Fruit from the Far East

Haskap berry – fruit from the Far East

Haskap berry in English is known under several names: “honeysuckle”, “sweetberry honeysuckle”, “honeyberry” or “blue-berried honeysuckle”. Originally, however, the berry comes from the Far East. It was first described in 1755 in the “Description of Kamchatka” by the Russian explorer and traveler Stefan Kraszeninnikow. Its natural habitats include high mountains of the Japanese islands of Honshu and Hokkaido, the Kuril islands, Sakhalin, north-eastern China and Siberia. The name “haskap” (ハ シ カ プ – pronounced ha-szi-ka-pu), which can be translated as “small gifts at the ends of branches”, was given to the berries by the indigenous inhabitants of the island of Hokkaido, the tribe of Ainu. The bushes of berries are called ケ ヨ ノ ミ (pronounced ki-jo-no-mi).

It is the native people of Ainu (shown above in the picture), because of the enormous nutritional value, described the berry as “the fruit of longevity and good eyesight” and the “elixir of life”. Many studies carried out on the haskap berry showed that these fruits have powerful deposits of vitamin C and antioxidants, which have a beneficial effect on our bodies. The berries were present not only in the folk medicine of the inhabitants of the island of Hokkaido, but also in Siberia. In summer, fruits were mostly eaten raw, while in the winter they were preserved using sugar, salt or Japanese vodka “shochu”, prepared mainly from rice.

In Russian folk medicine, drinking berry juice has long been considered as a great remedy for a sore throat, a cold or flu. In Tibetan culture, a decoction of these fruits is used to treat headaches or stomach problems. The healing properties also have leaves and flowers of this plant. Shredded leaves, due to the antiseptic properties, are used for compresses for various types of wounds. Flower extract is useful in the fight against diseases and eye irritation. Our store’s offer includes jams and juices from this fruit, which are worth a try. Go to the Shop tab.