Miss Raspberry! Please tell me, why O why are you so prickly yet so tasty! Miss Strawberry doesn’t behave like you, she is so bountiful and she doesn’t be so prickly. “Please understand kind person,” said Miss Raspberry, “I may be pretty, but I don’t come cheap.”

It is frankly no surprise that raspberries have been used for so long for so many purposes, for a start, its fruit is a treat to your taste buds, a melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness that nobody can deny.

It is also no surprise to find out that the ancient Chinese, Greeks, native American Indians and Indian ayurvedics all have used raspberry in the treating of many conditions over thousands of years. Over its history, it has been used in the same manner as blackberry, and in ‘general’ can be used interchangably too. In many ways, Miss Raspberry lived in Blackberry’s shadow, but in modern times she has come out to stand rightfully on her own.

Also, in the ancient times the raspberry bush grew abundantly on Mount Ida – Kazdağı, in Turkey and from here it gained its Latin name, Rubus idaeus‘Rubus’ coming from the Latin to mean ‘bramble’, and ‘idaeus’ because it came from Mt. Ida.

Raspberry – Rubus idaeus, part of the rose family, is a native of the northern hemisphere and is well known for its wonderful and most delicious fruit, ranging from pink to red cone shaped fruits that have tremendous flavour. Yes I know, I keep raving about the flavour, BUT, it also has a wonderful ability to add colour, texture and richness to any dessert, drink, smoothie or beverage, and a few other interesting meals if your daring enough. I have heard of omelettes.

Raspberries coming on

Culinary Uses

Raspberries have so many culinary uses, and as discussed earlier they are fantastic in desserts and drinks of all sorts, adding good nutrition to your diet. So I have decided here, not to suggest any cooking recipes as there are just so many in books and on the internet, that I didn’t feel it was necessary to share any.

Raspberry Herbal tea

Raspberry tea can be drunk just for the pleasure of it, but it can also be used medicinally internally for diarrhoea, menstrual issues, gargles and nausea, and when cooled, externally on burns, wound and as a wash for sore and tired eyes.

  • Place 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried or fresh finely chopped raspberry leaf in to cup
  • Pour in boiling hot water
  • Allow to steep for 3 to 4 minutes
  • Strain out the leaf
  • Add some sweetner if needed such as honey, stevia or erythritol
  • And enjoy

Raspberry vinegar

This vinegar preserves the vitamin C and other constituents found in the fruit. Drinking a little during cold and flu season may help prevent them, and can also be used as a gargle and mouthwash.

  • Gather enough bought or fresh organic raspberries to fill your chosen glass bottle
  • Fill and cover with a cider vinegar
  • Seal and store in a cool place for about three to four days
  • Give a little shake each day
  • Strain and reseal into a suitable sized glass bottle
  • Label and store in a cool dark place

Dosage

  • For prevention of winter chills, take 1 to 2 teaspoons with some warm water each day
  • For a gargle or mouthwash: prepare a mix of 3 parts water and 1 part raspberry vinegar. You can drink at this concentration if you already have a cold or flu too.

A Perfect Lady’s Herb

Apart from every girl loving raspberries, raspberry is a herb made in heaven for the women of this world, as it is up there with Chaste tree, Peony root, Cramp bark and Shatavari and oils like Evening primrose oil. Apart from weddings there isn’t a more stressful time than becoming a mother and then the baby arrives! No wonder so many women hit a wall when they become a first time mum, they are not weak, its just so much. Not to mention hormones, and everybody’s an expert too.

A little Story

Having kids can be rough; when my wife became a first time mum it really hit her, There I was at work, welding up farming equipment in the middle of the day and all of a sudden the wife of the manager of the firm comes and tells me that I need to go home. Why? Because my wife had just rang her in tears, totally distraught, so upset that her baby boy just wouldn’t stop crying. So off I went, and even though I couldn’t do much, at least I was there to support her, and at least it wasn’t serious, — she cried because she cared. (By the way, they gave me the rest of the day off with pay. (Thanks Irene and Ian.)

Sometimes women don’t want answers, mostly just a listening ear and to care.

Tears are more precious than makeup, that’s why they shine through –Herbal Panda

Raspberry Leaf or Fruit

When it comes to being ‘therapetic’, that is, having an affect on a person, it is the leaf that is most important, yes, the fruit does have benefits, but if you really want to make something happen, it is the leaf we need. Thankfully the leaf of the bush is available most of the time, that is, more than the fruit. Both fresh or dried leaf can be used in teas or decoctions and tinctures, plus, you can take the powder in capsules or mixed into smoothies.

