5 Strawberry Leaves Benefits: Are They Beneficial For You In 2024?

mitchelle morgan
by

Reviewed by Kathy Shattler, MS, RDN
strawberry leaves benefits
Strawberry leaves have health benefits. Photo: Djem/Shutterstock

Each article is created without any external influence. When you use our provided links to buy products, we receive a commission as an affiliate. To understand how we generate revenue, please read our advertising disclaimer.

“Can you eat strawberry leaves?”

Strawberry tops, often overshadowed by the sweet and succulent healthy fruits they accompany, are believed to boast a range of health benefits that contribute to overall well-being.

But are the leaves truly the unsung heroes of strawberry plants? If so, what secrets do they hold?

Read on as we explore strawberry leaves benefits and discover if they truly deserve a spot on your 2024 health and wellness list.

Benefits Of Strawberry Leaves

The benefits of strawberry leaves include:

  1. Improved heart health.
  2. Immunity boost.
  3. Blood sugar regulation.
  4. Enhanced kidney function.
  5. Better digestion.

Benefits Of Strawberry Leaves

Benefits Of Strawberry Leaves
Strawberry leaves may help improve heart health. Photo: FamVeld/Shutterstock

Strawberry leaves offer various potential medicinal benefits, though more research is needed to understand their impact fully. Strawberry leaf benefits include:

Improves Heart Health

Packed with phytochemicals,[1] such as quercetin and kaempferol, strawberry leaves have been found to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation,[2] which are linked to cardiovascular health.

The antioxidants in strawberry leaves help protect the delicate endothelial lining of blood vessels, preventing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol oxidation and plaque formation in the arteries. Doing so helps lower blood cholesterol and maintain healthy blood flow, thus eliminating the risk of atherosclerosis,[3] among other related heart complications.

Moreover, the leaves may assist in regulating blood pressure levels. Certain compounds in strawberry leaves have been associated with vasodilation, helping to relax blood vessels and promote smoother blood circulation. This is particularly beneficial in managing hypertension and lowering the strain on the heart.

Also, strawberry leaves contain[4] potassium, which promotes proper heart function. Adequate potassium levels support[5] a regular heartbeat and can counteract the adverse effects of sodium on blood pressure and human health.

The diuretic properties[6] of strawberry leaves also impact heart health by promoting fluid balance. Efficient removal of excess fluids can help alleviate strain on the cardiovascular system, supporting optimal heart function.

Boosts the Immune System

Strawberry leaves have a rich nutritional profile[7] with immune-boosting components. Chief among these is vitamin C, a potent antioxidant known for supporting immune function. It enhances the production and function of white blood cells, the body’s primary defense against infections and chronic diseases.

The leaves contain other essential nutrients like vitamins A and K and minerals like manganese. These nutrients contribute to overall immune resilience.

Beyond vitamins, strawberry leaves possess anti-inflammatory[8] and anti-microbial properties.[9] A quality that aids in reducing inflammation caused by microbial pathogens, creating an immune system environment that supports the body’s natural defense mechanisms.

Strawberry fruits are known to have anti-cancer abilities.[10]

This rich chemical composition means regular consumption of strawberry leaves promotes the body’s ability to resist infections, reduces the severity and duration of illnesses, and supports overall immune resilience.

Regulates Blood Sugar Levels

While research is ongoing, studies suggest these often-discarded parts possess compounds that contribute to glycemic control,[11] potentially benefiting individuals with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.

It’s important to note that dietary fiber in strawberry leaves further supports blood sugar management.[12] Fiber slows down the absorption of sugars, preventing rapid spikes.

Supports Kidney Function

A group of researchers in 2021 observed the effects of strawberry leaves on nephrotoxic rats.[13] Nephrotoxicity is kidney dysfunction or kidney damage caused by an overload of toxins in the body. Their findings revealed that kidney function improved in all groups fed on strawberry leaf.

Another animal study indicated the positive effect of strawberry leaf[11] extract on alleviating diabetic nephropathy. This is kidney damage caused by both type 1 and 2 diabetes. It results from uncontrolled blood sugar levels affecting the kidneys’ filtering function and potential complications, including kidney failure.

Although more clinical trials are required, we can deduce the potential benefits of strawberry leaves on kidney function from existing animal studies.

