Spring Teas – Raspberry Leaf
The raspberry plant, native to many parts of Europe, North America, and western Asia, was thought to be discovered by Olympian gods while searching for berries on Mount Ida. The Romans spread the seeds throughout their empire, broadening its use and popularity. In 1727, colonist William Prince planted raspberries in North America, which would later be used by the Iroquois, Ojibwe, Algonquin, and other native North Americans to treat a range of ailments. Many people refer to the raspberry and blackberry plants as the same which would work well when referring to boysenberries and loganberries which are a hybrid of the two. Of all the health benefits associated with raspberry leaves, women’s health is the most renowned, used for centuries to treat pregnant women whether morning sickness or possible miscarriages. The plant contains high levels as well as Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, B2, Vitamin C, Niacin, and the mineral, calcium, phosphorus, iron and potassium.
The tea is easy to make – just add a few teaspoons to boiling water. The raspberry pairs nicely with a variety of spices, teas and flowers – try it with lemons, lemonade, mint and even cloves.
A Bit of History
The strawberry plant is native to North America where the Native Americans used the root, leaf and fruit. In fact, the Iroquois even had a festival in honor the plant. The North American strawberry was distinctly small and bountiful; the large strawberry we know today is the result of war, exploration, colonization and trade throughout the 1700s and 1800s.