Scientific Name: Rubus idaeus
Raspberry is a sucker-producing, deciduous shrub that can grow up to 2m. It has woody stems with prickles, and bears white flowers in drooping clusters in summer, followed by aromatic, juicy, edible red berries.
Raspberry is fully hardy and needs well-drained soil and grows in full sun or partial shade.
Raspberry needs to be supported to make harvesting easier. Cut fruiting branches back to ground level in winter. Garlic and yarrow should be grown near Raspberry as companion plants — they might deter beetle attacks.
Raspberry is native to Europe and Asia and is cultivated in all temperate regions around the world. Fossil evidence shows that Raspberry has formed part of the human diet since early times and was mentioned by the Romans as early as c.50-16BC.
Today Raspberry products and flavours play a very important roll in the food, drink, confectionery and medicine industry.
Harvest and parts used
Raspberry leaves are picked before flowering and dried for use in infusions.
Raspberry fruit is harvested when ripe and used fresh or frozen for juice, syrups and culinary purposes.
Eat Raspberry fruit fresh, cooked or made into jam, jelly syrup or juice. Raspberry leaves are used to make a tea and raspberry vinegar makes a good salad dressing.
Raspberry leaves contain tannins and flavonoids, while the fruits are rich in Vitamins A, B1 and C, organic acids, sugars and pectin. Raspberry fruit and leaves have been used since classical times as an astringent remedy.
Today raspberry is still known as an astringent herb — a tea made with raspberry leaf and given to pregnant woman during the last 3 months of pregnancy, will tone the uterine muscles, increase the force of contractions and encourage easy labour.
Raspberry leaf infusion is NOT to be taken internally during the early stages of pregnancy.
A tea made with Raspberry leaves will relieve diarrhoea as well as period cramps accompanied by abdominal
discomfort. Raspberry is also included in rheumatic remedies
as a cleansing diuretic. Raspberry is useful as an astringent external remedy and can be used as an eyewash for
conjunctivitis, lotion for sores, minor wounds, burns, varicose ulcers and excessive vaginal discharge and as a
wash/gargle for tonsillitis and mouth inflammation.
Raspberry eases indigestion and rheumatism and is a tonic to the whole system and a natural detoxified.