Blackberry | Uses of Blackberry | Benefits of Blackberry | Rubus Fruticosus

Blackberry or Rubus fruticosus is an edible fruit and known for its wide medicinal properties. Benefits of blackberry include astringent, antiseptic and antifungal properties. Nature has provided us a variety of herbal remedies and Blackerry is one of the best known herbal remedy for the treatment of various ailments.


Blackberry, Uses of Blackberry, benefits of Blackberry, Rubus fruticosus

Rubus fruticosus Rosaceae Also called Bramble


This sprawling perennial shrub with long flexible, thorny stems grows wild in hedgerows throughout Europe. Its leaves are made up oj ovalleciflets with serrated edges. Each leaflet has a vein running down the centre that is covered with fine prickles. Its white to pale pink flowers Jorm clusters at the end if their stalks in summer. The sweet berries turn black as they ripen.


Parts used

  • Leaves and occasionally roots and berries
  • Young tender leaves are gathered in spring before flowers appear.
  • The leaves are dried and crushed into fragments for use in infusions and decoctions.
  • Sometimes fresh leaves are used for external applications.
  • The roots are collected in summer.
  • The berries are collected as they ripen in autumn.

Constituents

The blackberry leaf is rich in tannins, organic acids, especially citric and isocitric acids, pentacyclic'triterpenes and flavonoid glycosides of quercetin and kaempferol. The leaves and berries also contain vitamin C.


Medicinal uses

Blackberry has astringent, antiseptic, antifungal and tonic properties.


The wealth of tannins provides its astringent qualities. It strengthens capillaries and is antibacterial. Blackberry leaves are taken internally to treat minor cases of diarrhoea. Blackberry is also indicated for vaginal discharge and is reputed to have expectorant properties. The fragrant tea is prescribed for flu, colds and coughs.


Externally, a decoction of blackberry leaves is used as a gargle for sore throats, mouth ulcers and inflammation of the mouth and gums. It is also used to dress skin ulcers and wounds that are slow to heal. For these purposes blackberry leaves can be combined with agrimony, witch hazel and carob.


Research published in Planta Medica in 1980 showed that blackberry reduces blood sugar levels in both normal and diabetic rabbits, an effect partly due to its ability to stimulate the release of insulin.


PREPARATION AND DOSAGE


For internal use


TO TREAT minor cases of diarrhoea INFUSION Put 1.5g of dried leaves into a cup of boiling water. Leave to infuse for 10 minutes and strain. Take 3 cups a day between meals.


For external use


TO TREAT sore throats, mouth ulcers, inflammation of the mouth, gingivitis DECOCTION Put 10g of dried leaves into 100ml of water. Bring rapidly to the boil and leave to infuse for 15 minutes. Strain, sweeten with honey and use as a mouthwash or gargle twice a day.


IF SYMPTOMS PERSIST, CONSULT A DOCTOR


TO TREAT skin ulcers, wounds COMPRESS Soak a cloth in the decoction (see above) and apply to the affected area once or twice a day.


CAUTIONS

Blackberry leaves have no known adverse side effects when used in the prescribed therapeutic doses.


Pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid blackberry leaves.


Cultivation

Blackberry grows best in moist, well-drained soil.



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