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8 forms of capital active hope agroecology agroforestry alder buckthorn Amazon anxiety apples arthritis back yard beans Bec Hellouin beech tree bees beneficial berries biochar biodigester biodiversity blackberries blackthorn book review brain brassica cage budget build building campesino capital card deck Celtic festivals change changes chemical-free chickens christmas circular clay pot cleansers cleansing milks climate change climate emergency climate grief climate solutions climbers climbing cob comfrey community compost compost teas connection consciousness conservation container cooking coppice coppicing cordial cosmology courgettes crafts crisis crop protection Cross Quarter Festival cultural emergence culture cycles degraded design diary diversity DIY do it yourself dryland earth care Earth's energy ecoculture economics ecopoetry ecosystem ecosystem restoration camps ecosystems edges edible edible flowers education efficiency elder elderflowers elements elixir energy equinox ethics face mask fair shares Fairtrade farming feedback feminine ferns figs film firewood flower essence flowers food food forest food garden footbath forage foraging forest garden forest gardening forests fruit fruit leather fruit trees fungi future future care gardening garlic gift economy gin Give Nature a voice Glennie Kindred global poverty glut grapes greenhouse grief groundcover grow grow food grow your own growing guilds habitat habits handcream harvest harvests hawthorn hazel hazelnut healing shrubs healing trees health healthy soil heart health hedgerow hedging herbal herbal remedies herbal teas herbalist herbs holistic holistic planned grazing home homeless homemade wine homestead hope Hugelkultur humanure hummus hungry gap IBC tanks Imbolc incense increase yields Indigenous inexpensive influence inspiration International Womens Day jam keyline kitchen garden lacto-fermentation Lammas land landscape landscapes life lifestyle limeflowers livelihood livestock living labs logs lotion low cost low-impact Lush Spring Prize macerations Mangwende Orphan Care Trust market garden market gardening marmalade marshmallow mass heater meadowsweet medicinal microbes microfarm mimic mindset mitigation money moringa Mother Earth mulch multifunctional mushrooms native plants natural natural building natural fertiliser natural skincare natural swimming pool nature nature connection nitrogen no dig no waste no-dig November nutrition nuts observe oca October off-grid oil cleansing orchard orchards organic organic gardening outdoor shower oven oxymel oyster pallets pasture-fed patterns people people care peoplecare perennials permaculture permaculture design permaculture magazine award permaculutre permayouth pesto pests philippines pine tree pips pizza oven plant profile plants pollinators pollution polyculture polycultures preserving principles propagating protection pruning prunings psycho-spiritual awareness psychospiritual transformation rainforest rainwater raspberries recipe recipes reduce reed beds regeneration regenerative regenerative agriculture relative location relative matter remedy renewable renewable energy resources restoration reuse revolution rhythms rootstock rootstocks roundhouse roundwood runner beans sage salad salve Samhain schools Scotland scotts pine seasonal seasons seeds selfcare Sepp Holzer september septic tanks sewage treatment shade sheet mulching shrubs skincare sloes slugs small solutions small-scale smallholding social justice soil health solar solutions sowing spiritual spring squash stacking functions stock-free straw straw bale summer sustainable Sweet Bay syntropic systems temperate terraces thistles thrutopia timber timber framing tincture tonic toolkit tools transformation trees upcycle urban veg garden vegan veganic vermicomposting vinegar walnuts waste water water cleansing watering weeds wellbeing wetland wild edges wild food wild garlic wildflower wildlife wine recipes wings winter winter greens winter salads wood stove woodburner woodland woodland management woodlands worms yarrow year-round food yield young people youth zai pits zone 00 zoning

Topics

8 forms of capital active hope agroecology agroforestry alder buckthorn Amazon anxiety apples arthritis back yard beans Bec Hellouin beech tree bees beneficial berries biochar biodigester biodiversity blackberries blackthorn book review brain brassica cage budget build building campesino capital card deck Celtic festivals change changes chemical-free chickens christmas circular clay pot cleansers cleansing milks climate change climate emergency climate grief climate solutions climbers climbing cob comfrey community compost compost teas connection consciousness conservation container cooking coppice coppicing cordial cosmology courgettes crafts crisis crop protection Cross Quarter Festival cultural emergence culture cycles degraded design diary diversity DIY do it yourself dryland earth care Earth's energy ecoculture economics ecopoetry ecosystem ecosystem restoration camps ecosystems edges edible edible flowers education efficiency elder elderflowers elements elixir energy equinox ethics face mask fair shares Fairtrade farming feedback feminine ferns figs film firewood flower essence flowers food food forest food garden footbath forage foraging forest garden forest gardening forests fruit fruit leather fruit trees fungi future future care gardening garlic gift economy gin Give Nature a voice Glennie Kindred global poverty glut grapes greenhouse grief groundcover grow grow food grow your own growing guilds habitat habits handcream harvest harvests hawthorn hazel hazelnut healing shrubs healing trees health healthy soil heart health hedgerow hedging herbal herbal remedies herbal teas herbalist herbs holistic holistic planned grazing home homeless homemade wine homestead hope Hugelkultur humanure hummus hungry gap IBC tanks Imbolc incense increase yields Indigenous inexpensive influence inspiration International Womens Day jam keyline kitchen garden lacto-fermentation Lammas land landscape landscapes life lifestyle limeflowers livelihood livestock living labs logs lotion low cost low-impact Lush Spring Prize macerations Mangwende Orphan Care Trust market garden market gardening marmalade marshmallow mass heater meadowsweet medicinal microbes microfarm mimic mindset mitigation money moringa Mother Earth mulch multifunctional mushrooms native plants natural natural building natural fertiliser natural skincare natural swimming pool nature nature connection nitrogen no dig no waste no-dig November nutrition nuts observe oca October off-grid oil cleansing orchard orchards organic organic gardening outdoor shower oven oxymel oyster pallets pasture-fed patterns people people care peoplecare perennials permaculture permaculture design permaculture magazine award permaculutre permayouth pesto pests philippines pine tree pips pizza oven plant profile plants pollinators pollution polyculture polycultures preserving principles propagating protection pruning prunings psycho-spiritual awareness psychospiritual transformation rainforest rainwater raspberries recipe recipes reduce reed beds regeneration regenerative regenerative agriculture relative location relative matter remedy renewable renewable energy resources restoration reuse revolution rhythms rootstock rootstocks roundhouse roundwood runner beans sage salad salve Samhain schools Scotland scotts pine seasonal seasons seeds selfcare Sepp Holzer september septic tanks sewage treatment shade sheet mulching shrubs skincare sloes slugs small solutions small-scale smallholding social justice soil health solar solutions sowing spiritual spring squash stacking functions stock-free straw straw bale summer sustainable Sweet Bay syntropic systems temperate terraces thistles thrutopia timber timber framing tincture tonic toolkit tools transformation trees upcycle urban veg garden vegan veganic vermicomposting vinegar walnuts waste water water cleansing watering weeds wellbeing wetland wild edges wild food wild garlic wildflower wildlife wine recipes wings winter winter greens winter salads wood stove woodburner woodland woodland management woodlands worms yarrow year-round food yield young people youth zai pits zone 00 zoning

