Indian Strawberry, Mock Strawberry – Herbs for Dogs and Cats

In this article…
1. Indian Strawberry
2. Health Benefits – Uses
3. Make Your Own Indian Strawberry Medicine
4. Cautions
5. Side Effects
6. Drug Interactions
7. General Guideline for Daily Herbal Intake

1.0 Indian Strawberry
  • Botanical Name – Duchesnea indica
  • Scientific Name – Potentilla indica
  • Common names – Indian Strawberry, Indian Mock Strawberry, False Strawberry, Gurbir,
                                       May Weed, Mock Strawberry, She Mei, Snake Berry, Wild Indian
Indian strawberry is a perennial herbal plant. There is some debate as to the plants origins – some believe the plant is native to Asia while others say North America. Today the Indian strawberry can be found growing on grassy slopes, meadows, shaded woodlands and wetlands all over North America. The Indian strawberry has small five-petal yellow flowers. An early bloomer, flowers first emerge in April and continue to bloom through summer and into the fall.  This herbal plant yields a small red edible berry. The berry is very plain tasting – lacking the flavour and sweetness of the common wild strawberry, however the berry of the Indian strawberry has excellent medicinal properties as do the leaves. The leaves are evergreen or semi-evergreen depending on the weather zone. Indian strawberry is a low growing, fast spreading plant which propagates by seed and by stolons.

Medicinal Properties

The entire plant – berries, leaves and stems offer multiple medicinal properties:
  • Anticoagulant;
  • Antiseptic;
  • Depurative (cleansing, detoxification, purifier);
  • Febrifuge (fever reducing);
  • Vitamin C;
  • Minerals – Calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus;
  • Protein.
Traditionally used as a Chinese herb, the Indian Strawberry is now being studied for use as:
  • An inhibitor to stop the spread of the HIV virus throughout the body; 
  • An inhibitor to arrest the growth of tumors and stop the spread of cancer throughout the body.

Indian Strawberry can be used in Various Forms
  •  Medicinally...
    • Decoction – use the roots of the plant;
    • Infusion – use the dry flower petals, leaves and soft stems;
    • Poultice – use the fresh harvested leaves and fruit;
  • Culinary Herb – use the dried leaves of the plant;

2.0 Health Benefits – Uses

Topical – Poultice
  • Skin Diseases and Conditions:
    • Abscesses;
    • Boils;
    • Burns;
    • Eczema- weeping;
    • Insect Bites;
    • Ringworm;
    • Snake bites;
    • Traumatic injuries.
Ingested Treatment
  • Decoction
    • Swelling
  • Infusion or Extract
    • Blood circulation activation;
    • Upper Respiratory Tract Infections;
    • Laryngitis;
    • Tonsillitis.
  • Digestive Tract Issues;
    • Stomatitis – inflammation of the stomach’s mucus lining

3.0 Recipes
Make Your Own Indian Strawberry Medicine

Make Your Own Poultice
  • You will need…
    • Fresh Leaves;
    • Fresh Berries;
    • A cloth.
  • To Make…
    • Place leaves and berries in the cloth;
    • Crush the cloth to mash the leaves and berries;
  • Apply the moist mash directly to the irritation, wound site.

Medicinal Remedy for Stomach Issues
  • You will need…
    • 4 oz of water;
    • 1/8 cup of the berries;
    • ½ tsp of raw unpasteurized honey (optional ingredient) – do not use pasteurized honey
    • ½ tsp of mint or peppermint – fresh crushed or dry leaves (optional ingredient);
    • 1/8 tsp of ginger – fresh minced or powder (optional ingredient).
  • Preparation…
    • Use a blender or food processor to blend the ingredients together;
  • Feeding...
    • Place in a bowl or pour on top of your dog’s or cat’s food.

4. Cautions

None – Indian Strawberry is non-toxic to puppies, dogs, kittens and cats

5. Side Effects


6. Drug Interactions

7. General Guideline

Daily Herbal Intake Based on Dog’s or Cat’s Weight
Dry Powders

1-10 lbs
a small pinch up to 1/8 tsp
less than 1/4 cup, 1-3 times/day
1/2 capsule, 1-3 times/day
1-3 drops, 2-3 times/day
10-20 lbs
1 larger pinch - 1/8 to ¼ tsp
1/4 cup, 1-3 times/day
1/2-1 capsule/tablet, 1-3 times/day
3-5 drops, 2-3 times/day
20-50 lbs
2 pinches - 1 teaspoon
1/4-1/2 cup, 1-3 times/day
1-2 capsules/tablets, 2-3 times/day
5-10 drops, 2-3 times/day
50-100 lbs 10-
2 pinches - 2 teaspoons
1/2-1 cup, 1-3 times/day
1-2 capsules/tablets, 3-4 times/day
20 drops, 2-3 times/day
Over 100 lbs,
up to 1 tablespoon
up to 1 cup 3 times/day
adult human dose
adult human dose

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Article and graphics by Karen Rosenfeld

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