As I was trimming back a few blackberry shoots I got to thinking–Aren’t blackberry leaves Something–you know, something in their own right other than the prickly part of blackberry production?
As it turns out, they are something. High in tannins and vitamin C, they are good for:
- mouth/gum tissue
- intestinal health
Teas and decoctions (concentrated teas) made from blackberry leaves are recommended by herbalists for skin rashes, mouth/canker sores, gum inflammation, sore throat, diarrhea, and more.
Since I have plenty of blackberry leaves, nothing to lose, and can’t resist a good concoction, I was in.
Here’s how to do it:
Remove the newer, fresher green leaves of the blackberry bush. Bruise them by crushing. A rolling pin saves your hands from the prickles:
Lay them out in a thin layer to ferment for 2-3 days. They will develop a rose-like aroma:
Spread them out in a single layer and allow to dry completely.
When absolutely dry, crush and store in a cool, dark place.
To make a decoction, boil a handful of the dried leaves in a quart of water. Reduce by half. Drink a cup or two per day, as needed or desired for prevention or treatment of the above conditions.
The decoction tastes a bit astringent, but is a nice tea with honey and lemon.
You can also make a simple tea, in the usual way.