Medicinal properties of Blackberries

topic posted Thu, July 15, 2004 - 7:42 PM by  Gypsi Star


By Lori Herron

Blackberries have been used through the ages for a variety of medicinal purposes, from diarrhea to a general restorative.

The main chemicals present in blackberries are gallic acid and tannin, and it is present in every part of the plant.

Blackberries picked and dried then powdered can be stored and used with a small amount of water to counter act diarrhea. The tea made from the leaves, steeped in water for five minutes, or simmering bark of the root, can be used in 1 cup increments several times a day. Blackberry leaves are available at most health-food stores, or you can dry your own. Cordials have been used in the past for those with colds and flu, along with vinegars. Also old folk tales state that mixing vinegars with water seems to aid those with gout and arthritis. And the use of vinegars for a fever is suppose to be lowered by the use of blackberries. Blackberry shoots boiled into a tea is said to have been used for mouth irritations such as canker sores. Possibly because of it's astringent properties. A tea from the leaves and the drinking of the juice has also been used in the past for an upset stomach.

A cordial from the juice of the blackberry has been used in the past as a stimulate for the body and heart, and is helpful in overcoming an illness. To make a cordial, press out the juice, for every quart of juice add, 1/2 - 1 oz of nutmeg and cloves and about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds of sugar (honey also works well, about 2/3 cup of honey is equivalent to on cup of sugar, the amount of total liquid also needs to be monitored, about 3 tablespoons less liquid per amount of honey used) Heat and simmer this mixture till it reaches the point of becoming a syrup. This syrup can be mixed with brandy to taste. Note: Using honey does cut down on the shelf life of this cordial and it may cause it to ferment if not kept cold.

Vinegars can be used to sooth the throat, and be made into compresses. Dip a cloth into the vinegar and wrap around the throat, then wrap with a couple of layers of dry cloth and then an old sock. (my mother use to do this for all sore throats.. what the sock has to do with it I have no idea.. but it does work) To make Blackberry vinegar, take the berries make sure that they are cleaned of stems branches etc. Place them in a covered non-aluminum container, poor apple cider vinegar or malt over them and let them sit for a min. of 3 days. Then strain the mixture through cheesecloth or a strainer do not force it through. Let it drip on it's own. To each pint of juice measure about a pound of honey, simmer, remove the scum that rises to the top and bottle. Make sure that your bottle is closed tightly with a cork or lid.

A modification of the above is to use glycerite in place of the honey, approx. 8 oz of glycerite is the equivalent amount. Both of the above I might add work can be used as external compresses for arthritic joints. Now the short cuts or when you don't have fresh berries or don't have time to wait. Take blackberry jelly mix it with vinegar heat and use as in the above

These nutrients are found abundantly in flowers and in fruits, particularly oranges, grapefruits, cherries, huckleberries, blackberries, and grape skins. Besides giving pigmentation to plants, they have a number of beneficial physiological effects that can help decrease fatigue symptoms. Bioflavonoids are powerful antioxidants that help protect cells against damage by free radicals. They help protect us from fatigue caused by allergic reac-tions, because their anti-inflammatory properties help prevent the production and release of compounds such as histamine and leukotrienes that promote inflammation. Bioflavonoids such as quercetin have powerful antiviral properties that protect us from infections. Quercetin also inhibits the release of allergic compounds from mast cells the cells in the digestive and respiratory tract that release histamine.

Menopause, PMS, and Hypothyroidism
Many plants are good sources of estrogen, the hormone that helps control hot flashes in menopausal women. Blueberries, blackberries, huckleberries, and citrus fruit contain bioflavonoids. Bioflavonoids have weak estrogenic activity (1/50,000 the strength of estrogen), but are very effective in controlling such common menopausal symptoms as hot flashes, anxiety, irritability, and fatigue. Plants containing bioflavonoids may be particularly useful for women who cannot take normal supplements because of their concern about the possible strong side effects of the prescription hormones (increased risk of stroke, cancer, etc.). Other plant sources of estrogen and progesterone used in traditional herbology include Dong Quai, black cohosh, blue cohosh, unicorn root, false unicorn root, fennel, anise, sarsaparilla, and wild yam root. The hormonal activities of these plants have been validated in a number of interesting research studies.

Food Sources of Vitamin C

Black Currents
Grapefruit juice
Kiwi fruit
Orange juice


Antioxidant nutrients, such as Vitamins A, C & E and the minerals selenium, zinc, manganese and copper all help to keep the arteries clear as do bioflavonoids, found in fruits such as blackberries, blackcurrants, blueberries and plums. These can also be taken as supplements.

Blackberry, raspberry, and dewberry
Rubus species

Description: These plants have prickly stems (canes) that grow upward, arching back toward the ground. They have alternate, usually compound leaves. Their fruits may be red, black, yellow, or orange.

Habitat and Distribution: These plants grow in open, sunny areas at the margin of woods, lakes, streams, and roads throughout temperate regions. There is also an arctic raspberry.

Edible Parts: The fruits and peeled young shoots are edible. Flavor varies greatly.

Other Uses: Use the leaves to make tea. To treat diarrhea, drink a tea made by brewing the dried root bark of the blackberry bush.,00.html

Instead of being merely delicious, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries appear to be awesomely healthy. As in stuffed to the gills with compounds that may fight everything from memory loss to cancer.
posted by:
Gypsi Star

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