Serviceberries, of the Amelanchier spp., are indigenous to most every part of Canada and the US, possibly putting ‘Saskatoon’ on the map. Other colloquial names refer to their seasonal availability, such as juneberry.
From slightly tart to nutty sweet, these nutritious delicacies are used to flavour Native American Pemmican. They and appear just as the shad run, hence another name: shadbush.
Because of their dark red-blue-black colorings the ripe berries are jam-packed with proantho-antioxidants. Doctrine of signatures from Chinese as well as Iroquois herbal traditions place them among the blood-building kind due to their dark colors, especially for nourishing mom after childbirth. Phenolic acids have been isolated from European Juneberries unveiling the health benefits of these dark little berries, providing a mechanism for positively affecting blood pressure and blood circulation.
Careful eating them before harvest, as they may induce vomiting when unripe, a popular use for them in 18 and 19th century Europe.
xox dr millie lytle nd