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Blackberry leaf shoots

The edible and tasty blackberry shoots sprout in spring. Blackberry leaf shoots can be found worldwide.
Given the lack of nutritional information for this ingredient, we did not include it in the calculations for the nutrition table.
Macronutrient carbohydrates 0%
Macronutrient proteins 0%
Macronutrient fats 0%

The three ratios show the percentage by weight of macronutrients (carbohydrates / proteins / fats) of the dry matter (excl. water).

Ω-6 (LA, <0.1g)
Omega-6 fatty acid such as linoleic acid (LA)
 : Ω-3 (ALA, <0.1g)
Omega-3 fatty acid such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
 = 0:0

Omega-6 ratio to omega-3 fatty acids should not exceed a total of 5:1. Link to explanation.

Values are too small to be relevant.

The blackberry ( Rubus fruticosus agg. or Rubus sect. Rubus ) includes around 70 related and difficult to distinguish subspecies in Central Europe alone. Blackberry shoots or blackberry leaf shoots are a popular wild plant ingredient.

Use in the kitchen:

Can you eat blackberry leaves? The edible blackberry shoots taste pleasantly like coconut. The young and therefore still soft, thorn-free leaves and shoots can be added raw to salads, dips and smoothies, processed into wild herb pesto or enjoyed on the go as a fresh raw food snack.

Older leaves have an apple-like flavor. They can be cooked as vegetables or spinach. The prickly midrib and the stem of the leaves are removed first. Fermented blackberry leaves can be used to make a caffeine-free breakfast tea that is reminiscent of black tea. 1,2

Other edible parts of the blackberry plant are the flowers and the sweet-aromatic aggregate fruits - the blackberries .

Vegan recipe for potato salad with blackberry shoots:

For four people, cut 1 kg of boiled potatoes into slices and add 30 g of chopped blackberry leaf shoots and 50 g of sunflower seeds . Boil 200 ml of vegetable stock with a diced onion and let the stock simmer for 15 minutes. Then add 1 tablespoon of mustard , a pinch of freshly groundpepper and a little turmeric to the stock and pour it over the potatoes. Finally, stir the potato salad carefully, let it simmer well and decorate it with a few small blackberry shoots.

Recipe for fresh blackberry leaf tea:

For one cup of tea you need 2.5 teaspoons or 1.5 g (1 teaspoon = 0.6 g) of finely chopped and dried blackberry leaves. Pour 150 ml of boiling water over the leaves and let them steep for 10-15 minutes. Then strain the herbs and drink a cup several times a day between meals. 3,4 Instead of dried blackberry leaves you can use fresh or fermented leaves.

Well-known and proven tea blends for diarrhoea consist of one third each of blackberry leaves, lady's mantle and agrimony. 3

A combination of the following ingredients is suitable as a breakfast tea or home tea: 10 g bitter orange peel, 15 g rose hips, 30 g blackberry leaves and 30 g raspberry leaves. 3

Blackberry tea can be drunk safely as a home tea over a long period of time, as there are no known symptoms of overdose. 1,9

Not only vegans or vegetarians should read this:
Vegans often eat unhealthily. Avoidable nutritional mistakes

Purchasing - where to buy?

Dried blackberry leaves in controlled organic quality are available in pharmacies, health food stores, drugstores, well-stocked organic shops or online. The drug name for blackberry leaves is Rubi fruticosi folium (plural: folia Rubi fruticosi). Due to their standard approval, blackberry leaves are also available as a monodrug in filter bags. 4

The traditional medicinal plant can be found in tea blends for various indication groups and standard approvals, e.g. in cold teas or stomach teas. Blackberry leaves are not only included in tea blends because of their pleasant taste, but also usually as an auxiliary agent to prevent the tea components from separating. 1,4

Herbal tea blends with blackberry leaves can be bought in supermarkets such as Coop , Migros , Rewe or Edeka and in organic supermarkets such as Denns or Alnatura . Aldi , Lidl , Volg , Denner or Hofer do not seem to have products with blackberry leaves in their permanent range.