Advantages Of Strawberries And Their Leaves For Renal Health

  • Diuretic properties: Strawberry leaves act as a gentle diuretic, promoting increased urine production. This diuretic effect helps flush out toxins and excess bodily fluids, reducing the workload on your kidneys.
  • Reduces inflammation: Inflammation throughout the body, including in the urinary tract, can stress your kidneys. Strawberry leaves, rich in ellagic acid and other antioxidants, may help reduce inflammation in the kidneys and urinary tract, promoting optimal function.
  • Prevents water retention: Strawberry leaves may relieve those experiencing mild water retention. Their diuretic nature helps regulate fluid balance,[14] potentially reducing swelling and easing kidney stress. This is beneficial for patients with gout and arthritis.

Note: It’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before eating strawberry leaves for renal function, especially if you have pre-existing kidney conditions.

Promotes Digestion

Strawberry leaves might hold the key to smoother digestion.[15] They are rich in tannins, bioactive compounds with astringent properties. These work like a gentle hand, tightening tissues in the digestive tract and reducing irritation. It provides soothing relief for upset stomachs and diarrhea.

Polyphenolic compounds boast anti-inflammatory properties. Like other antioxidant-rich foods, strawberry leaves help calm down inflamed gut lining, easing digestive discomfort and cramping.

Additionally, strawberry leaves are a rich source of dietary fiber,[16] essential for keeping things moving smoothly in your digestive system. Fiber bulks up stool, making it easier to pass and preventing constipation.

Are Strawberry Leaves Good For You?

Are Strawberry Leaves Good For You
Strawberry leaves are packed with nutrients. Photo: Bubushonok/Shutterstock

Yes, the leaves are just as good for you as the strawberry fruit. Here’s why:

Packed With Nutrients

They’re rich in vitamin C, minerals like manganese and potassium, and antioxidants like ellagic acid and flavonoids. All have proven to be essential for overall health and wellness.

Potential Health Benefits

Studies suggest they may:

  • Minimize susceptibility to heart disease by lowering blood pressure and high cholesterol.[17]
  • Have anti-inflammatory properties, potentially benefiting conditions like arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Boost the immune system thanks to their vitamin C and antioxidant capacity.
  • Aid digestion with tannins and ellagic acid, which explains why it has been traditionally used for digestive issues like diarrhea and stomach cramps.
  • Diuretic effects promote healthy kidney function by increasing urine production and eliminating excess fluids.
  • The vitamin C content and antioxidant capacity of strawberry fruits and their tops may improve skin health,[18] promoting a radiant and youthful complexion.

Safe For Most People

If you’re still wondering, “Is it OK to eat strawberry leaves?” Like the strawberry fruit, the leaves are generally considered safe for most healthy adults. However, it’s essential to consume them in moderation and consider any underlying medical conditions.

Possible Risks And Side Effects

While the total phenolic content of strawberry plant leaves offers amazing benefits, it’s important to consider the following risks and side effects before incorporating them into your diet:

  • Individual sensitivities: Some may experience[19] an allergic reaction to strawberries and their leaves or experience mild digestive discomfort upon consumption.
  • Excessive consumption: Strawberry leaves, like any leafy green, contain oxalates. Excessive oxalate intake may contribute to kidney stone formation in susceptible individuals.

Ways To Use Strawberry Leaves

Here are some creative ways to use strawberry leaves for both health benefits and culinary enjoyment:

In The Kitchen

  • Tea: Steep a handful of fresh or dried strawberry leaves in boiling water for a refreshing and antioxidant-rich strawberry leaf tea. Incorporate herbs like green tea, mint, and lemon for a herbal tea twist. Or add ice cubes for a cold treat.
  • Strawberry-infused water: Infuse water with strawberry leaves for a refreshing and subtly flavored drink.
  • Smoothies: To curb a sugar craving naturally, blend a handful of fresh or freeze-dried leaves into your strawberry smoothie for a nutrient boost. You can also grind dry leaves to form a healthy green powder for smoothies and shakes.
  • Salads: Use chopped strawberry leaves as a garnish or edible confetti for your salads.
  • Soups and broths: Add to soups and broths for a subtle taste and to get the medicinal benefits of these berry leaves in your food.
  • Sauces and dressings: Put chopped strawberry leaves into your homemade sauces and dressings for a unique twist. They can add a sweet-tart flavor to vinaigrettes, marinades, or even pesto.
  • Baked goods: Add chopped leaves to muffins, cookies, or even bread dough.

