Medicinal plants

Appleberry (Aronia) - effect and application

Appleberry (Aronia) - effect and application

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The healing effects of apple berries (aronia) have been known in gynecology for over two centuries. Because their diuretic, disinfectant and anti-inflammatory properties make apple berries excellent helpers when curing urinary tract infections, from which the female sex suffers particularly often. However, aronia contains not only valuable active ingredients for medical treatment, but also a considerable amount of nutrients. In addition, urinary tract infections are far from the only complaints in which the apple as a medicinal plant offers support. You can find details on this in the following article.

Profile of apple berry

Scientific name: Aronia
Plant family: Rose Family (Rosaceae)
Popular names: Aronia berries, black mountain ash, dwarf rowan berries
Origin: America
application areas:

  • Inflammatory diseases,
  • Joint problems,
  • Urinary tract diseases,
  • Heart and vascular diseases,
  • Infectious diseases,
  • Metabolic disorders
  • and indigestion.

Parts of plants used: Berries

Plant portrait: an all-round talent from gynecology

The apple was not given its name for nothing. Their supposed berry fruits are actually a bit too small apples, which have the same fruit structure as their big relatives. Like the apple, the apple berries belong to the pome family and thus to the rose family (Rosaceae). In contrast to real apples, the aronia apples do not grow on trees, but on shrubs. In addition, the fruits are arranged in racemes, which explains the association with berries.

Danger: Red variants of the apple berry are often referred to as dwarf rowan berries due to their similarity to rowan berries. However, it is important not to confuse the two types of fruit. Because unlike apple berries, rowan berries are slightly poisonous when eaten raw.

Although aronia is now very popular in Germany, apple berries are originally native to North America. However, the hardy wild fruit only became famous after its increased use as a crop in Russia. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian botanist Ivan Vladimirovich Mitschurin made the hardy chokeberry a nutrient-rich alternative for the Eastern European winter food, which otherwise consisted mainly of cabbage and beet varieties. Russian folk medicine soon discovered the apple berry for itself. In addition to its excellent healing properties for urinary tract infections, the positive effects of aronia in heart and vascular diseases were recognized early on. It is based on an abundance of antioxidants that abound in the apple berry, whereby two types of aronia are considered to be important sources of healing benefits:

  • the red apple / felt apple (Aronia arbutifolia) and
  • the black apple berry / black mountain ash (Aronia melanocarpa).

The naturopathic properties soon made the apple berry known far beyond the borders of Russia, whereby it was used intensively, particularly in European gynecology. Especially when it comes to urinary tract infections, of which the female sex is known to be particularly frequently affected due to shortened urinary tract, aronia has proven particularly successful over the years. When drunk as tea or juice, it not only ensures good flushing of the urinary tract and thus rapid removal of the infection germs. In addition, it also lines the urinary tract organs with an antibacterial protective film that prevents the pathogens from adhering to the urinary tract mucosa. In general, the special combination of proven medicinal ingredients and valuable nutrients makes aronia a fruit with versatile health benefits. Among other things, it is used to treat the following diseases:

  • Heart and vascular diseases, for example arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure or circulatory disorders
  • Urinary disorders, for example cystitis or kidney infection
  • Gastrointestinal disorders, for example gastrointestinal inflammation and inflammatory liver or biliary disorders
  • Skin and mucous membrane complaints, for example allergic reactions, inflammatory skin problems and diseases or wounds

Ingredients and effects

As already mentioned, apple berries are very rich in nutrients and medicinal substances. Some are otherwise rarely found in the field of medicinal plants, others are considered tried and tested helpers for health complaints. Aronia is not lacking in anti-inflammatory ingredients. The same applies to diuretics, for which apple berries are often used as diuretics. Overall, the following active ingredients are relevant for the healing effects of the berries:

  • Flavonoids,
  • Tannins,
  • Minerals
  • and vitamins.


