Wild fruit - healing power on the doorstep

Wild fruit - healing power on the doorstep / Naturopathy
Wild fruits are woody plants and bushes whose fruits we can eat. This includes the prototypes of our apples, pears or cherries. Collecting and planting wild fruits is the trend - with good reason: the wild fruits contain plenty of vitamins, minerals and vital substances; they usually taste more intense than cultivars and some have a high value as ornamental plants. Wild fruit trees provide the best insects and are first-class nutrient and nesting plants for endangered birds. The most important facts in brief:

  • Wild fruits are the wild forms of our cultivated fruits as well as fruits that have not been cultivated.
  • Most wild fruits are ripe in autumn and can then be harvested.
  • Wild fruit has many vitamins, minerals, tannins and other vital substances.
  • Wild fruit is easy to grow, needs little care and provides an excellent food source for endangered insects and birds.


  • Wild fruit in natural medicine
  • Local superfood
  • Widlfrüchte - A selection
  • When is collection time?
  • Collecting berries in nature
  • The fox tapeworm
  • When and how?
  • Organize "mouth robbery"
  • Wild fruit - conservation in your own garden
  • Nurturing and nesting trees

Wild fruit in natural medicine

Wild fruit shrubs and woodcuts play an important role in natural medicine - not only the fruits, but also the bark, the leaves, flowers and the resin. Blackthorn, for example, contains iron, potassium, sodium, magnesium and calcium as well as plenty of vitamin C; Elderberry works against muscle pain and calf cramps; Cornelian cherry provides mucus as well as tannins, and the rose hips of dog rose relieve bladder and kidney problems. Wild fruit has been part of the natural pharmacy for thousands of years, and extracts of wild fruits can be found today in countless remedies.

Wild fruit plays a significant role in natural medicine. Cornelian cherry offers z. As mucus and tannins. Wild fruit belonged to the natural pharmacy for thousands of years. (Image: Jürgen Nickel / fotolia.com)

Among wild fruits fall: mountain ash, hazelnut, elderberry, rock pear, cornelian cherry, bird cherry, oat plum, Maiberere, mulberries, hawthorn, wild roses, blackthorn, sea buckthorn, barberry, honeysuckle, medlar, wild pear, crab apple (wild apple), in a broader sense wild berries such as wild strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. Incidentally, nuts, such as hazelnuts and walnuts, also count as wild fruits.

We can eat many wild fruits raw, for example, pear pear, vetchling, flour and mulberry, mayberry, may, bromine, rime, blue, prickly, moss, intoxicant or wild strawberry. Others, such as the fruits of mountain ash, cornel, sea buckthorn, elderberry, wild apple and wild pear, are first cooked to taste, and we process them into jam, juice or liqueur.

Local superfood

"Superfoods" from the Andes, China or Africa are in fashion. However, many do not know that at least as much valuable food is just waiting to be harvested on the doorstep. Sea buckthorn, barberry and rosehip far outnumber citrus fruits with their vitamin C content. Added to this are pectin, flavonoids and anthocyanins, which work against infections, purify the blood and calm the cardiovascular system. Wild fruits also taste very intense due to sugar, fruit acids, minerals and flavors.

Widlfrüchte - A selection

The spectrum of wild fruits is extremely broad. Here are just a few selected examples.


The ordinary pear is a grateful foster for the natural garden and even the balcony. It is good for hedges as it grows bushy. The dark fruits taste sweet, contain many vitamins and tannins; They can be eaten raw, but can also be processed into jam, juice or wine.

The dark fruits of the rock pear taste sweet, contain many vitamins and tannins; They can be eaten raw, but can also be processed into jam, juice or wine. (Image: Elisabeth / fotolia.com)

The common barberry

The name Sauerdorn already shows: The fruits of Berberis vulgaris taste sour. Barberries carry finger-length thorns, and in the hedge they provide good protection against unwanted intruders and a "fortress" for birds to raise their young. The fruits are ripe in October, they taste slightly sour and are suitable for juices, but also as an ingredient for rice dishes and sauces. They are full of vitamins.

In addition to vitamin C, barberry contains potassium, citric and malic acid. The fruit acids cleanse the stomach; The berries drive sweat, loosen mucus and fight bacteria. Barberry prevents infections, helps against toothache and blistered respiratory tract and relieves stomach discomfort.
The dried fruits are vitamin snacks in winter, but they can also boil well in tea. If you have a toothache, you can place the cut berries on the inflamed area.


Cornelian cherry is one of the early flowering plants, is therefore an important insect pasture, loves sun and lime in the soil. The "cherries" ripen in September and are the basis for jams, desserts and alcoholic beverages. The content of vitamin C is three times as high as that of lemons.

dog Rose

Most know this wild rose in the form of rosehip tea. Dog roses are undemanding, have no problems with frost. The bright flowers show up to June, in September then form the orange-reddish rosehips. We peel the pulp from the seeds, dry it and make tea from it. Rosehips provided our ancestors with vitamins in the winter. They contain vitamin A, B1, B2, K and vitamin C in huge amounts.

