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Grape, Grape Leaf
Latin Name:

Vitis vinifera

Family:

Vitaceae

CTFA name:

Grape, Grape Leaf

Introduction

Vitis vinifera is a deciduous woody climber with coiled climbing tendrils and large leaves.1,2  It has small, pale, green flowers in the summer followed by bunches of berry fruits that are green to purple-black in color.1,2  Grape vines can grow up to 100 feet and need support.1,3  

History and Cultural Significance

Native to South and Central Europe and Northwest Asia, there are hundreds of cultivars on all continents and islands with suitable climates.1,4  There are 6000 or more varieties of grape of which no more than 50 are commercially important.3,4  Most wine grapes and hybrids belong to V. vinifera.3  There are other Vitis species that are native to Asia, America, and South Africa.3  The leaves, stems, and fruits (including the seeds) are used.1  

Modern Research

Vitis is classical Latin for plant, vine, or branch while vinifera means wine-bearing.4  Vine comes from viere meaning to twist.5  Grape comes from the Germanic word krapfo, meaning to hook, and raisin (the dried grape) is derived from the Latin racemus, meaning bunch of grapes or berries.4  

Future Outlook

Fossilized grape leaves dating back to prehistory have been found in Europe, England, Iceland, and North America.6,7  Grapes are prominent in ancient literature and art.4  Egyptian tomb paintings from 2440 BCE show grape cultivation and the Bible mentions vineyards in the time of Noah.3  Grapes were often associated with frivolity because those who worshipped gods of wine and grape were thought to be addicted to wine, hedonism, and wild dances.4  Ancient cultures gave grape clusters to newlyweds for fertility.4  The grape vine is central to Jewish and Christian rituals.1  Wine became associated with the Christian church in the Dark Ages after the fall of the Roman Empire.4  It grew to be symbolic of the blood of Christ, became a part of communion, and monasteries started their own vineyards.4  

References

1  Bown D. The Herb Society of America New Encyclopedia of Herbs and Their Uses. London: Dorling Kindersley Ltd.; 2001.

2  van Wyk BE, Wink M. Medicinal Plants of the World. Portland, OR: Timber Press; 2004.

3  Davidson A. The Oxford Companion to Food. London: Oxford University Press; 1999.

4  Onstad D. Whole Foods Companion: A Guide for Adventurous Cooks, Curious Shoppers & Lovers of Natural Foods. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing Company; 1996.

5  Grieve M. A Modern Herbal. Vol. 2. New York: Dover Books; 1971.

6  DerMarderosian A, Beutler J, eds. The Review of Natural Products. St. Louis, MO: Facts and Comparisons; 2002.

7  McCaleb R, Leigh E, Morien K, eds. The Encyclopedia of Popular Herbs. Roseville, CA: Prima Publishing; 2000.

8  Facciola S. Cornucopia: A Source Book of Edible Plants. Vista, CA: Kampong Publications; 1990.

9  Bruneton J, ed. Pharmacognosy, Phytochemistry, Medicinal Plants. 2nd ed. Paris: Lavoisier; 1999.

10  Kapoor L, ed. Handbook of Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 1990.

11  Lewis WH, Elvin-Lewis MPF. Medical Botany: Plants Affecting Human Health. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2003.

12  Thornfeldt C. Cosmeceuticals containing herbs: fact, fiction, and future. Dermatol Surg. 2005 Jul;31(7 Pt 2):873-80; discussion 880.

13  Yamakoshi J, Saito M, Kataoka S, Kikuchi M. Safety evaluation of proanthocyanidin-rich extract from grape seeds. Food and Chemical Toxicology 2000;40: 599–607.

14  Henriet JP. Endotelon® dans les manifestations fonctionnelles de l’insuffisance veineuse peripherique: Etue EIVE. Actualite Medicales Internationales – Angiologie 1988;5(74):n.p. in The Handbook of Clinically Tested Herbal Remedies Volume 2 by Barrett M, ed. Binghamton, NY: Haworth Press, Inc: 2004.

15  Delacroix P. Double-blind trial of Endotelon in chronic venous insufficiency. Revue de Medecine 1981;27/28:1793-1802 in The Handbook of Clinically Tested Herbal Remedies Volume 2 by Barrett M, ed. Binghamton, NY: Haworth Press, Inc: 2004.

16  Paitel D. Rheographic and thermographic study of the effects on peripheral hemodynamics of an endotheoliotrophic, double blind versus placebo study. Vie Medicale 1981;11:776-783 in The Handbook of Clinically Tested Herbal Remedies Volume 2 by Barrett M, ed. Binghamton, NY: Haworth Press, Inc: 2004.

17  Baruch J. The effects of Endotelon on postoperative edema: Results of a double-blind study vs. placebo in thirty-two patients. Annales de Chirurgie Plastique et Esthetique. 1984;29(4):393-295 in The Handbook of Clinically Tested Herbal Remedies Volume 2 by Barrett M, ed. Binghamton, NY: Haworth Press, Inc: 2004.

18  Park YK, Park E, Kim JS, Kang MH. Daily grape juice consumption reduces oxidative DNA damage and plasma free radical levels in healthy Koreans. Mutat Res 2003;529:77–86.

19  O’Byrne DJ, Devaraj S, Grundy SM, Jialal I. Comparison of the antioxidant effects of Concord grape juice flavonoids and α-tocopherol on markers of oxidative stress in healthy adults. Am J Clin Nutr 2002;76:1367–1374.

20  Russo A, Palumbo M, Aliano C, Lempereur L, Scoto G, Renis M. Red wine micronutrients as protective agents in Alzheimer-like induced insult. Life Sciences 2003;72:2369–2379.

21  Belloni G, Pinelli S, Veraldi S. A randomised, double-blind, vehicle-controlled study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of MAS063D (Atopiclair) in the treatment of mild to moderate atopic dermatitis. Eur J Dermatol. 2005 Jan-Feb;15(1):31-36.

22  Devi L. Market Supply Expands for Pine Bark and Grape Seed Extracts. Herb Clip. January 2, 1998 (No 120173-125). Austin, TX: American Botanical Council. Review of Pine Bark and Grape Seed Extracts Benefit from Supportive Science by Lerner M. Chemical Market Reporter, February 3, 1997;7 & 14.

23  Brunke H and Chang M. Wine Industry Profile: Overview. Available at: http://www.agmrc.org/agmrc/commodity/fruits/wine/wineindustryprofile.htm. Accessed August 30, 2005.

24  Brunke H and Chang M. Grape Profile: Overview. Available at: http://www.agmrc.org/agmrc/commodity/fruits/grapes/grapesprofile.htm. Accessed August 30, 2005.

25  Ames G. Organic Grape Production: Horticulture Production Guide. Available at: http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/grape.html. Accessed August 30, 2005.