There are currently no phytopharmaceuticals made from blackberry leaf extracts available on the market. 4

Found in the wild - Season:

Where does the blackberry grow? Blackberry plants can be found in sunny to partially shaded areas and on soils rich in lime and nitrogen. Popular locations are light forests, forest edges, forest clearings, hedges, rubble heaps, heathland, railway embankments, gardens, parks, roadsides, bushes, 1 fallow land and field copses - mostly in areas with relatively mild winters. 5

The collective species Rubus fruticosus agg. or the common blackberry is very diverse and occurs in small species that are difficult to distinguish. 6 In Europe, the Armenian blackberry ( Rubus armeniacus ) is a neophyte and one of the most common wild blackberry species. 1

The plant, which is both winter-glaber and wintergreen, grows arched, ascending and creeping. The odd three-, five- and seven-fingered leaves are toothed and arranged alternately. 1,2

From May to August, white to pink flowers open in clusters, which later bear juicy, black, 1-2 cm long aggregate drupes. 5

When do you collect blackberry leaves? Season: The smallest, most tasty shoot tips (approx. 2 cm long and 0.5 cm wide) are collected in spring; they sprout in March and April. During the flowering period from May to July, the fully grown leaves can be harvested and dried. 3 The older leaves are rather dry, but still edible. Since they have a low water content, the leaves often remain on the plant all winter.


Dried blackberry leaves should be stored away from light and moisture. Suitable containers are well-sealable brown jars, metal cans or aroma-protection bags.

Ingredients - nutritional value - calories:

Blackberry leaves contain 8% (up to possibly 14%) tannins, mainly as gallotannins and ellagitannins (also ellagitannins). According to the German Drug Codex ( DAC ), the leaves must have a tannin content of at least 4% as pyrogallol. 4

Other ingredients include plant acids (citric acid, isocitric acid), flavonoids, triterpene acids 4 and some vitamin C . 7

Health aspects - effects:

How healthy are blackberry leaves? There are currently no scientifically proven effects of blackberry leaves. However, 4 ingredients such as tannins and flavonoids do not rule out an effect. The use is based on many years of experience.

In numerous observational studies, flavonoids have shown health-promoting effects, e.g. against cancer - also because flavonoids are strong antioxidants. It has been proven that a diet rich in flavonoids protects against cardiovascular diseases. In addition, flavonoids stimulate the immune system, inhibit blood clotting, weaken inflammatory reactions and presumably stimulate cognitive abilities. 8

Due to the molecular size of tannins, neither the skin nor the mucous membrane of the small intestine can absorb tannins. Together with the protein molecules of the upper layers of skin and mucous membrane, tannins form complexes, a type of membrane that is perceived as astringent or contracting. 10 This protective and sealing layer prevents further penetration of bacteria or excessive watering of the injured or inflamed (mucous) membrane. 9

Tannins have anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory, weak local anesthetic, secretion-inhibiting and antimicrobial properties. 10

When taken orally, tannins inhibit the secretion of the digestive organs, reduce the activity of the stomach and intestinal muscles and inactivate enzymes. As a result, tannins inhibit digestion and have a constipating effect, a desirable effect in cases of diarrhoea. 10

Dangers - intolerances - side effects:

There may be dirt or parasites on leaf shoots close to the ground. Infection, e.g. with the eggs of the fox tapeworm ( Echinococcus multilocularis ), is rare but still possible. Serious liver damage can occur. Not only foxes, but also dogs and cats can be carriers. When collecting blackberry shoots from the wild, it is important to wash them before eating. 11

There are currently no known side effects or overdose effects for blackberry leaf tea. There is no scientific evidence yet regarding its use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. 9

Use as a medicinal plant:

What is blackberry leaf tea good for? Blackberry leaves are recognized for medical use in non-specific, acute diarrhea (tea for drinking) and externally for mild inflammations in the mouth and throat area (tea for rinsing and gargling). 4.9

The single dose for adolescents aged 12 and over and adults is (according to the package insert for medicinally used blackberry leaves) 1.5 g/150 ml tea for internal consumption. The tea is drunk three times a day before or after meals. 9

To make a tea infusion for rinsing or gargling the mouth and throat, you follow a similar procedure. You can use the preparation several times a day, morning, noon and evening. 9

According to the package insert for medicinally used blackberry leaf tea, you should seek medical advice if there is no improvement in symptoms of diarrhea after two days or in the case of mouth and throat infections after one week. In the case of bloody diarrhea or diarrhea accompanied by a rise in temperature, you should always consult a doctor. 9

In cases of diarrhoea, it is important to ensure that sufficient fluid and salt (electrolytes) are replaced. 9

According to Commission E, the main medicinal active ingredient in the above-mentioned indications is tannins. 4 This is an independent scientific expert commission for herbal medicinal products of the former Federal Health Office (D).

The Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products ( HMPC ) and the umbrella organisation of national European societies for phytotherapy ( ESCOP / European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy ) have not yet published any monographs on blackberry leaves. 4

The German Pharmacist's Journal describes the treatment with tannin solutions for inflammation of the gastric mucosa that is accompanied by hyperacidity of the stomach (hyperacid gastritis). Tannin solutions can be used externally for skin inflammation and hemorrhoids. 10

Folk medicine - natural medicine:

Fossil finds confirm thatraspberries and blackberries have been on the human diet since ancient times. 12 Since ancient times, the blackberry bush has been a well-known and popular medicinal plant, for example for diarrhea or heavy menstrual bleeding ( Dioscorides , 1st century AD). 3 The ancient Greeks administered blackberries for gout and the Romans used the plant to treat sore spots in the mouth and for intestinal inflammation. 12

Today, blackberry leaves are used in traditional medicine internally for dysentery and cystitis, and externally for hemorrhoids. 12 When taken internally, a tea made from blackberry leaves is said to have a calming effect. 2

Occurrence - Origin:

Blackberries are widespread in the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere (Europe), in North Africa, the Middle East and North America. 1

Growing in the garden or as a potted plant:

In the garden, blackberries should be grown in a sheltered location without waterlogging. Tall blackberries need a distance of two meters and climbing varieties need a distance of four meters. Climbing aids (espaliers) ensure that the plants grow in a light and well-ventilated area. 13

When and how do I prune blackberries? Blackberries only bear fruit on two-year-old wood. Old shoots must be cut off regularly, e.g. in the autumn after the harvest. Young shoots can be cut back in the spring when they are about 2.5 metres long to encourage the formation of side shoots. 14

In Europe, the Armenian blackberry ( Rubus armeniacus ) is often found in gardens. 1

Cultivation - Harvest:

Garden centers offer large-fruited and mostly thornless varieties that are used in hobby gardening or in commercial fruit growing. 1.5

Blackberry leaves that are sold as medicinal plants are mostly imported from Eastern and Southeastern European countries. 4

Danger of confusion:

Blackberry leaves can be confused with raspberry leaves. Raspberry leaves have very felty hairs on the underside of the leaf. The midvein of blackberry leaves has fine whitish spines. The spines are more clearly visible on thicker leaf stalks. The blackberry leaf is green on the upper side and usually only slightly hairy on the underside. 4

There is no real danger of confusion with the raspberry leaves, which are also edible. However, confusion with other edible blackberry species is possible.

Animal protection - species protection - animal welfare:

The flowering period of the blackberry is from May to August (summer forage). Forage is the general term for the food that the bees bring in, i.e. nectar, pollen and honeydew. The nectar value and pollen value of the blackberry are high (nectar value and pollen value scale: none, low, medium, high, very high). 5

The blackberry is ecologically valuable and an important and productive nectar plant for many insects. 5 The abundance of insects, including bees and butterflies, makes blackberry bushes interesting for birds. In addition, densely growing plants offer protection to birds and other small animals. 15

General information:

Blackberries ( Rubus sect. Rubus ) form a section in the extensive and worldwide plant genus Rubus within the rose family (Rosaceae). The section includes several thousand species, with more than 2,000 species known in Europe alone. 1

Rubus fruticosus L. has been formally defined as the type species of the genus since 2006, but the term is not actually needed to name the species. However, it often appears as Rubus fruticosus agg. for the name of the collective species when the distinction between the individual species of Rubus subg. Rubus sect. Rubus is not necessary or relevant. 1

The word blackberry comes from the Old High German word brāmberi, meaning thorn bush berry or berry of the thorn bush. From a biological point of view, however, the blackberry does not have thorns, but rather prickles. 1

Alternative names:

In English, blackberry leaves are called Blackberry leafs or Bramble leafs.

Literature - Sources: