Tuesday, May 29, 2012



The abundance of summer is upon us and with it will come the ripening of mulberries, wild grapes, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. While all are fabulously delicious, the latter two have traditional medicinal applications, albeit not from the berries.

Wild raspberry in early summer

An infusion of raspberry leaves (Rubus idaeus) acts as an astringent tonic for the bladder and uterus, strengthening contractions and stopping bleeding with cystitis or during delivery.

Fresh or dried leaves are equally effective for raspberry tea but avoid them when partially desiccated due to mild toxic effects while drying.

Raspberry leaves drying


The more robust blackberry (Rubus villosus) also packs a more powerful astringent punch that is specific for the stomach and intestines. 

An infusion of fresh or dried leaves works for mild cases but blackberry root tincture will stop bleeding ulcers, acute diarrhea, or hemorrhoids. Just be sure to don some stout leather gloves when pulling up a root!

Wild blackberry in early summer

Morus rubra in early summer

But back to those fabulously delicious berries, and the first out in early summer is mulberry (Morus species).


- white wine: 1/2 to 1 bottle (left from yesterday's dinner)
- fresh mulberries: two handfuls
- orange spritzer

1) Half fill a beautiful large decanter with wine and add the mulberries;
2) Place the decanter in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight;
3) Add ice cubes until the decanter is 3/4 or more full;
4) Top-off the decanter with orange spritzer and give three cheers to the abundance of summer.

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