Herb: Black Raspberry


Latin name: Rubus occidentalis


Family: Rosaceae (Rose Family)



Medicinal use of Black Raspberry:

The roots are cathartic. A decoction of the roots has been used in the treatment of gonorrhoea. The root has been chewed in the treatment of coughs and toothache. An infusion of the roots has been used as a wash for sore eyes. The root has been used, combined with Hypericum spp, to treat the first stages of consumption. An infusion of the astringent root bark is used in the treatment of diarrhoea and dysentery. The leaves are highly astringent. A decoction is used in the treatment of bowel complaints. A tea made from the leaves is used as a wash for old and foul sores, ulcers and boils. A decoction of the roots, stems and leaves has been used in the treatment of whooping cough.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Deciduous
Shrub

Height:
3 m
(9 3/4 foot)

Flovering:
June

Habitat of the herb:

Rich thickets, ravines and borders of woods, often in full shade and preferring moist positions.

Edible parts of Black Raspberry:

Fruit - raw or cooked and used in pies, preserves etc. It is of variable quality, with the finest forms having a rich acid flavour. The hemispherical fruit is about 15mm in diameter. Young shoots - raw or cooked like rhubarb. They are harvested as they emerge through the soil in the spring, and whilst they are still tender, and then peeled. A tea is made from the leaves and another from the bark of the root, 257.

Other uses of the herb:

A purple to dull blue dye is obtained from the fruit.

Propagation of Black Raspberry:

Seed - requires stratification and is best sown in early autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed requires one month stratification at about 3C and is best sown as early as possible in the year. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a cold frame. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Tip layering in July. Plant out in autumn. Division in early spring or just before leaf-fall in the autumn.

Cultivation of the herb:

Rich thickets, ravines and borders of woods, often in full shade and preferring moist positions.

Known hazards of Rubus occidentalis:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.