Category: Medicine Wheel Plants
Reminds you to be grateful for all of life’s ups and downs.
Powers: Protection, Love
Raspberry leaves contain very powerful, nurturing magic. They are connected with the Great Earth Mother and will remind you to love and honor your family and community.
The brambles (branches) of the raspberry are hung up at doors and windows for protection. This is also done when a death has occurred, so that the spirit won’t re-enter the house once it has left.
Raspberry is served as a love-inducing food, and the leaves are carried by pregnant women to alleviate the pains of pregnancy and childbirth.
To protect your home and all who enter, hang some dried raspberry leaves over your front door. You can also scatter a few handfuls around your property to attract love and good luck.
Family: N.O. Rosaceae
Medicinal Parts: leaves, berries, roots, bark, rhizomes
Solvents: Water, alcohol
Bodily Influence: Astringent, stimulant, tonic
A native to North America and Europe, the raspberry, due to popularity, has been cultivated since the 16th century. Species of raspberries are seen in most temperate parts of the world. The plants are perennial, but they have characteristic biennial growth habit. The canes are generally erect, freely branched, and prickly, 3-4 feet high and covered with small, straight, slender prickles. The leaves are pale green above, gray-white beneath, doubly serrated with a rounded base, about 3 inches long and 2 inches broad. The small, white, pendulous flowers bloom in May or June in simple clusters, with the ripening of the raspberry in June and July. The fruit is not a true berry but aggregates composed of a number of drupelets.
Constituents: The Raspberry contains a crystallisable fruit-sugar, a fragrant volatile oil, pectin, citric and malic acids, mineral salts, colouring matter and water. The ripe fruit is fragrant, subacid and cooling: it allays heat and thirst, and is not liable to acetous fermentation in the stomach.
Uses: Astringent and stimulant.
- A mild, pleasant, soothing Raspberry Leaf Tea is made by adding two heaping tablespoons of raspberry leaves to a pint of boiling water and steeping for at least ten minutes, or until the tea is rich in colour and smells full-bodied. The tea makes an excellent gargle for sore throats and cankers in the mouth, and is also recommended as a remedy for bad breath.
- The astringent properties of raspberry leaves make them generally beneficial to digestion. It is much used in relief of urethral irritation and is soothing to the kidneys, urinary tract, and ducts.
- An infusion of Raspberry leaves, taken cold, is a mild and reliable remedy to control diarrhoea and dysentery even among infants and young children.
- A level teaspoon of the dried leaves to a cup of bubbling water, steeped until it is cooled, and then drunk cold, two cups a day is an enjoyable method to use as a blood purifier and spring tonic.
- The leaves, combined with the powdered bark of Slippery Elm, make a good poultice for cleansing wounds, burns and scalds, and prevent scarring.
- The tea steeped from raspberry or blackberry leaves was thought to help mothers in childbirth and was given as a refreshing drink during delivery. The leaves were steeped in water, without boiling, and given to pregnant women to ease delivery. This infusion, the subject of later experiments in its ability to relieve labour pains, seemed to act principally to relieve muscular tension about the uterus.
Tincture of bayberry (Myrica cerifera) 5 – 10 drops
Tincture of raspberry (rubus idaeus) 10-40 drops
In water three or four times a day is a useful solution for the uterus and to stop haemorrhages. Raspberry leaf tea can be taken freely before and during confinement; it will strengthen and prevent miscarriage and render parturition less laborious.
The infusion will also relieve painful menstruation and aid the flow; if too abundant it will decrease without abruptly stopping it. Infuse with prickly ash (xanthoxylum americanum) and blue cohosh (caulophyllum thalictroides) and take ½ cup three times a day.
Raspberry leaves as a feminine douche for leukorrhea is made with 1 tablespoonful of the leaves simmered in 1 pint of water for 10 minutes, covered, cooled, and added to a container of room-temperature water.
Dose: Tincture of raspberry alone, 30 – 60 drops in water as required. Infusion, 1 teaspoonful to 1 cupful of boiling water; steep at least three minutes.
Externally: the infusion is a valuable wash in sores, ulcers and raw surfaces as an astringent.
For Pregnant Women:
During the last three months of pregnancy, drink herbal teas of raspberry leaves or squaw vine to help strengthen the uterus and prepare it for childbirth. Drink 600 ml (1 pint) of tea a day. While in labour, if contractions are weak and ineffective, drink a tea made from a mixture of raspberry leaves and black cohosh with a slice of ginger. If pains are very sharp and cramping, add crampbark. Massage the back and legs with dilute oils of lavender or camomile.
Magical Use: If you are pregnant, remember to place some of the leaves under the bed where you will be giving birth; they will ease the pain of childbirth.
- Juice and wine made from the berries is still used in Appalachia to combat diarrhoea.
- The berries and their juice were long used by many native tribes to rid their members of chronic stomach trouble and to allay vomiting and retching.
- It was considered effective in preventing miscarriage.
- A home-made wine, brewed from the fermented juice of ripe Raspberries, is used to remedy primary tuberculosis of the lymphatic glands, especially those of the neck, and Raspberry syrup dissolves the tartar of the teeth.
Bark, Roots and Rhizomes
- The dried bark of the roots and rhizomes of the species have long been recognized by the medical world both as an astringent and as a tonic. A tea was made from the early spring twigs or roots and rhizomes.
- This was also held to be effective against diarrhoea and, in strong doses, even as an antidote against some poisons. The root tea was also used to dry up runny noses.
- The astringent property of the roots resulted in their use as a gargle for sore throats and mouths, for cankers, and as a medication for bleeding cuts and wounds.
- In cases of diarrhoea, an ounce of blackberry roots was boiled down from six cups to four cups then drunk by the half cup about every two hours as long as the trouble persisted. A bigger dosage of this astringent tea was said to be useful in helping those suffering from whooping cough.
- Bark scraped from the branches and vines of these species was also favoured in a decoction for upset stomachs.
In October, cut down all the old wood that has produced fruit in the summer and shorten the young shoots to about 2 feet in length. Dig the spaces between the rows well and dress with a little manure. Beyond weeding during the summer, no further care is needed. It is wise to form new plantations every three or four years, as the fruit on old plants is apt to deteriorate.
A Handbook of Native American Herbs: by Alma R. Hutchens
Field Guide to Medicinal Wild Plants – Revised and Updated: by Bradford Angier... revisions by David K. Foster
Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs: by Scott Cunningham
The Complete Illustrated Encyclopedia of Magical Plants: by Susan Gregg
A Modern Herbal: by M. Grieve
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