Summertime means all the berries!! I love berries!! Let's talk about how amazing the whole plant is and what we can do with it internally and externally. The genus Rubus consists of Blackberry, Blackcap, Boulder Raspberry, Boysenberry, Brambleberry, Cloudberry, Dewberry, Ghost Brambles, Loganberry, Raspberry, Salmonberry, Thimbleberry, Whitewashed Brambles, Wineberry. Our most commonly found Blackberry in Northern California is invasive and not native, but here to stay, the Rubus villosus. It is covering the back of my yard and I am constantly pulling it up, it is a BEAST, but I sure am LOVING eating fresh blackberries! A study in the American Journal of Nutrition said that Blackberries are the top antioxidant food, second only to Concord Grape juice. Their deep dark coloring is the give away. The fruits contain mostly malic and citric acids, which make a powerful peel when used on the skin. We are mashing this in our face masks during treatments this season for sure. Blackberry in your smoothies, in your salads, and on your face!! Believe it or not, there is also an incredibly nutritive OIL found in the SEED, we use Rubus idaeus aka Raspberry seed CO2 extract. It is a very potent, thick, dark greenish-brownish extract which contains lots of Omega 3 and 6 linoleic acids. This makes your skin extra smooth, and helps retain moisture, skin elasticity, and helps strengthen cell walls. INTERNALLY & EXTERNALLY IT DOES NOT GET ANY MORE ANTI AGING. Raspberry CO2 is found in this seasons Eraser Oil and Body Nectar. Grieves suggests putting the blackberries into malt vinegar for a few days, then strain, and boil with sugar (pound per pint of liquid). This Blackberry syrup is said to quench thirst when other beverages fail, just mix some with water! I can't wait to try this, and certainly will not leave for any adventure without it.
What do you know, the whole plant is good for diarrhea. There is a high amount of tannin found in the root bark and this is a well known cure for dysentery due to its potent astringency. The leaves are also known for having this property, as well as for being able to cure long standing ulcers. Hutchens suggests making a decoction of the root bark and leaves (non flowering); this mixture can be used freely for excessive menstruation, and is very effective in fevers and hot distempers of the body, head, eyes, and other parts. Culpeper in the 1500's wrote, "It is a plant of Venus in Aries. If any ask the reason why Venus is so prickly? Tell them it is because she is in the house of Mars." We can relate. He also says while the buds, leaves and branches are green they are great as a wash for sores in the mouth and anywhere else, including "secret parts". He says, "The berries of the flowers are a powerful remedy against the poison of the most venomous serpents. It also says the leaves boiled in lye make a black hair dye..interesting.. Sounds like we are going to make a tea of the whole plant, vinegar of the whole plant, and eat as many berries as possible and put fresh leaves and root in my daily tea. The FES Flower Essence of Blackberry is said to assist a person with: Competent manifestation in the world; clearly directed forces of will, intentional and decisive action. For the soul that has many lofty visions and desires but is unable to translate these into concrete manifestation. They give much consideration to their intentions but lack the ability to manifest & execute such goals. Their blood is often sluggish, as is the entire lower metabolism. As the light comes more to the limbs, the soul feels greater inner power to take real action in the world, & to translate what is spiritual into actual change in the world.