Rubus idaeus. N.O. Rosaceae.
Synonym ► Rubus strigosus, American Raspberry.
Habitat ► Woods and heaths ; dry, gravelly or stony ground. Also cultivated in gardens. Features ► Stem erect, freely branched, three or four feet high, covered with small,
straight, slender prickles. Leaves stalked, pinnate, with two pairs of ovate leaflets and
larger terminal leaflet, rounded base, doubly serrate, pale green above, grey-white
down beneath, about three inches long by two inches broad. Small white, pendulous
flowers (May or June) in simple clusters. Astringent to the taste.
Part used ► Leaves.
Action ► Astringent, stimulant.
The 1 ounce to 1 pint infusion is widely used as a mouth-wash and gargle, and for the cleansing of wounds and ulcers. Frequently combined with Slippery Elm as a poultice. With a little Ginger and Pennyroyal it is recommended for the stomach and bowel disorders of children.
Thomson and his immediate successors strongly advised the free drinking of the Raspberry leaves infusion for several months before confinement as an aid to parturition, and it is still much in demand for this purpose.