Bramble Plant Benefits

Dioscorides recommended the leaves of the bramble plant for treating hemorrhoids many years ago. Its fruit, blackberries, have been used for many ages as food, being an excellent natural sweet for both children and adults. Around one hundred varieties of brambles are known, all of them with the same properties.

bramble plant leaves and fruits
Bramble plant blackberries

Bramble Plant Scientific Facts

  1. Scientific Names – Rubus fruticosus L.
  2. Other Names – European blackberry.
  3. French – Ronce noire.
  4. Spanish – Zarza, zarzamora.
  5. Environment – Widely spread all over Europe, usually growing by roadsides, slopes, and field borders. It has been naturalized to America.
  6. Description – Thorny shrub of the Rosaceae family, growing up to 4 m high, with white or pink flowers, 5 petals each. The fruit consists of several small drupes, dark purple or black, with a seed inside each one.
  7. Parts of the plant used medicinally – The leaves, young buds, and the fruit (blackberries).

Healing Properties

The leaves and young buds of the bramble plant contain a high amount of tannin, which gives it astringent and hemostatic properties. The fruit contains, besides tannin, sugars, (glucose and levulose), provitamin Avitamin C, and organic acids (citric, lactic, succinic, oxalic, and salicylic). Their indications are as follows:

  • Hemorrhoids – A decoction of both LEAVES and YOUNG BUDS of bramble is applied locally in sitz baths or compresses to reduce their inflammation and prevent them from bleeding.
  • Diarrhea, gastroenteritis, and colitis, because of their notable astringent properties. The YOUNG BUDS and LEAVES are more astringent than the FRUIT, however, all of them are usually consumed together to enhance their effects and take advantage of the flavor of the fruit. Children suffering from diarrhea can take blackberry juice in spoonfuls, or the syrup made with this juice.
  • Febrile diseases – The juice of the FRUIT (blackberries) is refreshing and invigorating, thus being recommended for weakened people or those suffering from febrile diseases.
  • Oral and pharyngeal afflictions – Both a decoction of LEAVES and YOUNG BUDS, young green buds, and the FRUITS, have beneficial effects on mouth sores, and for gingivitis (gum inflammation), stomatitis (inflammation of the oral mucosa), pharyngitis, and tonsilitis.
  • Skin wounds, ulcers, and furuncles – Apply compresses or baths with the decoction, or poultices with mashed LEAVES. These will help with healing.

Bramble Buds Against Tobacco

Smokers wanting to give up their noxious habit may try a new way to stop smoking. Put young buds of the bramble plant between your lips and suck them slowly. The slightly sweet and sour flavor of these buds creates a certain aversion towards tobacco, and decreases the desire for a cigarette, at least while the bud is held in your mouth.

How to use Bramble

Bramble Plant Benefits 1
Bramble plant decoction
  1. Decoction with 30 to 50 grams of young buds and/or leaves per liter of water, boil for ten minutes. Drink up to three cups daily.
  2. Young buds in spring. They can be directly eaten, and provide a healing action when touching the oral mucosa.
  3. Blackberry juice – Drink it freshly made, the dose being from one to three glasses daily.
  4. Syrup – Prepared by adding to the juice, two times its weight of sugar, preferably brown sugar, then heating until it is completely dissolved. Both blackberry juice and syrup are usually mixed with the decoction to improve the effects and enhance the latter’s flavor.
  5. Decoction slightly more concentrated (50 to 80 grams per liter) than the internally used one. Apply it in the form of compresses, sitz baths, rinses, and gargles.
  6. Poultices made with mashed leaves. Apply them to the affected skin area.

REFERENCES

George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. vols. 2 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 541, 542. Print. [bramble plant]

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