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Wild Grape Leaf

Wild Grape Leaf

Vitis riparia

Wild grape leaves are known to possess a myriad of pharmacological qualities. They are liable to reduce fever and headache.

  • Plant type: Perennial
  • Other names:
  • Medicinal: Yes
  • Culinary: Yes
  • Ceremonial: No
  • Parts Used: Leaves and Fruit
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About Wild Grape Leaf

Vitis riparia, customarily termed as wild grape and riverbank grape, is a nutritious wild food that grows in the form of climbing or trailing vines. Loose and fissured bark can be visualized on a mature vine. The wild grapevine has coarsely-toothed leaves that are arranged in an alternate fashion with 2 to 10 inches in  length and 2 to 10 inches in width. 

The wild grapevine has small white or green flowers that transform into edible berries (grapes) impart a sour flavor. This trunk-less vine is strong enough to envelop any bush or humungous trees. This deciduous perennial vine is not just famous for those blue-black berries (grapes). Its leaves are also used enthusiastically all around the world because of their purported medicinal benefits.

Wild grape leaves are known to possess a myriad of pharmacological qualities. They are liable to reduce fever and headache. They can even cater to the sore breast which is usually the result of amenorrhea. These magical wild grape leaves can even stop the bleeding, ameliorate diarrhea, and reduce inflammation and pain. This anti-inflammatory property of wild grape leaves is quite beneficial in the cases of rheumatism.

The wild grape leaves are brimmed with numerous phenolic compounds including flavonoids, tannins, anthocyanins, and procyanidins. These active compounds are responsible for the medicinal activities that help attenuate various forms of ailments.

Growing

The wild grape plant can be started in either late winter or early spring, both by seeds and cuttings. Luckily, the wild grape plant is good to start both indoors and outdoors.

Wild grape seeds require a sunny spot, well-drained soil. It requires at least 7 hours of sunlight and should be watered daily during the growth phase. Fertilizers can be added to the soil to encourage healthy growth. Also, pruning the vine time and again, or annually, promotes fresh growth.

Wild grape seeds germination is a hard nut to crack. They have an extremely long period of dormancy. For 90 to 120 days, the seeds are stratified to break that dormancy. This way, the seeds take around 14 to 21 days to sprout.

Wild grapevine gives rise to leaves and trails at a medium pace i.e. approximately 15 feet per year. The breeze of early summer sings the song of bloom for the wild grapevine. Tiny white flowers turn into small blue-black berries (grapes) that are the result of successful pollination.

The grapes bear seeds that are dispersed by animals to start their own life.

Harvesting

The best time to harvest wild grapes leaves starts from mid-spring to early summer. It is encouraged newly-born light green leaves that are tender and about the size of an average lady’s palm (5 to 6 inches)

Wild grape leaves are harvested manually. They should be separated from the stem as upon rolling, they can get damaged.

Wild grape leaves are stored fresh. They are packed in plastic bags and stored in the refrigerator. This way, they can go well for two weeks.

On the other hand, the leaves can also be dried away from the direct sunlight in a dark, dry, and cool place.

Usage

Wild grape leaves are used in a number of medicinal preparations for treating various ailments and improving the quality of life.

  • Tincture - Infuse freshly chopped wild grape leaves in grain alcohol for 4 to 6 weeks. Strain the liquid and place it in a dark and dry place.
  • Tea - Wild grapes leaves are steeped in hot boiling water for 15 to 20 minutes to form wild grape leaf tea.
  • Decoction - Wild grape leaves are boiled in water until the volume of water halves by the original volume to form a decoction.
  • Syrup - Wild grape leaves are rolled with sugar for half an hour to form the syrup.