Blackberry Leaf (Rubus fruticosus) is the name given to what the English often call the Bramble.
Blackberries as a fruit are most often consumed as a pudding treat or made into jelly or jam. Once they are black all over, they are fully ripe and can be eaten right off the vine.
Medicinal Uses of Blackberry Leaf:-
Medicinally, the leaf of the Blackberry is most often used. They have been made into an infusion or tea to ease the discomfort of sore throat, and are very effective in gently treating diarrhoea. The leaves also have diuretic properties. The primary constituents of this herb include tannins, gallic acid, villosin and iron.
It is the tannin content of Blackberry Leaf which makes it an effective astringent. The tannins also contribute to the plant’s ability to treat diarrhea and dysentery, as well as to constrict blood vessels, which inhibits bleeding.
The leaves of Blackberry were once, and occasionally still are, chewed to treat bleeding gums and mouth sores. Blackberry Leaf was also used as a poultice for wounds and insect bites, and as an effective wash for oily skin.
Folklore and Blackberries:-
In the UK, folklore tells us that we should not pick Blackberres after old Michaelmas day which is the 11th October as the Devil spits on them from this date. There is some foundation in this mythology as colder and wetter weather encourages mould and rot of the berres which is not always immediately apparent. One of the moulds that are prevalent is Botryotinia which is potentially dangerous although usually it is easily spotted.
In Christian tradition Christ’s Crown of Thorns was made from Blackberry or Bramble although many argue it was Hawhorn and the purple colour of the fruit is supposed to represent the blood of Christ.