The red vine (Vitis vinifera ) is a climbing shrub of the Vitaceae family, with leaves that at the end of their life cycle lose their normal green color to acquire the typical red shade that gives rise to the common name of the plant. It is characterized by hanging panicle-like inflorescences and cluster infructescences, known with the generic name of grape.
Today widespread in the regions of Southern Europe and in particular in the Mediterranean ones, where it is grown mainly for the production of wine, it is actually native to the Middle East.
The most important active ingredients contained in the leaves harvested in autumn belong to the category of polyphenols and carry out an intense antioxidant activity. Their most important action is carried out at the level of blood vessels and capillaries , where they positively influence vascular permeability, preventing the effusion of fluids, edema and swelling.
Some anthocyanins and anthocyanidins also have effective anti-inflammatory properties , useful for soothing red and painful parts.
Even the seeds and the skin of the berries contain a phytocomplex rich in flavonoids , in particular anthocyanins , but also in polyunsaturated fatty acids : therefore they are of some importance in all cardio-circulatory disorders such as varicose veins, phlebitis, capillary fragility, couperose , edema, water retention and heaviness in the lower limbs.
In particular, the bioflavonoids extracted from the berries, also known as proanthocyanidolic oligomers , are already present in the blood 10 minutes after administration, and are also able to protect the tissues from the degradation of collagen and elastin , essential proteins for the trophism of connective tissue.
BETWEEN MYTH AND LEGEND
In the Greek world this plant and the wine that could be obtained from it were considered a gift from the gods that Dionysus, the youngest immortal son of Zeus, brought to men.
A BIT OF HISTORY
They date back to 2,300 BC. C. the first certain documents on the cultivation of the vine and on the production of wine. Some findings in the East have shown that wine was produced in this area by the Sumerians since the middle of the third millennium; starting from this period, however, the written testimonies on grapes, dried grapes and wine are increasingly numerous in Mesopotamian cuneiform texts
In the West , the spread of vines and wine is due to the Etruscans and then to the Greeks : the same Hippocrates, famous doctor and herbalist who lived in Ancient Greece and considered the father of medicine, recommended preparations of Vitis vinifera for the treatment of chilblains and veins. varicose; the spread of this particular variety of vine and some of its variants is mainly due to the Romans .
In ancient times Italy was called " Enotria ", that is " land of wine ": the presence of the vine on the Italian territory and in particular in Tuscany, where according to some scholars the vine existed before the appearance of the Etruscans, prompted the latter to colonize the Tuscan hinterland.