Since raspberries are in season now and the leaves are tender and young, that is the bramble we’ll focus on. Although the berries and leaves may be credited with healing properties, it is the leaves that are typically used in Chinese and European herbal medicine. Red raspberry leaves contain many vitamins and minerals, including calcium, iron, and magnesium, which are all vital for uterine health and may be lacking from the diet. The herb also contains other essential nutrients like potassium, phosphorus, and manganese and Vitamins C, A, E, and B complex.
It also has strong antioxidant and astringent qualities and is considered safe for all members of the family. A Red raspberry leaf infusion may be used for coughs, sores in the mouth and stomachache in children. The Herbal Academy recommends making an infusion instead of a tea in order to get the most benefit from raspberry leaf. An infusion is made by pouring boiling water over the herb, then letting it sit for 4-8 hours. An easy way to accomplish this is to fill a quart jar with clean leaves, then fill the jar with boiling water, being careful to cover the leaves completely. Put a plastic lid on the jar and leave it on the counter. Strain and store in a clean jar in the refrigerator. You’ll have several cups of raspberry tea ready for hot or cold drinking.
Red raspberry vinegar
1 ½ C fresh raspberries
2 C white wine vinegar
¼ C sugar
Rinse the berries and air-dry on paper towels. Place berries in a quart jar; set aside. In large
saucepan, combine vinegar and sugar; bring almost to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly, until
sugar is dissolved. Do not boil. Pour hot vinegar mixture over berries; cover jar tightly and let stand at
room temperature 48 hours. Strain through several layers of cheesecloth into a sterilized bottle or
jar. Seal tightly with a cork or lid. Store in cool dark place.
Leaves are easy to harvest, dry and store. Choose tender new leaves without blemishes. Dry in a brown paper bag until crispy or in a dehydrator. Crush and store in a jar in a cool dark cupboard ready for use this winter.
Thank you to the herb of the year and let’s put all the parts of Red Raspberry to use.