Healing Shrubs: Raspberries

Medicinal herbalist and forest gardener, Anne Stobart, shares the healing properties of the raspberry plant, and how to make a raspberry oxymel for a sore throat.

Raspberry
Rubus idaeus 
Latin nameRubus idaeus L.
FamilyRosaceae

Habit Shrub
Hardiness USDA zones 4-7 | UK zone 3
Parts used Fruits/leaves
Harvest time Leaves in April-May, fruits in June onwards

A deciduous fruiting shrub with traditional uses of the astringent leaves for diarrhoea and as a uterine tonic.

The raspberry is a deciduous shrub growing to 1.5m tall by 1.5m wide. Trifoliate leaves have whitish undersides and stems have fine prickles. It flowers from June to August. The flowers are hermaph­rodite and pollinated by bees and insects or are self-fertile. The fruit is an aggregate of drupelets around a central core. The plant has biennial stems and spreads by suckers.

Habitat/Origin 
Raspberry grows wild in Europe and temperate Asia, often in moist hedgerows and woodland edges. 

Herbal actions
Leaves are anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, astringent, haemostatic and tonic. The fruits are laxative, antiscorbutic, diuretic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.

Traditional use
Astringent raspberry leaves have been long used for wounds, colic, ­diarrhoea and many other complaints from stomach bleeds to menstrual problems and from emotional disturbances to exhaustion. They have been used as a tonic for the uterus to strengthen pregnancy, and as an aid in childbirth. Externally, the leaves and roots are used as a poultice and wash to treat sores, conjunctivitis, minor wounds, burns and varicose ulcers.

Indications and research
Raspberry leaf tea is indicated in later pregnancy as a uterine tonic, and has also been shown effective in relieving painful menstrual cramps. Studies so far show raspberry leaf is safe for both mother and child, and may shorten some stages of labour. Other studies suggest benefits of raspberry leaf extracts for pain ­control in arthritis. More high-quality studies are needed. 

Active constituents
Raspberry leaves contain hydroxy­benzoic acids, hydroxycinnamic ­acids and ellagitannins which are also found in the berries. A greater quantity of flavonoids is found in the leaf than in the fruits. ­Raspberry fruits are rich in phenolic compounds. 

Parts used
Fruits, leaves

When to harvest
Collect raspberry leaves before the plants begin to flower.

Sample preparation and dosage
Infusion of dried raspberry leaves 30g in 500ml of boiling water, drink 1 or 2 cups per day for digestive support, menstrual cramps or as a uterine tonic. 

The leaf infusion can be used as a gargle for sore throat or wash for wounds. 

Safety 
The leaves can be used during the last three months of pregnancy and during childbirth, but should not be used earlier. If pregnant, check with your midwife or medical practitioner before use.

Related plants
Both summer and autumn-fruiting cultivars are available. 

Cultivation
The raspberry can grow in sun or part shade and prefers moist, slightly acidic soil that is well-drained. Supports are needed on windy exposed sites. The old stems are cut back each year to encourage further fruiting stems. Fibrous shallow roots so take care weeding. Mulching can feed the plants. 

Further uses
Good for wildlife. Stems can be used to make paper. 

Cautions
Raspberry is susceptible to honey fungus. 

Recipe – Raspberry oxymel

750g raspberries
500ml apple cider vinegar
400g honey

Put the fruits in a wide-mouthed jar. Cover the fruits with the vinegar and top up the jar with honey. Stir well. Leave in a cool dark place for four weeks occasionally shaking. Strain the mixture and bottle and label. Makes a refreshing drink diluted with still or sparkling water or can be taken at 1-2 tbsp per day for a sore throat.

This is an extract from Anne Stobart’s Trees and Shrubs that Heal

Further Resources

Watch

The Medicinal Forest Garden

Books

Trees and Shrubs that Heal
by Anne Stobart

The Medicinal Forest Garden
by Anne Stobart

Trees for Gardens, Orchards and Permaculture
by Martin Crawford

Articles

Alder Buckthorn (Frangula alnus) and its Medicinal Benefits

Recipes from the Medicinal Forest Garden

Beginner's Guide to Growing Raspberries

About the Author

Anne Stobart is a medical herbalist and herb grower based in Devon, UK.

She is the author of The Medicinal Forest Garden Handbook and runs various medicinal courses.