Dried Raspberry Leaf

Raspberry leaf for Women

Menstruation

Raspberry leaf is great for ‘that time of the month’, as it is said that it helps to decrease a profuse menstrual flow as well as reducing painful menstruation and helps to regulate its flow as well. Raspberry leaf has a high iron content, therefore helping during iron loss.

Raspberry leaf for Childbirth

The suggestions given below are NOT medical advice, you should always check with your health care professional first. If you have had serious issues before with pregnancies, then you may be best to avoid it altogether. It is only given as educational and for informational purposes only.

Now getting back to the point of the story I was eluding to earlier, I believe that raspberry leaf can be used quite regularly by women for their benefit, but when is it the most helpful for motherhood? I would say from one to two months before attemping to conceive, “Skipping the first trimester” then right through to one to two months after birth.

Before Conception

The Mum to be, can take one to three cups a day of raspberry leaf tea, right up until conception. Always have this confirmed by a Medical Health Professional.

Conception to the Second Trimester

Completely avoid raspberry leaf in any form in the first trimester. Only use raspberry during the first trimester under strict guidance of a good health care professional never self treat.

From the Second Trimester to Third Trimester

During the second trimester, only take one cup on two different days of the week, for example, one on a Monday and one on a Thursday, it doesn’t have to be those days of course, so long as you keep them a couple days apart.

Third trimester to the last week before expected Birth

When you have reached the beginning of your third trimester, then you can have two cups of raspberry leaf tea per day. Take this until the last week ‘before’ the expected birth. You can add nettles to the tea if you are anaemic.

The Last week before Birth

Only in the last week before birth add two to three cloves to each cup of tea. Do not take cloves during the pregnancy, except for the ‘last week’.

At Birth

Have a large flask of raspberry leaf tea ready, and during the labour process you can drink freely. (It is your birthing, not the hospital’s, you have the right to have it as you like!) This can be mixed with any of your favourite relaxing herbs, such as Chamomile, Lemon balm or Linden flowers. (Some people are allergic to linden.)

After Birth

Add Fennel seeds to the raspberry leaf tea as this helps with milk production, amongst other things. If your milk production is sufficient, then you should stop, retake if you are dropping off again and you still want to keep feeding. You also add: Goat’s rue and Fenugreek too.


How to Grow Raspberry

Raspberry is a perennial that is decidious, that produces delicious fruit in the summer into autumn. It can be a rather vigorous and invasive plant and can grow into a dense spreading mass, and at times possibly considered impenetrable, if let go. Grow it in full sun in well-draining, loamy, rich and loose soil, and add either plenty of compost or mulch to the surface. Avoid clay and salty soils. Be aware, that ‘Primocane’ stems can pop out all over the place, but these are the best to take cuttings and root stock from not the floricanes, although they do work.

Raspberry Uses

Apart from growing heaps of delicious fruit that you can just eat straight off the bush, making wonderful dishes and desserts, drinks and beverages, the raspberry bush can be trained up trellises, over pergolas and other structures to act as wind breaks, sun shades and visual screens to gain privacy from neighbours, and have that secluded spot to rest. Also if placed carefully, trained and pruned well, they can be a thing of beauty, both in large pots and in garden. You could plant it in a spot to ‘intentionally’ let go wild, therefore making a hard to climb through hedge or barrier.

From seed

  • Sow seeds in a pot in mid- winter and keep indoors if you are in very cold climates, but not in snow or frozen ground of course
  • make holes in the mix about 2.5cm /1″ deep
  • Put one to two seeds into each hole
  • Cover and fill in with sand
  • Cover with a hessian bag or similar and put in cool place e.g. in the shade
  • Keep soil moist but not wet
  • In about a month and a half you should see leaves
  • When thy ehave at least four leaves transplant them into separate pots
  • When about 30cm / 1′ high transplant them into the ground
  • Water them in well and mulch to 7.5cm / 3″ deep
  • Train the branches as they grow

From Root Stock

  • If your root stock is dry, soak them for a couple of hours before planting
  • Plant about 8cm / 3″ below the soil
  • Plant the root stock about 60cm / 2′ apart
  • If planting in rows, keep the rows about 2.4 to 3.6m / 8′ to 12′ apart
  • Back fill each root stock and well water in, not flood in
  • Train as they grow

From Layering

You can progagate from first year canes by fixing the ends into the ground via a tent peg or similar.

