The use of berries in daily life is nothing new. Berries of all kinds are used to make jam, blended in smoothies, diced up for desserts, and are even utilized as a salad topper. Some of the most sought-after are blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries. Although less popular, blackberries are anything but less potent or beneficial.
Interestingly enough, blackberries were almost non-existence on supermarket shelves in the early 1990’s. Due to the berries firmness and excellence in shelf-stability, a demand was established and has been growing ever since.
Berries are high in antioxidants, which protect from free-radicals and prevent oxidative damage. Blackberries are loaded with Vitamin K, C, and manganese and are also comprised of protein, riboflavin, niacin, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and vitamin A. Blackberries are a superior choice of fruit when considering sugar and carbohydrate intake and even keto friendly!
Blackberries are not only delicious, but have a multitude of health benefits. Let’s find out how blackberry leaves can improve your happy, healthy bod.
THE TRUTH ABOUT BLACKBERRIES
Cognitive and Motor Function
Studies have shown that diets high in fruits and vegetables (with their polyphenolic compounds), not only reverse, but inhibit age-related degeneration of motor and cognitive function. Berries, in particular, beneficially impact human health, disease, and performance in profound measures. Blackberries themselves have a direct impact on balance and coordination, improving motor functionality.
Brain games, such as crossword puzzles, are often recommended by doctors to prevent long-term and working memory loss as people age. So too can blackberries be added to this recommended list, for they have been proven to improve working (short-term) memory function.
A recent study in the Journal of Periodontal Research establishes the benefits of blackberries antibacterial properties in the treatment and prevention of gum disease. Blackberry extract is linked with blocking the disbursement of cancer cells and has the greatest antioxidant capacity compared to blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries.
Blackberry leaves have also been used in the treatment of sore throats and mouth sores and promote overall oral health.
Bacterial and Viral Aid
Blackberries are high in gallic acid, rutin and ellagic acid (a known chemopreventive) with antibacterial and antiviral properties. The blackberry plant and leaves are highly astringent, making it an effective treatment for diarrhea. Infusions are used to treat diarrhea, while decoctions are used to treat diarrhea and hemorrhoids.
Boiled blackberry leaf extract is a great cure for diarrhea and the high vitamin content gives the immune system a much needed boost.
Treatment of Open Wounds or Lesions
One traditional use of blackberry leaf is to treat open wounds, lesions, or bruises. The antibacterial properties of blackberries fight off bacteria and infections and speed up recovery time. A poultice or compress can be used as an effective treatment for external wounds.
Antioxidants have been known to prevent the proliferation of cancer cells. As previously mentioned, blackberries have the highest antioxidant capacity of berries measured against raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries. Due to the abundance of these free-radical scavenging constituents, blackberries have shown significance in destroying free-radicals that harm cells and lead to cancer, as well as blocking the production of new cancer cells from forming.
Blackberries are a high-quality source of soluble and insoluble fiber, which is essential for the digestive tract to perform optimally. Insoluble fiber promotes water absorption in the large intestine and the consumption of both fibers encourages regular bowel movements and freedom from constipation.
HOW TO USE BLACKBERRY LEAVES
Blackberry leaves may either be used as a tincture, decoction, or infusion. These are used to treat sore throat, mouth, and diarrhea, and other illnesses mentioned above.
Tinctures are ONE teaspoon twice a day, while two to three teaspoons are required for an infusion of blackberry leaves. They are best mixed with a cup of freshly-boiled water and given 20 minutes to cool. Drink an infusion three times and a decoction once per day.
CAUTION WITH BLACKBERRY LEAF
The tannins in blackberry leaves have caused some controversy as being fairly toxic. These constituents are also found in red wine and tea. Though some may worry, the dilution from milk or water is significant enough to alleviate concern. It should be noted that women who are pregnant or nursing, as well as children under the age of 2, should avoid blackberry leaf in any form.
Check out our blackberry leaf in the Wild Shop!