Even if apple berries are not actually berries, aronia actually has something in common with some types of berries. Like cranberries, blueberries, blueberries and blackberries, the apple berry is one of those fruits that have a particularly high content of anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are vegetable dyes and therefore belong to the flavonoids. These actually have their name from the Latin word flavus thanks for 'yellow'. However, this does not mean that all flavonoids automatically turn yellow. Rather, the term honors the first plant dyes ever discovered, which were indeed yellow. Anthocyanins, on the other hand, tend to produce a red to blue-violet hue in plant flowers and fruits. Apart from the berry variants mentioned, they are very rare in fruits. Unfortunately, because of their

  • antioxidant,
  • anti-inflammatory,
  • vascular protective
  • and diuretic

Properties are anthocyanins invaluable especially for the treatment of urinary tract infections. It is therefore always recommended to eat anthocyanin-containing fruits in the event of complaints. In addition, anthocyanins are also considered a secret weapon against cardiovascular diseases because they capture dangerous free radicals as antioxidants for the heart and blood vessels. This means pollutants and inflammation germs that get into the body in very different ways in everyday life. For example, some free radicals are in the air, others in food. However, they have in common that they oxidize in the body due to metabolic processes and then attack the body tissues as toxins. Such irritations can sometimes lead to serious illnesses, such as arteriosclerosis.

Regular consumption of antioxidant foods is also a good precaution for heart and vascular health. The antioxidative effect of anthocyanins is even so strong that they have an anti-cancer effect. And even when you lose weight, the antioxidants can help, because with their cleaning effect on the metabolism, you detoxify the body tissue, which causes excess pounds to drop.

Tip: If you want to make the most of the aronia anthocyanin content, the best choice is the black apple. Because the plant pigment is particularly highly concentrated in dark fruit types.


When it comes to inflammation and infection, tannins and flavonoids as active ingredients from medicinal plants are an unbeatable duo. Tannins owe their name to the fact that their antimicrobial effect was originally used in leather processing to tan animal skins. Here, tannins successfully kill any parasite, fungus or bacterium on the skin of the animals.

Tannins also have the same effect on infectious agents in the human organism, which is why they are an important component of natural antibiotics. The secret of the tannins lies in a contracting (astringent) Effect. It ensures that vessels and skin pores narrow, which makes pathogens difficult to pass through. Inflammatory substances that are released by the immune system in the event of an infection can also be reduced by the astringent. Ingestion of tannins leads to less extreme inflammatory reactions. Overall, tannins work

  • hypoallergenic,
  • antimicrobial,
  • antiviral,
  • antioxidant,
  • anticarcinogenic,
  • anti-inflammatory,
  • heart and vascular protective,
  • soothing
  • and cell protecting.

A very versatile healing effect that perfectly complements the areas of application of aronia.

Vitamins and minerals

The aronia is particularly rich in vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) and vitamin B9 (Folic acid). The two vitamins are among the most important body vitamins and are responsible for building up numerous body substances and maintaining essential body functions. Together, the two vitamins provide, among other things

  • a regulated hormone balance,
  • a good immune system,
  • a trouble-free metabolic function
  • and a tight connective tissue.

Vitamin C also improves the absorption of iron in the small intestine. The mineral is also very rich in aronia and is essential for the body's own oxygen transport. In addition to this, the apple berries also have a notable iodine content which, like tannins and flavonoids, has an antimicrobial effect and also has a calming effect.

Application and dosage

As with apples, the collection time for apple berries is also in autumn. You can then either process the fruit freshly or dry it. There is actually not much to consider when using aronia. Before eating, however, it is important to heat the apple berries sufficiently first, since their raw seeds contain small amounts of the toxic hydrocyanic acid. The apple fruits can then be processed very versatile. Whether as a preserve, jam, jelly, juice, tea or fruit ingredient for cakes and desserts - there are no limits to culinary creativity. However, it is advisable to sweeten the dishes with a little honey or brown sugar, since the aronia has a very sour taste.

