Blackberry (Rubus fructicosus)
The blackberry bramble grows wild almost everywhere. Once it has a hold it is very difficult to eradicate. They are considered invasive in most places. The berries that are produced are black in color when ripe and are eaten fresh, baked in pies, preserved in jellies and are eaten in all sorts of other recipes. The black berry is related to roses and other berries like the raspberry. The canes are covered in spiny thorns, so one must take care when working with this plant. Black berry has been used medicinally in herbal remedies since ancient Greece. The Greeks used black berry for gout, diarrhea and wounds.
Key Medicinal Uses
Internally Blackberry has been used as a treatment for cholera for generations. It is also used to treat anemia, diarrhea and dysentery. It can keep a woman's cycle regular. The tea made from black berry leaves is good for appendicitis, upset stomach, leucorrhea and enteritis. It is used for colds, sore throat and flu. Black berry vinegar has been used for colds with fever. It is also used for osteoporosis and fibroma.
Externally Blackberry leaves have long been chewed to relieve bleeding gums. An infusion can be applied to the skin for scaly conditions or to help psoriasis. A poultice made from slightly boiled fresh leaves can be applied for skin conditions and burns. Black berry has been used to treat boils, acne and used as a gargle.
Other Uses Blackberry is used as food. Berries are eaten right off the vine or used in desserts, salads and jams. Black berries can be made into wine, brandy or used to flavor liqueurs. Some people even use the tender young shoots as vegetables after peeling.
Herbs to Combine/Supplement
Blackberry leaves are often combined with other herbs like rosehips in herbal teas.
Roots, Leaves, Fruit The roots, leaves and fruit are used medicinally. The leaves should be harvested either before or during flowering. The root should be dug up in summer and dried.
Blackberry contains tannins, which can cause vomiting in people who are sensitive to it. If you have gastrointestinal problems, use caution with black berry. If you take the preparation with meals it may make it easier to tolerate. There are no known drug interactions with this herb.
Preparation and Dosage
Blackberry tea is made from the leaves. Steep 1.5 grams of dried leaves in 250 ml of boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes. This tea can be taken up to three times per day. For tincture, 3 to 4 ml can be taken three times a day.