Ozark Encyclopedia – B – Blackberry

Blackberry – Rubus villosus

Parts used: root, leaf, berry

Traditional uses: Edible berry. Juice astringent for diarrhea. Root tea used for bowel complaints. Canes used in scratching (Cherokee). Root chewed for cough. Compound, astringent and tonic infusion of root used as a wash for piles. Used as a stimulant. Used with honey as a wash for sore throat.

“The bark of the root and the leaves contain much tannin, and have long been esteemed as a capital astringent and tonic, proving a valuable remedy for dysentery and diarrhoea, etc. The root is the more astringent.” ~Grieve MH

To ease childbirth – “Granny-women in many parts of the Ozark country used to give a tea made of blackberry root to a woman in childbirth; this was supposed to expedite matters…” ~Randolph OMF 201

Root boiled for diarrhea – “Drink the tea from blackberry roots for ‘running off.’” ~Parler FBA II 2059

Berries eaten for summer complaint – “A cure for summer complaint in children is for them to eat lots of blackberries.” ~Parler FBA II 2084

Berry juice for sick stomach – “Drink blackberry juice for a sick stomach and vomiting.” ~Parler FBA III 3495


Grieve, Margaret A Modern Herbal (MH)

Moerman, Daniel E. Native American Ethnobotany (NAE)

Parler, Mary Celestia Folk Beliefs from Arkansas (FBA)

Randolph, Vance Ozark Magic and Folklore (OMF)

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