The dog rose know most rather in the form of rosehip tea. The orange-reddish fruits contain vitamin A, B1, B2, K and vitamin C in large quantities. (Image: Andrea Wilhelm / fotolia.com)

Black elder

Elderberry has the dye Sambucyanin, which prevents cardiovascular disease. Although elderberry needs nutrients and a relatively high amount of water, it is otherwise undemanding and hardy. Even more: Once planted, elderberry grows, and every year they can harvest the fruits and flowers, cook them and turn them into juice, wine or jelly.

sea ​​buckthorn

The sea-buckthorn, also called hornet or pheasant berry, shines with vitamins, essential oils, tannic acid and flavones that stick in the berries. He needs sun and sandy soil, has no problems with dryness and frost - the flowers tolerate up to minus 12 degrees Celsius.


Rowan, also known as rowan berries, features a dainty trunk and a loose oval crown. The slim shape and the ripe orange-red fruits make the trees an ornament in the garden. They are suitable in smaller gardens as solitary trees that are less "overwhelming" than oaks, beeches or apple trees. In large gardens, they fit in high wild hedges. You do not need a cut and grow easily, but need plenty of moisture in the air and soil.

The vernacular thought the fruits were poisonous. They are not, they taste just a little bitter by the contained parasorbic acid and can not be enjoyed raw. However, the bitter taste goes away while cooking. So they mouth in jam, jelly and compote and give a unique touch in wine, liqueur and juice. Rowan berries contain a lot of vitamin C and tannins. They serve as laxatives, strengthen the cardiovascular system and prevent colds.


Hawthorn is not a culinary delight, but what the berries lack of fruit acid, they balance on vital substances. They strengthen the heart and regulate blood pressure like heart rhythm. The red fruits can be dried and brewed as tea - an old home remedy for insomnia and stress.

The red fruits of hawthorn strengthen the heart and regulate blood pressure as well as heart rhythm. They can be dried and brewed as tea - an old home remedy for insomnia and stress. (Image: Heike Rau / fotolia.com)

Wild pear

The wild forms of the pear can be enjoyed in contrast to the breeding pears only overripe. There are about ten species in Europe. They grow in mixed deciduous forests, in hedges, on southern slopes and between dry shrubs. They tolerate no full shade and are rare, as their preferred habitat - oak dry forests - is less and less.

Wild pear grows slowly, but is up to 200 years old and reaches up to 20 m in height. Wild pears develop shrubby or tree-like, depending on the species and competition from "stronger" trees. In autumn, the wild pears produce brown-yellow fruits that reach only six cm in size. The branches are covered with thorns. We can only consume the pears when they have exceeded their maturity, which means they are doughy - usually after the first frost. They served mainly as dried fruit or as a fruit.

When is collection time?

The time for wild fruit is autumn. It is best to look for the typical flowers of hawthorn, blackthorn or cornelian already in spring and summer so that you know where to look. From September you will find the orange-red rose hips, red cherries, yellow-orange sea buckthorn berries or brown-yellow pears as solitary on meadows, in hedgerows and on embankments and preferably at the edge of the forest.

A good idea: Take a basket with you when hiking or biking in nature. Otherwise you stand z. For example, before a splendid mirabelle, you suddenly find yourself full-bodied and do not know how to stow the fruit.

Collecting berries in nature

The easiest to gather are wild berries. They grow on the edge of the forest and in the city park, on clearings like on river banks, on quiet factory grounds like on the railway embankment. Bilberry needs an acid soil and is therefore found especially in bog, heather, birch and pine forests; Wild blackberries, on the other hand, are very dominant and soon overgrow deserted gardens.

For children berry picking is a little adventure that many of them unfortunately do not get to know: it goes through scrub and thorns and the little ones learn thrushes, starlings, mice, hedgehogs and insects, who also love the berries. Collecting berries does the body good, because we walk, bend over and stretch to get the delicacies.

For children berry picking is a little adventure that many of them unfortunately do not get to know. For transporting you best take a breezy basket z. B. made of wood. (Image: jollier_ / fotolia.com)

Please pay attention to the following: Collecting berries is outdoor trekking. So put on sturdy clothes and hiking boots that can keep thorns out and getting dirty. The thorns of blackberry bushes hurt just like nettles. Wear long trousers and put them in the socks - where berries grow, ticks frolic. Also wear long shirts made of solid material and use an insect repellent - where berries are, mosquitoes and gnats also thrive. Depending on the weather, rub yourself with sunscreen or take a rain jacket.

