Habitat & Cultivation : Originating from Europe and Asia, raspberries now thrive in the wild and are cultivated in numerous temperate regions. Harvesting of the leaves typically occurs in early summer, while the fruits are collected when ripe during the summer season.
Parts Used : Leaves, fruit.
Constituents : Within the fruit are polyphenols, notably anthocyanins, renowned for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, the fruit encompasses pectin, fruit sugars, and acids. Raspberry seed oil, abundant in vitamin E, carotenes, and essential fatty acids, is gaining popularity in the formulation of cosmetic skin products.
History & Folklore : In 1735, the Irish herbalist K’Eogh documented various uses for raspberry, noting that applying crushed flowers mixed with honey proves beneficial for treating inflammation of the eyes, burning fever, and boils. Furthermore, K’Eogh suggested that the fruit itself is advantageous for heart health and addressing diseases of the mouth.
Medicinal Actions & Uses : The primary application of raspberry leaves is to facilitate a smooth labor process. Although the precise mechanism remains unclear, it is believed that these leaves enhance the strength of the longitudinal muscles in the uterus, amplifying the force of contractions and expediting childbirth. Additionally, a decoction of raspberry leaves is effective in relieving diarrhea. These leaves also serve as an astringent external remedy, functioning as an eyewash for conjunctivitis, a mouthwash for oral issues, or a lotion for ulcers, wounds, or excessive vaginal discharge.
Research : A laboratory study in 2012 found that a raspberry fruit extract reduced joint inflammation, cartilage damage and bone resorption.