Aronia tea

Dried apple berries are often used for the preparation of bladder and kidney tea. The warmth of the tea additionally supports the special healing effects on the urinary tract. In addition, the tea provides a good fluid supply, which ensures that the urinary tract is flushed out in the event of illness. For a pot of aronia tea (for example, as a supportive treatment for cystitis), it is best to take three to five teaspoons of dried apple berries and then let them steep in the hot tea water for about 15 minutes. The tea can be drunk daily without major dosage instructions and does not require a doctor's prescription, since aronia does not cause any side effects.

Make fruit tea with aronia yourself:

Of course, aronia does not necessarily have to be used as a tea herb for health complaints. The apple berries can also be used as an ingredient in fruit tea for no particular reason. Our recommendation here is an aronia-apple-rose hip tea.


  • 1500 grams of apples,
  • 750 grams of apple berries
  • and 750 grams of rose hips.

Step 1: Core the apples and then grate them roughly. It is important to leave the skin on the apples, as it is full of valuable nutrients. The fresh apple berries are pricked in advance, which helps the berries to dry. Like the apples, the rose hips are also pitted and then roughly chopped.

2nd step: Once the fruits are prepared, there are two drying options. Either you let the whole thing air dry or you put the still wet tea mixture in the oven to dry. Under no circumstances should this be set higher than 80 degrees Celsius, so that the fruits can dehumidify gently. Alternatively, special drying devices are of course also conceivable.

3rd step: Once the tea blend is dry, it can be stored in an airtight container or in plastic wrap. Be sure to store the tea dry and dark to improve its shelf life. To prepare a cup of fruit tea, take two teaspoons of the tea mixture and let the fruit steep for 15 minutes before sifting.

Tip: The fruit tea tastes particularly good with brown rock sugar or honey. Even a little lemon dripped into the tea gives it an interesting aroma.

Aronia juice

Aronia juice is also used for all kinds of infectious diseases, although use, like tea, is not limited to diseases of the urinary tract. There are even recommendations that recommend the highly concentrated juice of apple berries to support chemotherapy due to its anti-cancer and immune-boosting properties. And complaints caused by allergy, autoimmune and rheumatic diseases should also respond well to the use of aronia juice.

Aronia juice can easily be bought in selected health food stores or in the pharmacy. However, if you are a passionate master brewer in private, you can easily make the juice yourself. All you need is a pot of freshly picked apple berries. To make the juice, pour additional water on it and let the juice mix boil for about 20 minutes over medium heat. Then the juice is squeezed through a clean linen cloth into a large bowl. As soon as it has cooled down, it can be filled into suitable juice bottles and put into a saucepan with hot water for 30 minutes for a longer shelf life. The aronia juice is then stored dark and cool.

Aronia liqueur

The press cake from the juice production can later be dried in the oven and used for tea preparation. A delicious liqueur can be prepared from the juice of the aronia berry. Here is the recipe:

  • 400 milliliters of aronia juice,
  • 300 milliliters of grain,
  • 300 milliliters of rum (white),
  • 125 grams of sugar (white),
  • half a packet of vanilla sugar
  • and half a lemon.

Squeeze out the juice of half a lemon and simply put it in a bottle with the aronia juice and other ingredients. The liqueur is now ready to serve and can be used, for example, to make cake icings or as a sauce ingredient for sweet desserts such as vanilla ice cream or mousse. Even a short-term storage of the aronial liqueur is not a problem, as the liqueur, thanks to its alcoholic ingredients, can be kept for at least eight weeks if it is stored dark and cool.

More recipes with aronia

There are a whole host of other examples of use for the apple. And even if they are less of a medical nature, they are interesting examples of how the healthy fruit can be integrated into the daily diet. We have listed some of the most beautiful recipes for you below.

Aronia apple jam:

  • 1000 grams of apples,
  • 250 grams of apple berries (alternatively 300 milliliters of aronia juice),
  • 400 grams of jam sugar,
  • and 250 milliliters of water.

Step 1: First wash the apples and apple berries. The apples can then be peeled if you want. However, this step is not necessary. Only coreing and chopping the apples is important.

