Strawberries, the popular summer fruit, aren’t just limited to its juicy and tasty flavor but also have several health benefits. It is popular among both children and adults. Everyone is aware about consumption of the red juicy part of the berry and often tends to throw away the green leaves and stem.

We’ve been eating our favorite fruit all wrong. But not anymore!

In fact, 90% of the kids or even elders for that matter discard the leaves thinking that it’s not edible. If you’re like me and toss off the leaves in the bin while prepping strawberries without a second thought, this article is just for you. It’s time to modify our daily practice for good.

The tops are totally safe to eat.

Yes, you heard me right, the entire fruit of strawberry is edible!

Everyone’s aware of the taste of the red part of strawberries. It’s sweet and juicy. But what do the leaves taste like? The leaves have a mild, fruity flavor with a fresh grassy finish to it.

Several health benefits connect to strawberry leaves.

· They are known for helping with arthritis pain because they contain a diuretic called caffeic acid. It helps to relieve water tension from the joints and reduces inflammation.

· They are a rich source of antioxidants

· Help in blood sugar regulation.

· Improve heart health.

· Calcium content in the leaves helps strengthen the bones.

· The iron content improves red blood cells.

· These leaves also have tannins which have low pH levels and thus helps in digestion and eases upset stomach, cramps or bloating.

· Support the immune system.

· They can help with weight management.

Not everyone would enjoy chewing the leaves so how to get those extra vitamins?

We’ve got some ideas which you can follow in your everyday life.

1. Infuse your water

– Drop these strawberry tops in a bottle of water and let them soak. Once the water is infused with flavor it gets easier to drink plenty of water which is needed to stay fully hydrated. Accompany the tops with a slice of orange and this becomes a refreshing detox drink.

2. Infuse your alcohol

– Instead of tossing them out, toss these tops in your favorite liquor, be it vodka, gin or rum. Let this sit for two days making a pink and berry flavored concoction. Enjoy the same drink but it’s a lot more flavorful.

3. Infuse your vinegar

– Bored of the same salad dressing? Or need a healthy salad dressing? We’ve got you covered. Crush strawberries in a saucepan and add good quality vinegar and bring the mixture to a simmer. Pour it in a jar, let it cool and then store it. Use this strawberry infused vinegar as an alternative to your regular salad dressing.

4. Smoothies

– Add whole strawberries in your morning drink along with kale and grab those extra nutrients. Strawberries will add the natural sweetness to your drink and the leaves provide the extra vitamins and calcium needed for everyday work.

5. Tea

– Use fresh strawberry leaves or dried organic leaves to make tea. This strawberry leaf herbal tea promotes good digestion, relieves symptoms of gastrointestinal distress and also reduces hemorrhoids. Drink eight ounces of it every 3 hours and see great results on your face too.

6. Herbs like natural flavoring

– Crush the leaves and use them for garnishing over pasta dishes. It will add a mild and light flavor to the dish.

Just like all other foods come with allergies, strawberry leaves also aren’t for everyone. If it is your first time trying out strawberry leaves, watch out for redness, itching, or even sharpness of breath.

You should only eat the fresh leaves. The wilted ones could give you an upset stomach.

Other uses apart from edibility.

The leaves of plants have been used for medicinal purposes since ancient times. More and more people in today’s times are preferring natural remedies as an alternative to allopathy.

Apart from flavoring food, can strawberry leaves make people look better?

Strawberries contain malic and citric acids, sugar, mucilage, pectin, woody fiber, and water. This makes the leaves of strawberries a great laxative.

Prepare Astringent

Boil the leaves in water and drain the leaves. Let the water cool down and apply it on your face as an astringent. This will help reduce inflammation in and around acne prone areas.

Cosmetic use for face

Immediately after washing your face with the leaf astringent, cut a strawberry in half and rub it all over your face. This will help whiten the skin and prep it for makeup application.

Cosmetic use for lips

Boil leaves of strawberries with water and two teaspoons of lemon juice. Drain the leaves and then add one teaspoon of honey. Allow the mixture to harden in the freezer for an hour and then apply it to your lips. This will help them keep bright, fresh, and moisturized.

Go ahead, make the most of strawberries along with their tops and observe a good result in your health. I too was reluctant to try strawberry leaves for the first time but it turned out to be an awesome experience. Now, every summer season strawberry leaves are a part of my diet and I would highly recommend you to try it out too. You won’t regret it!