Blackberries have plenty of health benefits! Among other things, they have recently been recognized as a source of compounds thought to be especially beneficial to women: phytoestrogens. These “plant estrogens” are of interest to scientists because of their potential role in prevention of both breast and cervical cancer. Studies now indicate that blackberries may contain some of the highest levels of phytoestrogens.
In addition, blackberries are thought to be astringent because of their high tannin content. Tannins tighten tissue, lessen minor bleeding, and may help to relieve diarrhea and intestinal inflammation. Traditionally, blackberries have been used to alleviate hemorrhoids because of their tannins.
In Germany, health authorities recommend blackberries for mild infections such as sore throats and mouth irritations.
Here are some other healthy compounds found in blackberries.
Vitamin C: One cup of blackberries contains half the recommended daily value of vitamin C. This vitamin is important in collagen formation in bones, connective tissue, and blood vessels. It may also help to heal wounds, regenerate the skin, fight dangerous free radicals, absorb iron, and shorten the common cold. It also acts as an antioxidant which may reduce oxidative stress in the body that can lead to cancer.
Fiber: Blackberries are high in fiber, something most people don’t get enough of in their diet. Having enough fiber prevents digestive problems such as bloating, constipation and stomach pain. It may also help lower the risk of heart disease, reduce cholesterol, control blood sugar levels, and help you lose weight by making you feel fuller longer.
Vitamin K: This is what helps your blood clot, and it also plays a role in bone metabolism. A deficiency in vitamin K may lead to bone thinning and fractures, easy bruising, heavy menstrual bleeding, and blood in the stool or urine. One cup of blackberries provides more than one-third of the daily recommended value. If you are taking blood thinners, medical professionals often recommend you take in a steady supply of vitamin K.
Manganese: The manganese in blackberries is important in healthy bone development and a healthy immune system. Like vitamin C, it plays a role in the creation of collagen, and it also contains an enzyme that helps wounds heal properly. In addition, manganese helps the body metabolize carbohydrates, amino acids, and cholesterol. It may help prevent osteoporosis, manage blood sugar levels, and reduce epileptic seizures. One cup of raw blackberries contains almost half of the daily recommended value.
Antioxidants: Research shows that these help fight free radicals and alter how brain neurons communicate, which in turn may help reduce brain inflammation, a common cause of cognitive and motor issues common with aging.
Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory abilities: According to research, blackberry extract can fight some types of bacteria that cause oral disease. This may allow the extract to help prevent and control gum disease and cavities.
Blackberry Home Remedies
Both blackberry leaves and fruit are used in various home remedies. Tea made from blackberry leaves is used for treating non-specific acute diarrhea. To make this tea, put two teaspoons of blackberry leaf into a cup, pour on boiling water, and allow it to steep until cool. Then strain the mixture and drink in the morning and evening.
Chewing blackberry leaves has long been used by some people as a natural, herbal toothache remedy.
Another use of the blackberry leaf is for healing wound treatment. Put 4 tablespoons of blackberry leaf in a pan and cover with 1 1/2 pints of boiling water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and leave to cool. Soak a cloth or bandage in the mixture and lay it over the wound for 10 minutes in both the morning and before going to bed.
Note: Blackberry leaves are not recommended for pregnant or breast-feeding women.
As for the fruit, blackberry juice has long been used for colitis. Also, a soothing throat syrup can be made by putting 2 cups of blackberries in a pan, adding boiling water until the berries are just covered, bringing to a boil, and simmering until the berries are soft. Add 4 tablespoons of sugar and simmer until sugar is dissolved. Strain and decant into a jar, and take a spoonful of this concoction four times a day.
Did you know how many different conditions blackberries can help with? Please tell us what you think.