Gloves should be with you. You can use it to push the thorny raspberry or blackberry stalks aside - but it is better to pick the berries yourself by hand, so as not to crush the tiny things. Gloves are meanwhile counterproductive when collecting wild strawberries.

A pruning shears is practical: elder and sea buckthorn fruits or currants hang together in small groups, and here you cut off the fruit stalks best - but not the branches. For transport, take a breezy basket, preferably made of wood. Plastic bags are not suitable, because here the berries grind. In the case of wild strawberries, the harvest quantities are usually low - here also an open shell is enough.

When collecting in nature, take care: only take as much as you consume. Do not cut off any large branches, do not destroy plants. Be careful not to damage bird nests or animal hideouts. Divide the berries with the animals and shrubs that proliferate over these berries. Never collect within protected areas.
Do not collect near busy roads or directly on conventionally managed land - car fumes or pesticides may be in the berries. As with mushrooms: Collect only berries that you know are non-toxic - no experiments.

The fox tapeworm

Think of the fox tapeworm. Foxes love berry bushes, and over the faeces of the animals, the eggs of the tapeworm can adhere to the berries. If people now consume them with the berries, they could theoretically become infected with the vesicular echinococcosis, a condition that may cost a lifetime. In practice, however, the risk for people infected in this way is very low.

You can also observe the following safety measures: If the fruits permit, pick only from a height of about 60 cm, for example, blackberries, sloe or hawthorn. This is above the shoulder or anus of the fox. This is not possible with blueberries, because they grow immediately above the ground. Therefore, they simply heat up collected blueberries to at least 60 degrees Celsius - this kills the parasites.

The fox tapeworm - mostly red foxes are affected - can theoretically be transmitted via deeper berries. If possible, only pick from a height of 60 centimeters or clean the fruits accordingly. (Image: hecke71 / fotolia.com)

When and how?

For berry picking, the afternoon is ideal, because then they contain a lot of fructose. Do not collect them for the sake of gathering: If you only bring ripe fruit and less mature or over-ripe hang, relieve their taste buds and also ensure that small mammals, birds and invertebrates have a full stomach. Ripe berries are easy to peel off.

In the basket, place only a few layers of berries on top of each other so that the fruits do not crush each other - berries are sensitive and damaged fruits rot fast. Gather quickly and avoid sunbathing - protect the berries from the sun and bring them straight home to the dark refrigerator.

Fresh berries also stay in the fridge for only a few days. But there are ways to conserve them - as vinegar, oil, jelly, marmalade, mush, chutney, pickled or dried, frozen, canned or candied. All wild berries can be boiled, canned and frozen. The finer the consistency, the better the fruit is suitable for candying, the smaller the berries, the better they can be dried.

Tip: Lemon helps against berry stains on clothing, and thus also cleanse the skin, mouth and teeth of the fruit color. Clothes with dried berry stains can be placed in milk or yoghurt for several hours, then wash at high temperatures.

Organize "mouth robbery"

Most people today do not know which wild fruits they can eat, where they can find it and if they can eat it. The initiative "Mundraub.org" wants to remedy the situation, explains where fruit is ripening in the public space and organizes, among other things, joint cherry picking. In Hamburg, for example, 22 places are marked where fruit trees grow, where citizens can serve themselves freely - from the university campus to boat moorings on the Elbe. In Bahrenfeld grow walnuts, at the Harburger station blackberries, at Eichbaumsee Mirabellen.

The term mouth robbery is not to be taken literally. The initiators do not call for theft, but want to open the eyes of people, how much precious food grows right in front of their eyes. It is not just about street trees or blackberries on fallow land, but also about fruit trees in gardens of seniors who can not reap the fruits themselves.

Wild fruit - conservation in your own garden

Growing, harvesting and eating wild fruit not only serves your own health and culinary enrichment - it also caters to catastrophic bird and insect deaths. Wild fruits are excellent nectar and pollen donors, the fruits provide food for fruit-eating birds such as thrushes or starlings, and countless insects and caterpillars - these invertebrates in turn cover the table for insectivores among birds and mammals. This also helps species that are becoming rarer as industrialized agriculture takes their food.

Nurturing and nesting trees

For example, blackthorn and hawthorn are among the most valuable nursery and nesting plants for birds and should not be missing in any natural garden. Pears, cornelian cherry, black elderberry, rowanberry, wild cherry and vase are also bird plants of the very first order. In the autumn, they not only enjoy guaranteed poison-free fruit full of vitamins, but also enjoy the singing of the song thrushes and watch the great tits collecting caterpillars for their young. The black elder is fed by 62 species of birds, the wild cherry 48, the red elder 47 and the common juniper 43. The dry flowers of the popular forsythia are completely useless for insects - as well as for birds. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)