- Family: Rosaceae
- Season: Raspberries are available from May through November, but they can now be obtained year-round.
- Varieties: There are three main varieties; black, golden and red, the latter being the most widely available.
- Medicinal Properties: Antispasmodic, astringent, alternative, stimulant, tonic.
Raspberry is a delicious fruit loaded with powerful phytonutrients and antioxidants that can enhance the defense mechanisms and help our body reduce the chances of illnesses. Raspberry is a red spherical berry that grows continuously on the branches. It is harvested when it comes off the torus/receptacle easily and has turned a deep color (red, black, purple, or golden yellow, depending on the species). This is when the fruits are most ripe and sweetest. Excess fruit can be made into raspberry jam or frozen for future use.
Antioxidants in Raspberries: Vitamin C, dietary fiber, B vitamins, folic acid, magnesium, copper, iron and ellagic acid, quercitin, anthocyanins pigments, catechins, and salicylic acid. Yellow raspberries and others with pale-colored fruits are lower in anthocyanins.
Raspberry Health Benefits:
- The fresh juice, mixed with little honey, makes an excellent cooling beverage, to be taken to reduce fever.
- Raspberry can help increase breast milk after the baby is born.
- Raspberries contain an antioxidant ellagic acid which protects your cells from becoming damaged and slows the growth of abnormal cells. Ellagic acid retains its potency after heating, freezing and concentration processing.
- Eating red raspberries may possibly prevent cancer by inhibiting the abnormal division of cells. Research has found that black raspberries appear to be as helpful as red raspberries in preventing or slowing the growth of cancer. In a study it was shown that one cup of raspberries per week will stop prostate cancer growth for a period of up to one week.
- Raspberries may help normalize glucose levels and therefore may be helpful to people with diabetes.
- Raspberry relieves urinary irritation, and soothes the kidneys and the entire urinary tract.
- Raspberry can prevent degeneration of eyesight.
- Raspberry promotes healthy nails, bones, teeth, and skin.
- Raspberry is a good source of manganese. Manganese is a trace mineral that helps keep your metabolic rate high, which in turn burns fat.
Raspberry Nutrition: per 1/2 cup
- Vitamin C: 15mg
- Folate: 3mcg.
- Potassium: 125mg
- Calories: 30
Raspberry Leaf Tea Health Benefits:
- Raspberry tea is used for measles.
- Raspberry tea is one of the best herbal teas for pregnancy – to relieve nausea, prevent hemorrhage, reduce pain, and ease childbirth.
- The leaves of raspberry is used fresh or dried as herbal teas to regulate menstrual cycles and to decrease heavy menstrual flow.
- Externally, because of its astringent qualities, raspberry tea is used as a gargle, mouthwash. It can also be used for bleeding gums and other oral inflammations.
- It is believed that raspberry leaves can be helpful for a sore throat.
How to Make Raspberry Leaf Tea: Raspberry leaf tea can be made by adding 1 tsp of the leaf to one cup of boiling water. The leaf should be infused for 5-15 minutes and then strained. The infusion can be taken once or twice a day. A tincture made of raspberry leaf can be taken three times a day, in 2-4 ml doses. The fluid extract is taken 3 times a day, in 1-2 tsp doses.
Storage tips: Raspberries spoil faster than most berries do because of their delicate structure and hollow core. Once picked, they should be eaten as soon as possible. Freezing however will preserve them for up to a year.
Raspberry Side Effects:
- Raspberries contain a natural salicylate, which can cause an allergic reaction in aspirin-sensitive people.
- It also contains oxalic acid, which can aggravate kidney and bladder stones in susceptible persons.
- Raspberry tea may sometimes be too tonifying in the early stages of pregnancy; it should be discontinued if contractions increase.