Please welcome back friend & Garden Eats new contributor Kat Sanchez. In case you missed her interview with us, Kat is a Los Angeles county certified master gardener, seed curator, wildcrafter and community herbalist. She’ll be sharing experiences from her medicinal gardens to help you grow in yours.
I F I C A N grow something that I use almost every day in the apothecary then I am one happy gardener and herbalist… Especially when it’s a tender green plant. And, by growing more tender healing plants you are ensuring potency and overall quality of your herb!
Tender raspberry plants- I grow them not just for their delicious and nutritious berries, but for their nourishing and strengthening leaves as well!
Raspberry leaves contain appreciable levels of both vitamins A and C as well as bioavailable calcium and iron. Typically, red raspberry leaf infusion is used as a uterine tonic but shouldn’t be discounted for the benefits it confers to the male reproductive system. Its nourishing content alone makes raspberry leaf a great infusion for anyone. The leaves are also astringent; making them an ideal fix for tightening loose tissues both internally and externally.
Last fall we planted a red raspberry plant (Rubus idaeus) in one of our raised garden beds after I had purchased and consumed over a pound of organic raspberry leaves as a nourishing infusion in one season! Fall isn’t the most ideal time to plant a raspberry plant but in Southern California, it’s not the worst. I wanted the roots to get a head start on growing through the fall and winter, however, a few nights the soil actually froze here in Los Angeles and I could tell our plant wasn’t too happy about that.
To our delight, the plants have fared well and with some additional compost and mulch we are well on our way to raising raspberry plants for seasons to come.
The ideal seasons to plant raspberry plants are in the late winter or early spring so they have some time to grow a substantial root foundation before the sun gets brighter and forces them to grow towards it. You can also save some money by planting canes instead of plants.
Have you had success growing or using raspberry leaves for medicinal purposes? You can ask Kat a question or share your experiences with the Garden Eats community here.