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Protective Healing Blackberry

AKA: Rubus fruticosus L., Family: Rosaceae; Blackberry

 

Propagation/Description: Rubus fruticosus L. (Blackberry Bramble) a semi-prostrate to almost erect, scrambling, perennial deciduous prickly, shrub with entangling and arching stem growing up to 3 m at a fast rate. They have palm shaped leaves with 3-5 lobes, and white to pale pink flowers that develop into clusters of berries. The leaves can be harvested throughout the summer but the berries mature and are ready for harvest predominantly in mid summer to autumn. They can be grown from seed or rooting and can be trained to ramble over fences, arches, and pergolas. There are also more compact forms, which can be grown in containers. The best resulting harvests with the sweetest berries are grown in full sun in rich, well-drained soil. Prune annually and top-dress the soil with a mulch of well-rotted horse manure or garden compost, every autumn. Its origins are widely debated but they have most certainly become acclimatized to every continent and almost every climate on Gaia’s earth! 


Folklore/History: There are many legendary folklore stories regarding Blackberries from all over the world and many different cultures and religions. Biblical scholars have a belief that the burning bush of Moses was blackberry brambles or the crown of thorns worn by Jesus was made of blackberry brambles. It is widely believed that it is bad luck to eat blackberries after September 29th because that is when the devil fell from heaven, landing in brambles and cursing the fruit from that time until the new year. In some European parts of the country babies who suffered from whooping cough were passed under an arch of brambles seven times to cure them; believing that the illness would be transferred to the bush; 'in bramble, out cough, here I leave the whooping cough'. If you believe in vampires, plant a blackberry bush close to the house to prevent them from entering.  It is said that the vampires will become so preoccupied with counting the berries that they will forget why they made their house call. Blackberries have also been identified with diverse attributes, such as sorrow, haste and hubris (arrogance).  Their association with hubris originates from the legend of the Greek hero, Bellerophon, who slew the mythical monster, the Chimera.  Bellerophon, whose mother was mortal, presumed that he was as great as the gods and so should reside with them on Mount Olympus.  Zeus punished his arrogance by causing him to fall to Earth from his horse, Pegasus.  He promptly landed in a blackberry bush and was blinded.            


Medicinal: The leaves contain tannins, flavonoids and gallic acid which are good as antimicrobials, inhibitory to food born bacteria, and some microorganisms. These properties are also known to have anticancer, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antineoplastic properties. The berries contain anthocyanins, pectin, fruit acid and Vitamin C. These properties prevent inflammation and protect against type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. All these also have been found to be astringent, helping with sore throats as a gargle or a mouthwash to strengthen gums and ease mouth ulcers. It can also help alleviate diarrhea and hemorrhoids. Many studies have proven that these uses are effective and used as a treatment for many other conditions such as dysentery, whopping cough, colitis, toothache, anemia, psoriasis, and minor bleeding.


Spiritual: Many practitioners attribute the personality of the blackberry as adaptation as this plant has the tenacity to overcome any environment or terrain and flourish. It also is protective by nature by providing shelter to many animals and feeds all sorts of natures creatures including us! It’s medicinal properties are why it is associated with healing and its adaptability to grow anywhere and flourish is why it is also associated with prosperity. Many believe it has prophetic abilities to help foretell your future in dreams and assist in divination. Protection: Blackberry leaves can be added to protective sachets or charm bags to provide spiritual protection and ward off negative energies. Healing: Blackberry leaves have medicinal properties and are used to make teas or tinctures for physical and emotional healing. Divination: Blackberry leaves can be added to herbal blends for divination practices, such as scrying or other forms of divination. Manifestation: Blackberry leaves are sometimes used in manifestation rituals to bring abundance and manifestation of desires.


Summary: Whether you follow the Christian, Greek, native American or northern European folklore and attributes, this plant is a surprisingly sweet treat in every way. Savoring the delicious sweetness of the fruit as a treat or savoring the spiritual contributions it can gift to all of us can bring joy and fulfillment in all aspects of your life. Blackberries are a gift from nature to help us throughout our journey on this earth. To protect… To Bless… To nourish… To heal… To raise our intuition… To bring bounty to us… It can sting or heal. The way it comes to you is up to you!

 

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