Herb: American Red Raspberry

Latin name: Rubus strigosus

Synonyms: Rubus idaeus strigosus

Family: Rosaceae (Rose Family)

Medicinal use of American Red Raspberry:

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.

Description of the plant:


2 m
(6 1/2 foot)

June to

Habitat of the herb:

Thickets, clearings and woodland borders. In dry or rocky situations.

Edible parts of American Red Raspberry:

Fruit - raw or cooked in pies, preserves etc. Young shoots - harvested as they emerge through the ground in the spring, peeled and eaten raw or cooked like asparagus. The leaves and twigs are used as a tea substitute.

Other uses of the herb:

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

Propagation of American Red 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:

Thickets, clearings and woodland borders. In dry or rocky situations.

Known hazards of Rubus strigosus:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.