Raspberry

Rubus idaeus L.

Rosaceae

Raspberry has been known since ancient times and mythology teaches us how the raspberry, once white became pink…

Zeus was hidden in Crete by his mother, who feared that his father, Cronus, would devour him. The nymph Ida, daughter of the King of Crete and nurse of Zeus, wanted to gather raspberries to appease the cry of her protected one, cryings that she feared would attract the attention of her father! But as she picked the fruits, she scratched her breast and the blood of the wound dyed the raspberry in pink.

Historically, the oldest botanical reference of raspberries comes from the ancient historian Pliny, who mentions it in his book Natural History after the blackberry, another Rosaceae: “rubus idaeus is so called, because there is no other on Mount Ida. It is more tender, smaller, has less branches and less thorns, and it grows under tree shade… it is to be taken with water in case of stomach aches. The raspberry will retain its name as the “blackberry of Mount Ida”, when Carl von Linnaeus will describe it 1700 years later.

Raspberry is no longer present on Mount Ida, where all the forests have been cut, but it is possible that it has never even grown there because it is absent from all of the Mediterranean area. It is found throughout all the mountains of Europe, under the conditions described by Pliny, near forest borders.

It is from this wild raspberry that will be created the multiple varieties, in the 16th century. The fruits are then grown for perfumes, making drinks or remedies. The most famous one being raspberry vinegar, now used for salad dressings and on meats, but once used as a remedy to treat sore throat, as a gargle.

This use is justified by the astringent * and anti-inflammatory properties of the plant, which are also found in its leaves, harvested for herbalism.

Raspberry herbal tea

To enjoy its properties, a simple infusion of leaves is enough … but some guidelines are necessary to follow:

Take a few dried leaves of raspberry, crumble them so as to increase the surface of plant in contact with the water and ease the passing of the active ingredients into the infusion.

Put a big table spoon (3 to 5g) in a teapot.

Pour the volume of a large cup (200ml) of simmering water and cover immediately. Infuse 10 minutes then filter. This infusion can be hot or cold, especially for gargles. In this case, it is stored in a refrigerator.

This herbal tea can be used against sore throats or angina in gargling, or to fight inflammations of the stomach and intestines in infusion. It can be taken two to three times a day, by cures or periodically as indicated.

This plant is regaining its popularity, impulse coming from North America and Canada, where midwives have discovered its beneficial effects when preparing for child birth. In fact, raspberry leaves relax the uterus and regulate contractions. Its use is carried out under medical supervision, as part of the overall monitoring of pregnancy.

* Astringent: is a substance that tightens and dries tissues, and can facilitate their healing.

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