Plant Walk Series with Lisa Marie Holmes: Black Raspberry *Rubus occidentalis*

Thank you for joining this week’s Plant Walk Tuesday. I am so grateful to have you here sharing this space with me. I welcome the opportunity for both of us to learn and share herbal wisdom with one another so feel free to comment and share an experience if an herb resonates with you. 

Herbal medicine has been used throughout history by all different cultures. How lucky are we that Mother Earth provides the medicine, wisdom, and connection that we may be seeking? Whether we harness the plant world’s power by consuming it as food, using it as materials for survival, or investing in it for the benefits of our own longevity and wellbeing, there is no denying the intricately woven connection between us + our planet. This is why I find Plant Walks so inspiring. There is something magical about honing in our focus and paying strict attention to the living beings who surround us - even if we live in the city - Nature always finds us and we can always find Her.

Black Raspberry *Rubus occidentalis* Location: Blue Mountain Region

Black Raspberry *Rubus occidentalis* Location: Blue Mountain Region

With that being said, let’s dive into todays highlighted plant, the Black Raspberry *Rubus occidentalis*. This member of the Rose family originates from eastern North America. Rubus occidentalis is not to be confused with its close relative Rubus leucodermis, which is found on the opposite coast in the west and is also referred to as “Black Raspberry.”

Traditionally the entire plant was valued as both food and medicine, and is still appreciated for the same reasons today. Black Raspberry is a delicious edible plant that can be incorporated into many different dishes + beverages for its delicious taste & nutrients. You can have some fun creating beautiful food decor and cocktails (and mock-tails too of course!). 

Rubus Occidentalis can be seen throughout eastern North America in shady grasslands & forests.  Black Raspberry can seem confusing. Is it raspberry? Is it blackberry? It’s neither! Black Raspberry is a completely separate plant that can be distinguished by its thorny, angled, and blueish stems. It has groups of leaves with 3- 5 leaflets. The bottom side of the leaves are white & hairy – another distinguishing factor is how white the backside of the leaves are compared to the other species. White flowers bloom in the spring. Once the flowers become pollinated, they’ll transform into the black berries. The centre of Black Raspberries are hollow in comparison to the white core of a Blackberry. Personally, I find Black Raspberries sweeter than their Red Raspberry friends.

Energetically, the Black Raspberry symbolizes Protection, Love, and has been used in Glamour, Enchantments, and Love Potions. So, that being said, keep your eyes open for some homemade potions from my very own garden soon.

Black Raspberries are sweet & tasty, but also extremely nutritious. It has been labeled as a superfood and has three times more antioxidants than the infamous Red Raspberry. Some of the powerful benefits of Black Raspberry include:

  • Contains Vitamin A, E, C, K, and B complex vitamins

  • Contains magnesium, calcium, potassium, copper, iron, and magnese

  • Can increase the function of the immune system, and lower inflammation

  • Fight off free radicals, and slow down aging.

  • Regulates blood sugar and improve digestion.

Black Raspberry *Rubus occidentalis* Location: Blue Mountain Region

Black Raspberry *Rubus occidentalis* Location: Blue Mountain Region

These berries honestly pack a punch and are exploding healthful actions. I highly suggest incorporating Black Raspberry into your diet as the list of benefits goes on and on. I enjoy drinking Black Raspberry leaf infusions. The infusion can be helpful in relieving cough, diarrhea, and/or nausea symptoms.

Infusion Ingredients:
-2 TSP Black Raspberry Leaf
-8 oz of hot water 
Directions: First pour the boiling water over the plant and steep for ~10 minutes. Strain & enjoy! You may want to add honey to lighten up the flavour! 

Thank you so much for following along with me on what has become a very fulfilling Plant Walk Tuesday tradition! It is an honour to share my passion for herbal medicine in order to make the world a healthier & happier place! Black Raspberry has so many beneficial qualities that I was unable to share all of its wisdom. It is my intention that you will feel called to explore more about the Black Raspberry and any plants that are calling to you specifically.

This series is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. Herbal medicine allows us to connect to our ancestors and Mother Earth, the provider of life for us all. Let us honour her and nurture her the way she does us. 

Sending Love and Light
Lisa Marie Holmes

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Plant Walk Tuesday With Lisa Marie Holmes