2nd step: Now put the fruits together with the water in a large saucepan and bring the whole thing to a boil. As soon as the compote is well heated, add the jam sugar and let the jam thicken well while stirring constantly. As an alternative to aronia berries, aronia juice can also be used to make the jam.

3rd step: As soon as the jam is ready, it is poured hot into well-cleaned jam jars. Allow the jam to cool completely before screwing the jars well before storing.

Aronia syrup:

  • 500 grams of aronia berries,
  • 250 grams of sugar candy,
  • half a lemon
  • and half a vanilla bean.

Put the aronia berries with the juice of half a lemon, the vanilla pulp and sugar candy in a saucepan with a little water and wait until the berries have boiled down enough to be easily crushed. The aronia compote can be served as a sweet dessert. To obtain syrup, on the other hand, it must be mashed and then the juice filtered out. Immediately fill the syrup into a clean, airtight sealable bottle.

Aronia cake with sprinkles:

  • 300 grams of flour,
  • 300 grams of cream curd,
  • 200 grams of butter,
  • 200 grams of aronia berries,
  • 200 milliliters of amaretto,
  • 200 ml apple juice,
  • 200 grams of sugar,
  • two packets of vanilla sugar,
  • a packet of baking soda,
  • a packet of custard powder,
  • an egg yolk
  • and a protein.

Step 1: Put the apple berries in amaretto and apple juice the day before the actual baking process. Also add two tablespoons of sugar and a packet of vanilla sugar. The following day the pickled fruits are then boiled and two tablespoons of pudding powder are stirred in until a homogeneous mass has resulted. Make sure that the pudding powder dissolves completely and stir vigorously for this purpose. Alternatively, you can dissolve the pudding powder separately in a little apple juice amaretto water.

2nd step: While the fruits cool, whisk the butter, the egg yolk and 150 grams of sugar with the hand mixer until frothy. Once this is done, sift the flour over it, add a packet of baking powder and vanilla sugar and knead the whole thing into a fine dough. Then divide the dough in half and smooth one of them out in a springform pan for the cake base.

3rd step: Next, mix the curd, the remaining pudding powder, and 40 grams of sugar together. When this is done, whip the egg whites until stiff and then lift them under the curd pudding mixture. Now spread them on the cake base, pour the cooled berry mass on top and cover the whole thing with the second half of the batter, which has been crushed into crumbles. The cake must now be baked in a preheated oven at 200 degrees Celsius for about 40 minutes.

Bun with aronia and pumpkin seeds:

  • 500 grams of spelled flour,
  • 110 grams of pumpkin seeds,
  • 450 milliliters of water,
  • five tablespoons of aronia berries (dried),
  • two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar,
  • two teaspoons of salt,
  • two packets of yeast,
  • a few cereal flakes / cereal grains
  • and muffin cases.

Step 1: Put the dried apple berries together with two tablespoons of flour in a mortar and grind the whole thing into a fine powder. Then all dry ingredients, i.e. spelled flour, pumpkin seeds, salt and yeast, are placed in a bowl together with the aronia flour and mixed well before gradually adding the apple cider vinegar and then the water.

2nd step: Spread some flour or cereal flakes over the muffin tins so that the dough does not stick too much. Then separate 85 grams of dough with two tablespoons (preferably use a digital scale) and pour the portions into the molds.

3rd step: Finally, the raw rolls are sprinkled with grains and / or cereal flakes. Then you have to bake in the oven for about 30 minutes. With a convection oven, the temperature is set to 180 degrees Celsius, with top and bottom heat to 200 degrees Celsius. However, do not preheat the oven, but push the dough in coldly without walking.

Tip: Alternatively, if you want to bake aronia bread, put the dough in a box shape instead of in small muffin cases. The baking time is then 60 minutes.

Side effects

Again, be warned of the raw consumption of apple berries. Due to the hydrocyanic acid content, poisoning symptoms such as abdominal pain or nausea can occur.

