This fast growing, dense bramble in the Rosaceae family has invasive roots and biennial thorny canes. It has compound pinnate leaves that grow in leaflets of 5-7 which are green on the topside and silvery on the bottom. It’s small white radial flowers grow on second year growth in the late spring, producing fruit in the summer and fall. Technically, the raspberry is not a berry at all, but an aggregate fruit of numerous drupelets around a central core. It typically grows in forests sporadically, and more densely in open clearings and can tolerate a range of soils.
Red Raspberry Leaf is an astringent, tonic, refrigerant, and parturient. It’s good for the circulation, and the leaves have a long use in pregnancy to strengthen and tone the tissues of the womb, assisting in contractions, and preventing hemorrhaging during pregnancy. As an astringent, it can be used to help diarrhea and leucorrhea, and regular consumption is thought by some to prevent the growth of cancerous cells in the stomach and colon. It can also ease mouth ulcers, bleeding gums, sore throats, and inflammation. It is also very high in anti-oxidants, which can help your cells, especially in the eyes, maintain integrity as you age. As a syrup, raspberry is said to be beneficial to the heart.
Although today the raspberry has surpassed the blackberry as a healing herb, the ancient Greeks, Chinese, Aryuvedics, and Native Americans all used both interchangeably for diarrhea and wounds. In 17th century Europe, physicians used the plant as a panacea for pregnancy issues. Today the leaf is a common ingredient in teas, and the fruit in sweet treats.
2 teaspoons of the dried herb to one cup of water in an 15 minute infusion three times daily, or as a tincture 2-4 ml three times daily. While Rubus idaeus is known to prevent miscarriage, some other varieties of raspberry are abortifacients, so it’s important to know which species you have.
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