Familiar as a summer fruit, raspberry is native to Europe, Asia, and North America, and has been cultivated in kitchen gardens since at least the 16th century. The leaves are commonly taken in tea to strengthen the womb for childbirth, while the fruits can be made into vinegar to use in salad dressings or to add to cough mixtures.
1 cup (2–3 tsp leaves per cup boiling water) can be taken daily in the last two months of pregnancy to help strengthen and prepare the womb for childbirth; drink the infusion as often as needed during labor. Take 1 cup 3 times daily to ease painful or heavy menstruation.
Take 60 drops–1 tsp (3–5ml) of the tincture 3 times daily for mild diarrhoea, or add to 31/2fl oz (100ml) of warm water and use to bathe wounds, varicose veins, or skin inflammations. Put 2–5 drops into an eyebath of boiled, cooled water for conjunctivitis and eye inflammations.
MOUTHWASH / GARGLE
Use 1 cup of an infusion for mouth ulcers or sore throats.
Take 2 tsp (10ml) 3–4 times daily of the juice (made from pulped berries) as a cooling remedy in mild fevers.
Prefers moist, slightly acidic soil. Propagate from rooted suckers, root division, or softwood cuttings, and plant in winter/early spring; prune canes to 10in (25cm) above ground after planting. Cut fruited canes back to ground level after harvesting, and select and support young canes for the following year’s crop.
Gather the fruits in summer or autumn and the leaves in early summer.