Biological Name: Rubus villosus
Other Names: Bramble, cloudberry, dewberry, goutberry, high blackberry, thimbleberry, blackberry
Parts Used: The bark of the the root and rhizome
20% Tannin, gallic acid, saponins including villosin
From the time of Christ the leaves of blackberry plant was chewed for bleeding gums. It had been used for diarrhea for a long time as a folk remedy. The ancient Greeks used blackberry to treat gout. (The herb is also known as “goutberry”.) The ancient Chinese used the unripe berries to treat kidney problems, urinary incontinence, and impotence.
The Romans chewed the leaves for bleeding gums and drank a decoction for diarrhea. During the middle ages, the blackberry leaves were applied to the skin to soothe burns and scalds. Contemporary herbalists recommend it as an astringent for the treatment of diarrhea.
Mouth Sores, Sore Throat
Blackberry is an excellent, safe and gentle astringent remedy that can be used in all situations that call for this action. It may be used in diarrhea, dysentery and other problems associated with ‘loose bowels’. It was traditionally used in Britain externally as wash in a whole range of skin eruptions and burns. It will staunch bleeding and may be used in leucorrhoea.
Blackberry leaves and roots are a popular home remedy for diarrhea. Herbalists believe that prolonged use of the tea is also beneficial for enteritis, chronic appendicitis, and leucorrhoea. It is said to have expectorant properties as well. A tea made from the dried root can be used for dropsy.
One animal study has shown that a strong infusion of blackberry leaves reduces blood sugar levels in diabetic rabbits. It may also have beneficial effect in the treatment of menstrual cramps, although no proof of such claim exists.
Blackberry is a trailing perennial plant that grows in dry or sandy soil in the northeastern and middle states of the U.S. and is cultivated elsewhere. The slender branches feature sharp, recurved prickles. The leaves are finely hairy with 3 to 5 leaflets. The leaflets are ovate and doubly serrate. The white, five-petaled flowers appear from June to September. The berries turn red as they ripen and become a juicy, purplish blue black by midsummer.
Decoction: Use 1 tsp. root or leaves to 1 cup water. Take 1 to 2 cups a day, cold.
Tincture (of root): Take 15 to 40 drops in water, as needed.
Some people believe that large amount of tannins, if consumed, may result in cancer, stomach distress, nausea and vomiting.
Blackberry root bark contains the most tannin followed by the leaves and finally the fruit. If you are suffering from chronic gastrointestinal conditions such as colitis, do not use blackberry roots.
Use blackberry in medicinal amounts and under the supervision of a qualified professional. If you experience nausea or vomiting, stop using it immediately and contact your doctor.