Companion Planting

Good companions to raspberries are garlic, tansy, rue, turnip, marigold and even pine trees due to their pine needles helping to acidify the soil, as raspberries like a pH of 5.5 to 6.5.

Bad companions are members of the deadly nightshade family, such as, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers, also they are not good neighbours to strawberries and fennel doesn’t seem to like anybody much except for Dill.

Maintenence

Pests

Raspberry Pests are Aphids, Raspberry fruit worms and Raspberry beetle, Red-necked cane borers, Raspberry cane borer, Raspberry crown borer, Japanese beetles, Spider mites, Tarnished plant bugs, Thrips, Squash bugs (rare), Vinegar flies and Birds, which can be avoided by covering with mesh. Otherwise encouarge preditory insects, such as lady bugs, green lacewings, wasps, dragonflies, spiders and birds when there is no fruit, or spray with a neem oil/water mix if getting out of control.

Diseases

Some diseases are: Sooty mould, Raspberry mosaic virus, Cane blight, Spur blight, Fire blight, Gray mould, Raspberry leaf spot, Yellow rust, Phytophthora root rot, Verticillium wilt, Raspberry ring spot, and Leaf curl. Generally these can be avoided by hygenic pruning, good ventilation, plenty of sunlight, good trellising and well-draining soil and just enough water to the ground.


Collecting

Fruit

Pick the fruit during mid-summer onwards into early autumn and during the mornings and only pick fruit that comes off easily with a very light tug. If selling, protect greatly against damage due to handling and stacking and rough transport, and keep cool and sell quickly as they don’t keep very long.

Leaf

Leaves can be picked anytime, but may be better just before blossoming, as this would collect the energy before it is directed into the flowers and then steer the energy into the flowers and then fruit, collecting the energy before it shifts into the reproduction process. Make sure you are collecting healthy leaves that are of similar colour, and after all the moisture has dried off, cut with snips or a sharp knife or carefully pick off with your fingers, don’t strip the plant of its leaves. Make sure that there are no defects, from insect damage, discolouration, fungi damage, and free from insects, such as spiders and aphids and insect eggs.

Drying

Simply place the leaves on clean paper towelling or on clean dry kitchen towels in a well ventilated room until brittle.

Storage

Fruit

The fruit does not store for long, unless using a freezer, so you may be better off just eating them off the bush or follow the raspberry vinegar mentioned above.

Leaves

When thoroughly dry and feel brittle, place them into sealable airtight glass jars, label and date, and store in a cool, dry and dark place.


Herbalism

The information below is for informational and education purposes only. So please do not “self-treat”. When seeking any ‘therapeutic’ advice always see a Qualified Health Care Professional first.

COMMON NAMES:

Raspberry, European wild raspberry, American red raspberry, Bramble of Mt. Ida, Hindberry, common or Red raspberry

PARTS USED:

Mostly the leaf, but the fruit can be used and sometimes the root

DOSAGE:

Daily minimum to maximum dosage: 2.0 – 6.0 grams

MAIN ACTIONS:

Astringent, febrifuge, partus preparator, uterine tonic, smooth muscle stimulant, parturifacient, refrigerant, anti-spasmodic, alterative and antidiarrhoeal 

INDICATIONS:

Preparation for labour, dysmenorrhoea, morning sickness – second trimester, acute diarrhoea, mouth ulcers, diarrhoea, stomatitis. Topically for: inflammation of the throat and mouth, tonsillitis, conjunctivitis, and pharyngitis. Plus, Uterine prolapse, uterine haemorrhage, and gastrointestinal bleeding

CONSTITUENTS:

Flavonoids – rutin and quercetin, tannins – gallotannins and dimeric ellagitannins, volatile oils, vitamin C and organic acids – gallic acid

SAFETY CONCERNS:

DO NOT use in first trimester, use only in second and third trimesters. Don’t use with mineral supplements or with constipation

ADULTERANTS:

Has been confused with bramble or blackberry leaf



Please remember, this blog cannot and should not replace a health care professional, and is for informational and educational purposes only and is not for medical advice or treatment, and no cure is implied in anyway. If you have a known serious condition, or are pregnant, please consult your health care professional, before use.