Beyond The Kitchen

  • Toner: Make a DIY toner by steeping the leaves in witch hazel and cooling the mixture. Apply it to cleansed skin for a refreshing and astringent boost.
  • Mask: Mix mashed strawberries and their tops with ingredients like honey or yogurt for a nourishing and revitalizing face mask.
  • Compost: Strawberry leaves are a great addition to your compost bin, adding nutrients to your garden.

Notable Mention

Due to their nutritional and medicinal value, strawberry leaf is being proposed as a valuable ingredient in developing functional food and nutraceuticals, such as the best green powders and fruit and vegetable supplements.

Conclusion

Although we have yet to fully understand all the benefits of strawberry leaves, anecdotal evidence and animal studies support their use for health benefits. Rich in nutrients and antioxidants, eating strawberry leaves contributes to heart health, immune support, blood sugar regulation, kidney health, and digestion.

In conclusion, strawberry leaves are healthy and safe to eat. Whether infused into drinking water, sipped as strawberry leaf tea, or used in culinary creations, strawberry leaves offer a versatile and enjoyable means of harnessing their potential benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you eat the leaves of a strawberry?

Absolutely! While the fruit is the primary focus, strawberry leaves are edible. They can be enjoyed fresh, dried, or extracted into an essential oil and added to your food or beverages.

Are strawberry leaves good for your skin?

Strawberry leaves are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, which promote collagen production, fight free radical damage, and reduce inflammation. This results in a brighter, smoother, and healthier complexion.

Can you make anything with strawberry leaves?

The strawberry leaf is very versatile. You can use them in herbal teas, infused water, added to salads, or even incorporated into culinary creations.

What’s the healthiest part of a strawberry?

While the strawberry fruit is rich in vitamins and antioxidants, strawberry leaves boast unique bioactive compounds with certain health benefits.

What are the health benefits of strawberry leaves?

Some studies suggest strawberry leaves support heart health, boost immunity, regulate blood sugar, and improve digestion and kidney health. However, more research is needed to fully understand the impact of strawberries on human health.

Can you use strawberry leaves for tea?

Yes. Simply steep a handful of dried or fresh strawberry leaves in boiling water for 10-15 minutes and enjoy your homemade strawberry leaf tea.

+ 19 Sources

EHproject has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We work mostly with peer-reviewed studies to ensure accurate information. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

