult a herbal therapist. Extracts and medicines in the form of mother tincture, powder, dried herb, liquid extract and decoction should only be used on the prescription of authorized persons. A herbal therapist can tell you more about this, as well as about possible side effects and interactions with other medicines or herbs. There are also beneficial combinations with herbs. Some herbs can enhance each other’s effects; that’s called synergy. All medicinal effects of this medicinal herb mentioned in this article are based on scientific research and come from Geert Verhelst’s Large Handbook of Medicinal Plants, a standard work in the field of healing plants. The book is used in phytotherapy.