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  • Rubus villosus L.
  • Rubus fructicosus
  • Rosaceae
  • Rose family

Common Names

herbsHigh blackberry
herbsWild western thimbleberries

Parts Usually Used

Roots, leaves, fruit

Description of Plant(s) and Culture

Blackberry is a trailing perennial plant; the slender branches feature sharp, recurved prickles. The leaves are finely hairy or almost glabrous and pinnate with 3-5 leaflets. The leaflets are ovate and doubly serrate. The upper leaves are sometimes simple and palmately lobed. The white, five-petaled flowers appear from June to September. The fruit is an aggregate of black drupelets collectively called the blackberry.

Where Found

Grows in dry or sandy soil, along woodland edges, in hedge rows, along roadsides, and on disturbed ground in the northeastern and middle states of the United States. and is cultivated elsewhere. West into Minnesota and south to Tennessee.

Medicinal Properties

Astringent (leaves and roots), hemostatic, nutritive, refrigerant, tonic

Biochemical Information

Isocitric, and malic acids; sugars, pectin, monoglycoside of cyanidin, tannin (high in root bark and leaves), iron, carbohydrates, sodium, magnesium, and vitamin A and C


Blackberry leaves and roots are a long-standing home remedy for cholera, anemia, regulates menses, diarrhea and dysentery. Prolonged use of the tea is also beneficial for enteritis, chronic appendicitis, stomach upset, and leukorrhea. It is said to have expectorant properties as well. A tea made from the dried root can be used for dropsy. The chewing of the leaves for bleeding gums goes back to the time of Christ. The fruit and juice are taken for anemia. A standard infusion is made, which can also be applied externally as a lotion, reported to cure psoriasis and scaly conditions of the skin.

Blackberries also make wine, brandy; and flavor liqueurs and cordials.

Formulas or Dosages

Infusion: use 1 tsp. dried leaves to 1/2 cup water. Take 1/2 to 1 cup a day.

Decoction: use 1 tsp. root or leaves to 1 cup water. Take 1 to 2 cups a day.

Tincture of root: take 15-40 drops in water, as needed.

Nutrient Content

Carbohydrates, iron, sodium, magnesium, vitamins A and C


Should not take more than a week at a time without a rest.

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