  1. Irena Brčić Karačonji, Jurica, K., Uroš Gašić, Dramićanin, A.M. and Živoslav Lj. Tešić (2021). Comparative Study on the Phenolic Fingerprint and Antioxidant Activity of Strawberry Tree (Arbutus unedo L.) Leaves and Fruits. Plants, [online] 11(1), pp.25–25. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11010025.
  2. Izabela Fecka, Katarzyna Bednarska and Maciej Włodarczyk (2022). Fragaria × ananassa cv. Senga Sengana Leaf: An Agricultural Waste with Antiglycation Potential and High Content of Ellagitannins, Flavonols, and 2-Pyrone-4,6-dicarboxylic Acid. Molecules, [online] 27(16), pp.5293–5293. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27165293.
  3. Natural Product Research. (2023). Vascular effects of Fragaria vesca L. in human arteries. [online] Available at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14786419.2022.2152448
  4. Journal of Plant Nutrition. (2021). Response of strawberry fruit and leaf nutrient concentrations to the application of irrigation levels and a biostimulant. [online] Available at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01904167.2020.1806310
  5. CDC (2022). Sodium, Potassium and Health . [online] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/salt/potassium.htm
  6. Morgado, S., Morgado, M., Plácido, A.I., Roque, F. and Ana Paula Duarte (2018). Arbutus unedo L.: From traditional medicine to potential uses in modern pharmacotherapy. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, [online] 225, pp.90–102. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2018.07.004.
  7. Jana Šic Žlabur, Sandro Bogdanović, Voća, S. and Martina Skendrović Babojelić (2020). Biological Potential of Fruit and Leaves of Strawberry Tree (Arbutus unedo L.) from Croatia. Molecules, [online] 25(21), pp.5102–5102. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25215102.
  8. Gasparrini, M., Forbes-Hernández, T.Y., Giampieri, F., Sadia Afrin, Alvarez‐Suarez, J.M., Mazzoni, L., Mezzetti, B., Quiles, J.L. and Battino, M. (2017). Anti-inflammatory effect of strawberry extract against LPS-induced stress in RAW 264.7 macrophages. Food and Chemical Toxicology, [online] 102, pp.1–10. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2017.01.018.
  9. Gustavo Gabriel Martos, Ines, A., María Paula Filippone, Pedro Oscar Abate, Katz, N.E., Atilio Pedro Castagnaro and Díaz, J.C. (2018). Ellagitannin HeT obtained from strawberry leaves is oxidized by bacterial membranes and inhibits the respiratory chain. FEBS Open Bio, [online] 8(2), pp.211–218. doi:https://doi.org/10.1002/2211-5463.12361.
  10. Kristo, A.S., Klimis‐Zacas, D. and Sikalidis, A.K. (2016). Protective Role of Dietary Berries in Cancer. Antioxidants, [online] 5(4), pp.37–37. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox5040037.
  11. Ibrahim, D.S. and Marwa A. E. Abd El-Maksoud (2015). Effect of strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa) leaf extract on diabetic nephropathy in rats. International Journal of Experimental Pathology, [online] 96(2), pp.87–93. doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/iep.12116.
  12. Saboo, B.D., Misra, A., Kalra, S., Mohan, V., Aravind S.R, Joshi, S., Chowdhury, S., Sahay, R., Jothydev Kesavadev, John, M., Kapoor, N., Das, S., Krishnan, D. and Salis, S. (2022). Role and importance of high fiber in diabetes management in India. Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research and Reviews, [online] 16(5), pp.102480–102480. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dsx.2022.102480.
  13. PROTECTIVE EFFECT OF STRAWBERRY LEAVES AGAINST NEPHROTOXICITY OF MALE RATS. (2021). Egyptian Journal of Applied Science, [online] 36(3), pp.1–15. doi:https://doi.org/10.21608/ejas.2021.183778.
  14. Yusra Habib Khan, Azmi Sarriff, Azreen Syazril Adnan, Amer Hayat Khan and Tauqeer Hussain Mallhi (2016). Chronic Kidney Disease, Fluid Overload and Diuretics: A Complicated Triangle. PLOS ONE, [online] 11(7), pp.e0159335–e0159335. doi:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0159335.
  15. Anica Bebek Markovinović, Irena Brčić Karačonji, Jurica, K., Lasić, D., Martina Skendrović Babojelić, Duralija, B., Jana Šic Žlabur, Barba, F.J. and Danijela Bursać Kovačević (2022). Strawberry Tree Fruits and Leaves (Arbutus unedo L.) as Raw Material for Sustainable Functional Food Processing: A Review. Horticulturae, [online] 8(10), pp.881–881. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae8100881.
  16. Izabela Pawlaczyk-Graja, Balicki, S., Rafał Ziewiecki, Capek, P., Mária Matulová and Wilk, K.A. (2020). New isolation process for bioactive food fiber from wild strawberry leaf. Biochemical Engineering Journal, [online] 161, pp.107639–107639. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bej.2020.107639.
  17. Huang, L., Xiao, D., Zhang, X., Sandhu, A., Chandra, P., Kay, C.D., Indika Edirisinghe and Burton‐Freeman, B. (2021). Strawberry Consumption, Cardiometabolic Risk Factors, and Vascular Function: A Randomized Controlled Trial in Adults with Moderate Hypercholesterolemia. The Journal of Nutrition, [online] 151(6), pp.1517–1526. doi:https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/nxab034.
  18. Paula, A., Rodrigues, B., Bonny, L. and Manrique, Y. (2022). Strawberry Leaves Extract for Cosmetic Industry. [online] ResearchGate. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/363897652_Strawberry_Leaves_Extract_for_Cosmetic_Industry
  19. Mateusz Aninowski, Kazimierczak, R., Hallmann, E., Rachtan‐Janicka, J., Elżbieta Fijoł-Adach, Feledyn-Szewczyk, B., Iwona Majak and Leszczyńska, J. (2020). Evaluation of the Potential Allergenicity of Strawberries in Response to Different Farming Practices. Metabolites, [online] 10(3), pp.102–102. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo10030102.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mitchelle Morgan is a health and wellness writer with over 10 years of experience. She holds a Master's in Communication. Her mission is to provide readers with information that helps them live a better lifestyle. All… See More