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Raspberry

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  • Botanical: Rubus idaeus
  • Family: Rosaceae
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Raspberry

Botanical

Rubus idaeus

Family

Rosaceae

Known as

Red Raspberry, Raspberry, and Wild Raspberry, Himbeere

Old Use

culinary; medicinal

Collection Times

June to August

Parts Used

berries, fruit, leaves

Aroma

fruity, sweet, warm

Medicinal

bleeding, bruises, circulation, colds, constipation, cramps, diarrhea, digestion, eye inflammation, fever, flu, gingivitis, hemorrhoids, immunity, infections, menstrual cramps, menstrual problems, rheumatism, sore throat, vascular, varicose veins, wounds

Heart & Circulation

bleeding, hemorrhoids, varicose veins

Hormone & Sexual Organs

cramps, menstrual cramps, menstrual problems, uterine bleeding, uterine cramps

Infection & Inflammation

eye inflammation, fever, flu, gingivitis, immunity, skin inflammation

Muscle & Joints

rheumatism

Respiratory System

cough, sore throat

Stomach & Intestinal

abdominal pain, diarrhea, digestion, gastrointestinal, gastric inflammation, intestinal inflammation

Skin & Hair

abscess, bursitis

Properties

anti inflammatory, astringent, diaphoretic, digestive, expectorant

Description

The stems are erect and shrubby, biennial, with creeping perennial roots. Flowers: Royal purple or bluish pink, showy, fragrant, 1 to 2 in. broad, loosely clustered at top of stem. Calyx sticky-hairy, deeply 5-parted, with long, pointed tips; corolla of 5 rounded petals; stamens and pistils very numerous.

Stem: 8 to 5 ft. high, erect, branched, shrubby, bristly, not prickly. 
Leaves: Alternate, peti-oled, 3 to 5 lobed, middle lobe largest, and all pointed; saw-edged lower leaves immense. 
Fruit: A depressed red berry, scarcely edible.
Preferred Habitat: Rocky woods, dells, shady roadsides.
Flowering Season: June - August.

Properties & Uses

Antiemetic. The leaves and roots are anti-inflammatory, astringent, decongestant, ophthalmic, oxytocic and stimulant. A tea made from them is used in the treatment of diarrhoea, as a tonic for the uterus to strengthen pregnant women, and as an aid in childbirth. The tea has also been shown as effective in relieving painful menstrual cramps. The active ingredients both stimulate and relax the uterus.

They can be used during the last three months of pregnancy and during childbirth, but should not be used earlier. Externally, the leaves and roots are used as a gargle to treat tonsillitis and mouth inflammations, as a poultice and wash to treat sores, conjunctivitis, minor wounds, burns and varicose ulcers. The leaves are harvested in the summer and dried for later use. The fruit is antiscorbutic and diuretic.

Fresh raspberry juice, mixed with a little honey, makes an excellent refrigerant beverage to be taken in the heat of a fever. Made into a syrup, it is said to have a beneficial effect on the heart. 

Other Uses

A purple to dull blue dye is obtained from the fruit. A fibre obtained from the stems is used in making paper. The stems are harvested in the summer after the fruit has been eaten, the leaves are removed and the stems are steamed until the fibres can be stripped. The fibres are cooked for 2 hours with lye and then hand beaten with mallets or ball milled for 3 hours. The paper is light brown in colour. A decongestant face-mask made from the fruit is used cosmetically to soothe reddened skin.

Cautions

None known

Distribution

Europe, including Britain, from Iceland south and east to Spain and temperate Asia.

Constituents

Flavonoids, tannins, and elagic acid.