Kind Regards,

Russell a.k.a Herbal Panda

Website: http://www.theherbarius.com.au

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Email: theherbalist@theherbarius.com.au

Sales: sales@theherbarius.com.au

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The beautifully fragrant Chamomile, she could be considered the darling of the herbal flowers, so well known by so many people, and she would be next to her other well known darling flower, Miss Lavender. The fragrance is right there in the bud, or from the moment you open the container the fragrance flows up into your nose screaming out beauty and gentleness, and chamomile is just so wonderfully gentle.

Chamomile grows wild in North America and in Europe, but it also grows in many other countries as well, and has several varieties, and they are German Chamomile, (Matricaria recutita) otherwise called camomile, or wild chamomile, then there are two varieties of Roman chamomile, (Chamaemelum nobile), which is also known as garden chamomile, low chamomile, whig plant, mayweed or ground apple, due to smelling like ‘apples’. Plus, (Chamaemelum nobile ‘Flore Pleno’), which is a ‘doubled flower’ and is more ‘compact’ than the standard Roman chamomile.

Also there are two lesser known chamomiles, which are the Chamomile treneague, which does not flower, and can be used as a no-mow lawn, and the Dyers chamomile, which is used for its dying ability.

The two chamomile’s principally used in herbalism are German chamomile and Roman chamomile. German chamomile is generally considered stronger and better for mucosal surfaces, and Roman chamomile is a little more bitter, soothes the lungs better, and can be used to speed up menstrual flow if needed, but may have more of a possible allergic reaction, such as dermatitis.

Chamomile’s most useful known action is that it is a ‘mild sedative’ therefore it is a relaxant, so much so it can be given to small children who are fretting. It relaxes the nerves, yet without much influence on sedation or side-effects.

How to use Chamomile?

Herbal Teas:

The most popular use of Chamomile is a herbal tea or Tisane, it is great also for the elderly and those convalescing, and this is how you make it:

A Chamomile tea is beautiful in every way
  • Take one heaped teaspoon of chamomile flowers, fresh or dried
  • Put it in a loose tea infuser
  • Place it in a warmed cup and pour in 250mls of just on boiling water
  • Cover and allow to stand for 3-5 minutes
  • If desired you can add a little raw honey or stevia, a slice of lemon, a slice or two of ginger or even fennel seeds

Culinary:

The flowers can be place in different types of salads, to add the colour of white and yellow, also they can be frozen in ice blocks to place into drinks.

Babies and Breastfeeding:

If you want to calm your baby from colic, teething or to encourage sleepiness, one can make a similar brew as mentioned above, but, it will need to be at “1/2 a teaspoon” not a whole teaspoon, to a ‘teapot’ not a cup, and this can be drunk in small quantities over the period of the day. Or, given via a bottle. Please note: always check for any possible allergic reaction, just to be safe.

Gardening uses:

Most only collect the flowers to make with a herbal tea, but it should be noted that some collect the leaves as well, these leaves can be used with the flowers in an infusion, which can be used as an accelerator to assist in decomposition and as a spray to help prevent dampening off. This infusion was made by bringing to boil 600ml of water and adding a handful of the flowers and leaves, then covered to help keep the volatile oils in and allowed to stand for half a day. Then strain and place into a suitable spray bottle for dispensing.

Potpourri:

An example of a Bath Potpourri you may like to try:

  • Rose Petals
  • Lavender
  • Chamomile
  • Peppermint
  • Comfrey
  • Lemon verbena
  • and Bee Balm

And Other uses:

Apart from its obvious and delicious use a tea beverage, it is used primarily as a herbal medicine, but it is also used in medicinal and pharmaceutical preparations, cosmetics, and its essential oil is used in perfumes.


How to grow Chamomile

Both German and Roman chamomiles are easy to grow, depending on where you live, that is, hotter or colder as most seed planting times will differ, if you are in more hotter and drier climates, then you should plant around autumn and winter, but if you are in cooler climates then plant from spring to early summer.

German chamomile grows as an annual that grows to approximately 30-50 cm high and Roman chamomile is a perennial low growing herb that matts.

From Seed:

  • Fill a tray or container with good seed raising mix, which is usually mostly sand
  • Sow your seed onto seed trays and cover with about 5mm (1/4″) of some of the seed raising mix
  • Lightly water the mix and keep it slightly moist (you can keep a hessian bag laid over the mix to keep the moisture in.)
  • They should start emerging approximately 2-3 weeks later
  • Transplant the seedlings into either pots or into the garden when you have four good leaves and water in well and protect from heat if necessary until established
  • The seed can be directly planted into the garden and thinned out to at least 20cm apart
This seed packet contains Roman Chamomile from a local hardware store

From Cuttings:

The double flowered chamomile and chamomile treneague must be propagated by cuttings or division and collect the cutting either during spring and autumn, and the cuttings are generally easier because they have ‘aerial’ roots. Simply make a hole into the potting mix with a dibbler and then carefully place the cuttings into the holes without damaging the roots and water in.

