Weekly Herb Review #1 – Raspberry

Ok, here is the first write up! I am going to create a page on my Full Circle Herbs site so that they can all be accessed at once. I figure, if I can keep this up for a year, I will have 52 herbs reviewed! Let me know what other herbs you would like to learn about!

Common Names: Raspberry (Red Raspberry, Wild Raspberry, Bramble, Framboise)

Scientific Name: Rubus idaeus (cultivated), Rubus stigosus (wild)

Family: Rosaceae (rose family)

Parts Used: Primarily the leaf, although all parts of the plant can be used (including the berry, of course)

Harvesting: Collect the leaves throughout the growing season and dry them slowly in a well ventilated area (laying them on a screen in a cool, dry place out of the sun is good)

Constituents/Nutrition: Tannins, flavonoids, organic acids, pectin, volatile oils, high in Vit. A and C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium and Niacin and one of the richest plant sources of Manganese.

Properties/Actions: Because of the tannins, Raspberry is astringent (draws together soft tissues), antiemetic (prevents or relieves vomiting), antidiarrheal (stops diarrhea), and antispasmodic (prevents or relieves spasm or cramps); also, a wonderful tonic (especially for the uterus), nutritive, and refrigerant (relieves fever and thirst, cooling) and it.?caffeine free!

Uses/Indications: Raspberry can be used for so many things, but is considered the herb supreme for women! Raspberry is used widely in pregnancy and childbirth, but can be a wonderful nutritive tonic for all cycles of womanhood. It can help tone and relax the pelvic and uterine muscles in preparation for childbirth and helps to increase and enrich milk flow in new moms. Because of its high vitamin and mineral content, it is a great tonic herb and can be used all 9 months of pregnancy, helping to ease morning sickness, decrease risk of miscarriage, and hemorrhage and decrease pain in labor (because of that well toned uterus!) Raspberry can also be used for excessive or painful menstruation, for healthy bones and teeth, for diarrhea, fever, vomiting (it’s gentle enough to be used with kids, too!), as a mouthwash or gargle for inflammations of the mouth and throat, and as a wash or compress for skin inflammation, ulcers, wounds and hemorrhoids.

Folk History/Magical Uses: American Indians used a tea made from the Raspberry root for sore eyes. 17th Century Europeans made syrup from the berries to stop vomiting and the berries were also used to dissolve tartar on the teeth. In the 18th Century, the berries were considered a remedy for heart disease.

Cautions/Side Effects: No known contraindications or adverse side effects.

Preparation/Dosage: fresh leaf 1/4 to 1/2 cup, dried leaf 2 tsp, pour 1 cup of boiling water over the herb, cover, and let steep for 15 minutes. Drink freely throughout the day. Extract/tincture 30 to 60 drops 2-4x/day

Recipe: Framboise Cordial 1 lb of red raspberries, 4 cups water, 1 1/2 cups of fruit sweetened raspberry jelly/jam, 8 oz raspberry Brandy, fresh raspberries and champagne. Simmer the berries in water on low for 2 hours, pressing frequently with the back of a spoon. Remove and strain. Place juice on stove and slowly add jelly/jam. Taste and add more if needed. Bottle with Brandy and fresh raspberries. Serve with champagne. Mmmmm, Mmmmmm!

My Thoughts: I use this herb a lot in my pregnancy and nursing teas. With all the other herbs that I was told “Not Use” during pregnancy, it was nice to have a few that I knew were helping my baby grow strong and healthy and that would aid me in birth. It feels very nourishing and empowering to drink! Addendum: I forgot to mention that all varieties of raspberry can be used, inc. yellow, purple, etc. Thanks Kathie for the question about this!

Bibliography:
Boardwine, T. 2005 Cordially Yours, Green Comfort, Virginia.
Gladstar, R. 1993. Herbal Healing for Women. Fireside, New York.
Hoffman, D. 1990 The New Holistic Herbal. Second Edition, Element, Shaftesbury. Magic and Medicine of Plants, 1990. Reader’s Digest Association, New York.
Onstad, D. 1996. Whole Foods Companion. Chelsea Green Publishing, Vermont.
Pederson, M. 1994. Nutritional Herbology. Revised Edition, Wendell W. Whitman Company, Indiana.
Skenderi, G. 2003 Herbal Vade Mecum. Herbacy Press, New Jersey.
Weed, S. 1986. Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year. Ashe Tree Publishing, New York.

Here are some sites with more info in Raspberry:
A Modern Herbal
Purple Sage

2 thoughts on “Weekly Herb Review #1 – Raspberry

  1. Thanks so much for the herb of the week info. I’m a regular reader not a commentor but I look forward to all the updates.

  2. Great idea to review herbs! I’d love to know more about any medicinal/healing/nourishing properties of some of the common herbs I grow in my garden — bay, thyme, rosemary, sage, chives, mint, and parsley, for example.

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