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American Red Raspberry
(Rubus idaeus LINN.)
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Botanical: Rubus idaeus (LINN.)
---Synonyms---Raspbis. Hindberry. Bramble of Mount Ida.
Family: N.O. Rosaceae
---Parts Used---Leaves, fruit.
The well-known Raspberry, grown so largely for its fruit, grows wild in some parts of Great Britain. It is a native of many parts of Europe. The stems are erect and shrubby, biennial, with creeping perennial roots. It flowers in May and June.
---Cultivation---The plant is generally propagated by suckers, though those raisedfrom layers should be preferred, because they will be better rooted and not so liable to send out suckers. In preparing these plants their fibres should be shortened, but the buds which are placed at a small distance from the stem of the plant must not be cut off, as they produce the new shoots the following summer. Place the plants about 2 feet apart in the rows, allowing 4 or 5 feet between the rows. If planted too closely, without plenty of air between the rows, the fruit will not be so fine.
The most suitable soil is a good, strong loam. They do not thrive so well in a light soil.
In October, cut down all the old wood that has produced fruit in the summer and shorten the young shoots to about 2 feet in length. Dig the spaces between the rows well and dress with a little manure. Beyond weeding during the summer, no further care is needed. It is wise to form new plantations every three or four years, as the fruit on old plants is apt to deteriorate.
---Constituents---The Raspberry contains a crystallizable fruit-sugar, a fragrant volatile oil, pectin, citric and malic acids, mineral salts, colouring matter and water. The ripe fruit is fragrant, subacid and cooling: it allays heat and thirst, and is not liable to acetous fermentation in the stomach.
Raspberry vinegar is an acid syrup made with the fruit-juice, sugar and white-wine vinegar, and when added to water forms an excellent cooling drink in summer, suitable also in feverish cases, where the acid is not an objection. It makes a useful gargle for relaxed, sore throat.
A home-made wine, brewed from the fermented juice of ripe Raspberries, is antiscrofulous, and Raspberry syrup dissolves the tartar of the teeth.
The fruit is also utilized for dyeing purposes.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---Astringent and stimulant. Raspberry Leaf Tea, made by the infusion of 1 OZ. of the dried leaves in a pint of boiling water, is employed as a gargle for sore mouths, canker of the throat, and as a wash for wounds and ulcers. The leaves, combined with the powdered bark of Slippery Elm, make a good poultice for cleansing wounds, burns and scalds, removing proud flesh and promoting healing.
An infusion of Raspberry leaves, taken cold, is a reliable remedy for extreme laxity of the bowels. The infusion alone, or as a component part of injections, never fails to give immediate relief. It is useful in stomach complaints of children.
Raspberry Leaf Tea is valuable during parturition. It should be taken freely - warm.
---Preparation---Fluid extract, 1 to 2 drachms. The Raspberry grows wild as far north as lat. 70 degrees, and southward it appears to have been abundant on Mount Ida, in Asia Minor, lat. 39 degrees 40'. It was known to the Ancients, and Linnaeus retained the classic name of Ida, with which it was associated by Dioscorides. It was called in Greek Batos Idaia, and in Latin Rubus Idaea, the Bramble of Mount Ida. Gerard calls it Raspis or Hindberry, and Hindberry is a derivation of the Saxon name Hindbeer.
"Twas only to hear the yorling sing,
And pu' the crawflower round the spring,
The scarlet hep and the hindberrie,
And the nut that hang frae the hazel tree.'
The Wild Raspberry differs from the cultivated variety mainly in its size.
To every 3 pints of fruit, carefully cleared from mouldy or bad, put 1 quart of water; bruise the former. In 24 hours strain the liquor and put to every quart 1 lb. of sugar, of good middling quality, of Lisbon. If for white currants, use lump sugar. It is best to put the fruit, etc., into a large pan, and when, in three or four days, the scum rises, take that off before the liquor be put into the barrel. Those who make from their own gardens may not have a sufficiency to fill the barrel at once; the wine will not hurt if made in the pan in the above proportions, and added as the fruit ripens, and can be gathered in dry weather.
Keep an account of what is put in each time.
Raspberry Vinegar is made either with malt vinegar or white vinegar (i.e. either white-wine vinegar or dilute acetic acid). Malt vinegar adds to the colour, which with white vinegar generally needs the addition of a little caramel to deepen it. When made from the fruit 2 lb. of raspberries is required to a pint of vinegar. Another method is to acidulate Raspberry-juice with acetic acid and sweeten with plain syrup.
Another Recipe for the Same
Put 1 lb. of fine fruit into a china-bowl, and pour upon it 1 quart of the best white-wine vinegar; next day strain the liquor on 1 lb. of fresh raspberries; and the following day do the same, but do not squeeze the fruit, only drain the liquor as dry as you can from it. The last time pass it through a canvas, preciously wet with vinegar, to prevent waste. Put it into a stone jar, with 1 lb. of sugar to every pint of juice, broken into large lumps; stir it when melted, then put the jar into a saucepan of water or on a hot hearth, let it simmer and skim it. When cold, bottle it.
This is one of the most useful preparations that can be kept in a house, not only as affording the most refreshing beverage, but being of singular efficacy in complaints of the chest. A large spoonful or two in a tumbler of water. Be careful to use no glazed nor metal vessels for it.
Pick fine dry fruit, put it into a stone jar, and the jar into a kettle of water, or on a hot hearth, till the juice will run; strain, and to every pint add 1/2 lb. of sugar, give one boil and skim it; when cold, put equal quantities of juice and brandy, shake well and bottle. Some people prefer it stronger of the brandy.
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Bear in mind "A Modern Herbal" was written with the conventional wisdom of the early 1900's. This should be taken into account as some of the information may now be considered inaccurate, or not in accordance with modern medicine.
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