Interesting studies on the effectiveness of aronia

Aronia is one of the particularly well-examined fruits with medical relevance. Accordingly, their healing properties are well documented. We have summarized the most important study results for you:

Apple berry against chronic diseases

Many diseases with a chronic character result from persistent inflammation centers. In addition to urinary tract infections, this also includes gastrointestinal diseases and various heart, vascular and liver diseases. A Czech study has uncovered a direct link between the versatile anti-inflammatory properties of aronia and their potential for the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases. It is therefore generally advisable to include apple berries in the diet in order to prevent chronic inflammatory diseases.

Aronia juice against urinary tract infections

A Norwegian study confirmed that aronia does not only work for acute urinary tract infections. It was concluded that regular consumption of apple berry juice also reduced the basic risk of developing a urinary tract infection by up to 55 percent. This is particularly interesting for patients who repeatedly suffer from diseases such as cystitis.

Aronia prevents gastrointestinal damage

Especially with diseases of the digestive tract, permanent inflammation can cause great damage. According to a study from Korea, the apple is a good helper because its antioxidant ingredients successfully protect the gastrointestinal walls. Inflammation and irritation of the mucous membrane can thus be reliably eliminated and avoided.

Apple berries help against viral infections

In the area of ​​viral infections, chokeberry even seems to be successful against the flu virus. Corresponding evidence emerges from a Korean study. The responsible researchers therefore see the apple berry as a valuable source for the production of antiviral active ingredients.

Aronia as a remedy for diabetes

With regard to vascular and metabolic diseases, the antioxidants of the apple berry play a major role. Because they reduce oxidative stress, they reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases enormously. But the effect doesn't seem to stop here. In a joint in vivo study, researchers from Serbia, Croatia and Sri Lanka came to the conclusion that the antioxidant effect of aronia can successfully alleviate diabetes. For this reason, they recommend the apple berry as an anti-diabetic.

Chonia with high blood pressure

In Finland, the effects of aronia on blood pressure were examined. The study found that aronia juice was apparently able to reduce diastolic blood pressure by up to 1.64 millimeters of mercury and systolic blood pressure by up to 2.71 millimeters of mercury. The responsible researchers therefore see a corresponding diet change based on apple berries as a recommended measure for the treatment and prevention of heart and vascular diseases.

Aronia curbs cancer cells

In China, in addition to the antioxidant effect of aronia, which is important for heart and vascular health, its cancer-inhibiting effect has also been demonstrated. According to this study, the antioxidants of the apple berry successfully reduced the growth of liver cancer cells.

Appleberry as a diet aid

Chokeberry can even do something against obesity. According to an Australian study, the anthocyanins of aronia are of great importance for this. They were able to reduce almost all signs of the metabolic syndrome occurring in the context of obesity. The only drawback of the study is the fact that such tests have so far only been carried out in animal experiments.

Appleberry keeps the brain fit

Aronia cell protection also includes brain cells. A Chinese study, unfortunately only in animal experiments, was able to determine a slow aging of brain cells after the administration of anthocyanins of the apple. The results indicate that aronia is suitable as an antiaging agent in the area of ​​degenerative brain processes, for example in age-related brain diseases such as Alzheimer's.


Aronia is not only rich in essential vitamins and minerals, but also has a wide range of healing effects that can be used against urinary tract infections and for the treatment and prevention of various infectious and chronic inflammatory diseases. It is therefore highly recommended to make the apple fruits an integral part of the diet. However, the consumed aronia products should be heated sufficiently to render the hydrocyanic acid in the seeds of the fruits harmless. Once this has been done, the apple berry is a thoroughly healthy superfood that also convinces with particularly versatile preparation options. (ma)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Miriam Adam, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch


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  • Tunde Jurikova, Jiri Mlcek, Sona Skrovankova, et al .: "Fruits of Black Chokeberry Aronia melanocarpa in the Prevention of Chronic Diseases" (accessed: August 14, 2019),

Video: What you need to know about aronia berries (May 2022).