Maintenance:

Chamomile loves a sunny position and slightly acidic well-drained soil, and since being relatively hardy and easy to grow, they can grow in less than desirable places. Chamomile does benefit from some liquid fertiliser at the beginning of its growing season and make sure that the ground does not dry out therefore mulch well.

Diseases and Pests:

Due to being highly aromatic by nature, Chamomile is relatively free from pests and disease


Collecting

Most flowers are collected once they have bloomed and are in the early stage of maturity and in the mid-morning once the dew or moisture has dried off and this is to prevent mould and mildew forming during the drying process and ruining the supply later on. But Chamomile and another flower called ‘Everlasting flower’ are a little different, and so with these, you need to collect the flowers ‘as’ they are starting to blossom, not after they have fully bloomed as with all the rest.

To pick its flowers go out into your garden or wherever you can find wild growing chamomile to collect the flowers, (don’t pick your neighbours unless you’ve asked) and take a small sharp knife or some garden snips and carefully cut off the flowers or you can pick the flowers by hand, picking them directly behind the the bud. Place them into a suitable container or basket, but don’t squash them or damage them in any way.

As your picking them, beware of damaged flowers and make sure your flowers are free from defects, such as, brown edges and dead petals as these will ruin your pick. Also, be aware of debris such as unknown leaf matter, dirt, dust or ash, or any other matter that should not be there, plus insects such as spiders and caterpillars and insect eggs that can be found on these flowers.

Drying:

The flowers need to be dried in a well-ventilated room and not in the sun as this may cause the loss of the volatile oils; spread out the flowers onto brown wrapping paper or paper towelling into a thin layer. Make sure that they are not sitting on top of each other and the air can get around the flowers. The flowers once dry, should retain their colour and aroma and remain whole, looking the same as the original pick. Be aware that bugs may crawl out from the flowers, so be kind and provide a way of escape for them.

If your worried about something getting on the dried flowers, whilst drying them, then drape a light mesh over the top without touching them.

Storage:

Store your beautiful smelling chamomile flowers in a sealed bottle, it can be clear, but must be kept out of the sunlight, and in a cool place away from heat, otherwise keep in an amber coloured jar and still away from heat. Either way, make sure that the bottle is labelled with its contents and dated. They will keep for at least two years like this. If you see any mould throw it out.

Macerating:

Chamomile’s macerating time is relatively short, literally only a few days if you are making a tincture from the flowers. Chamomile makes an excellent glycerin extraction, which is good for those wishing to avoid alcohol.


Herbalism.

The information below is for informational and education purposes only. So please do not “self-treat”. When seeking any ‘therapeutic’ advice always see a Health Care Professional first.

Parts used:

Flowers, which have not fully blossomed

Dosage:

Minimum to maximum of dried flower is 0.9 – 1.8g per day

Main actions:

Anti-Inflammatory, spasmolytic, carminative, mild sedative, antiulcer, vulnerary, and diaphoretic

Indications:

Travel sickness, restlessness, anxiety, insomnia, nervous dyspepsia, plus, Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), food sensitivities, flatulent colic, flatulence, gastrointestinal tract colic and inflammation, diarrhoea, teething and infantile colic, gastritis, peptic ulcers, GORD, topically for dermatitis, mouth ulcers, and wounds

Constituents:

Essential oils with dicycloethers, bisabolol, matricine, flavonoids, coumarins. best to use when rich in bisabolol

Safety Concerns:

Allergic to Chamomile (Think Ragweed)

Adulterants:

Presently ‘None Known’



Please remember, this blog cannot and should not replace a health care professional, and is for informational and educational purposes only and is not for medical advice or treatment. And no cure is implied in anyway. If you have a known serious condition, or are pregnant, please consult your health care professional, before use.

Kind Regards,

Russell a.k.a Herbal Panda

Website: http://www.theherbarius.com.au

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Email: theherbalist@theherbarius.com.au

Sales: sales@theherbarius.com.au

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German Chamomile 40 g / 1.41oz

Certified Organic German Chamomile. Includes Postage and Handling in Australia of $3.65

A$9.65