Friday, April 19, 2013


Raspberry-Rubus Strigosus (wild variety), Rubus Idaeus (cultivated variety), Rubus Villosus, Rubus Leucodermis, etc.
Parts Used-leaves, berries, root bark
Meridians/Organs affected-spleen, liver, kidneys, reproductive organs
Leaves-antiseptic, anti-abortive, anti-gonorrheal, anti-leucorrheal, anti-emetic, astringent, purgative, hemostatic, antimalarial, cathartic, stomachic, tonic, stimulant, alterative, parturient
Fruit-laxative, antacid, parturient, edible
Raspberry has long been used for its culinary as well as its medicinal abilities.  The berries are high in iron, calcium, manganese and vitamin C.
There are at least 20 species of raspberry in the western united states.  The French even have a raspberry liqueur called "Framboise." 
Raspberry is a member of the rose family (just like blackberry).  It can be found all over the usa and usually blossoms in late spring to early summer, with white or cream-colored flowers that have five petals.  They are best collected July-August between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.  Cut the leaves from the stems when the plant is in full growth and flowering.  To use the root bark, dig up medium-sized plants after the leafy material has died back in the fall.  Wash carefully and strip away the outer bark.  Spread on screens to dry.  (Bark strips can be cut into small pieces for tea or powdered in a blender and mixed with honey in a tea to treat diarrhea).
Raspberry leaves are tonic and astringent and have a special affinity for the female reproductive system.  A tea of the leaves is often used to tone the uterine muscles and prepare one for the birthing process.  It is also useful after childbirth as it helps to control bleeding; in that regard it has been used in cases of heavy menstruation.  It is good in cases of miscarriage as it helps to re-stabilize and restore the body to its former state.  Raspberry leaves and root bark have both been used for diarrhea.  The leaves have been used to reduce fevers, intestinal spasms (which would help with irritation of the colon and bowels), and as an antiseptic-especially assisting with urinary tract infections.  Raspberry may also be of use to diabetics as it has been known to reduce blood glucose levels, as well as helping in the healing process of canker sores and keeping one's teeth, nails and bones healthy due to its high vitamin D content.  (CAUTION-the leaves should only be used FRESH or completely DRIED as wilted leaves are considered mildly toxic).

Wild raspberries are especially high in salvestrols, a class of cancer-fighting chemicals (all the more reason to consume them). 
Raspberry is a plant of many cultures.  In the Greek culture, there is a story involving Ida, the daughter of the king of Crete.  One day while picking berries on the mountain and watching her baby, Jupiter, who was making quite some noise, she pricked her finger on one of the thorns and caused the white berry to turn red; they have been red ever since.  (Aww....the stories of legend.)
Raspberry is also called 'raspis' meaning hairy fruit; it was also called "hindberry."  Female deer would often eat the leaves before, during and after birthing, evidently to help their own birthing processes.  (Interesting to note they know and do this instinctively).
Raspberry tea and vinegar have been used for anemic conditions as it builds blood, helps with colds, flus and diarrhea.  The Chinese use/used the fruit to strengthen the kidneys and treat enuresis.  Dr. Christopher had multiple formulas using raspberry leaves-diabetes, colic, erysepilas, hysteria, indigestion, ophthalmia (as a tea but also has been used as an eyewash), jaundice, mumps, tuberculosis, etc.  A busy little herb and all of the above are good signs of how useful raspberry is or can be! 

As usual, I have included some links below for things regarding raspberries.  If you would like the recipes I have used and found tried and true please feel free to email me via the site.

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