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Blackberry

Uses

Common names:
Dewberry, European Blackberry
Botanical names:
Rubus fructicosus

Parts Used & Where Grown

Blackberries grow in wet areas across the United States and Europe. Several species of blackberry exist: Rubus fructicosus is the most common European species and Rubus canadensis is a common North American species. While the leaves are used most frequently for medicinal preparations, the root is sometimes used as well.

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Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

3 Stars Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.

2 Stars Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.

1 Star For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for Why
1 Star
Common Cold and Sore Throat
Refer to label instructions
Blackberry leaves contain astringent tannins that are helpful for soothing sore throats.

Red raspberry , blackberry, and blueberry leaves contain astringent tannins that are helpful for soothing sore throats.2 Sage tea may be gargled to soothe a sore throat. All of these remedies are used traditionally, but they are currently not supported by modern research.

1 Star
Diarrhea
Refer to label instructions
Blackberry is an astringent herb traditionally used to treat diarrhea.

Astringent herbs traditionally used for diarrhea include blackberry leaves, blackberry root bark, blueberry leaves, and red raspberry leaves.3 Raspberry leaves are high in tannins and, like blackberry, may relieve acute diarrhea. A close cousin of the blueberry, bilberry, has been used traditionally in Germany for adults and children with diarrhea.4 Only dried berries or juice should be used—fresh berries may worsen diarrhea.

Cranesbill has been used by several of the indigenous tribes of North America to treat diarrhea. The tannins in cranesbill likely account for the anti-diarrheal activity5—although there has been little scientific research to clarify cranesbill’s constituents and actions.

Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)

Since ancient Greek physicians prescribed blackberry for gout, the leaves, roots, and even berries have been used as herbal medicines.1 The most common uses were for treating diarrhea, sore throats, and wounds. These are similar to the uses of its close cousin, the red raspberry (Rubus idaeus), and a somewhat more distant relative, the blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum).

How It Works

Common names:
Dewberry, European Blackberry
Botanical names:
Rubus fructicosus

How It Works

The presence of large amounts of tannins give blackberry leaves and roots an astringent effect that may be useful for treating diarrhea.6 These same constituents may also be helpful for soothing sore throats.

How to Use It

The German Commission E monograph recommends 4.5 grams of blackberry leaf per day.7 Blackberry tea is prepared by adding 1.5 grams of leaves or powdered root to 250 ml of boiling water and allowing it to steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Three cups per day should be drunk. Alternatively, one may use 3–4 ml of tincture three times each day.

Interactions

Common names:
Dewberry, European Blackberry
Botanical names:
Rubus fructicosus

Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds

At the time of writing, there were no well-known supplement or food interactions with this supplement.

Interactions with Medicines

As of the last update, we found no reported interactions between this supplement and medicines. It is possible that unknown interactions exist. If you take medication, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a new supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.
The Drug-Nutrient Interactions table may not include every possible interaction. Taking medicines with meals, on an empty stomach, or with alcohol may influence their effects. For details, refer to the manufacturers’ package information as these are not covered in this table. If you take medications, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.

Side Effects

Common names:
Dewberry, European Blackberry
Botanical names:
Rubus fructicosus

Side Effects

Tannins can cause nausea and even vomiting in people with sensitive stomachs. People with chronic gastrointestinal problems might be particularly at risk for such reactions. Taking blackberry leaf or root preparations with food may reduce risk of gastrointestinal problems in some people.

References

1. Castleman M. The Healing Herbs. New York: Bantam Books, 1991, 106–10.

2. Schilcher H. Phytotherapy in Paediatrics. Stuttgart, Germany: Medpharm Scientific Publishers, 1997, 126–7.

3. Tyler VE. Herbs of Choice: The Therapeutic Use of Phytomedicinals. New York: Pharmaceutical Products Press, 1994, 51–4.

4. Weiss RF. Herbal Medicine. Gothenburg, Sweden: Ab Arcanum and Beaconsfield, UK: Beaconsfield Publishers Ltd, 1988, 101–2.

5. Duke JA. CRC Handbook of Medicinal Plants. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1985, 209.

6. Tyler V. Herbs of Choice: The Therapeutic Use of Phytomedicinals. New York: Pharmaceutical Products Press, 1994, 53.

7. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, et al. (eds). The Complete Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Boston, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998, 91.

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