It’s dormant now, but the vines are still at work. I selected this Rubus-Family plant because it has interesting qualities, and because the flower is used for a very powerful “flower essence”. Through-out much of the US, blackberry grows wild, along with numerous other Rubus (Rose Family) species. It has mounding and rambling growth habits, often called brambles. In our area, blackberry bares fruit in July which feeds hundreds of birds, numerous wild animals and us humans.
Tall canes reach up, white flowers form, then the berry
Medicinal properties: In addition to nutritious, immune-boosting berries, the root-bark and leaves are astringent (contracting, firming, able to reduce excess secretions or discharge; also strengthen body tissues). The most astringent part is the root. It has often been used orally (as a tea or tincture) to treat sore throats, mouth ulcers and gum inflammations. The leaves and root-bark are also a diuretic (increases the flow of urine) and a general systemic tonic. Leaves have vulnerary properties (makes skin soft and radiant). All in all, blackberry has long been a medicine for: diarrhea, hemorrhoids, dysentery and cystitis.
Flower Remedy usage: My flower remedy education about blackberry began 30 years ago, while hiking on a remote trail in N. Pennsylvania. I’d just started learning that flower essences were herbal water-infusions. They were Homeopathic and worked at an emotional level. That was Greek to me. I knew nothing about them. Until…a flier about them (plus an order form) arrived in my mailbox. It was interesting timing. I’d suffered a near-death experience due to hypothermia. That makes you think about what you are doing! It seems life was offering me a new purpose, a new career.
“OK. Maybe it’s time to learn about this new this new remedy”. I thought. Out of 60 options, I ordered blackberry for “helping to put one’s thoughts into action”.
A few weeks after taking the formula daily, a friend and I were hiking up hill in a state park. Near the top, thorny vines and ripe blackberries were everywhere along the path. (Seeing so much blackberry seemed a little ironic). We joyfully munched our way up the hill. But when we reached the top, we were shocked to find hundreds of burnt trees. A forest fire had destroyed acres of land, probably a year prior. I was intrigued to see blackberry vines growing everywhere. Was this a message to me? I remembered that Rubus vines, especially blackberry, are “transition plants”; they help restore a disturbed habitat back to its original state. Wow, this whole process was displayed before me. I, too, was being restored back to life.
I saw how the tall, thorny canes offered protection for baby trees to sprout and grow beneath the cluster of brambles, where they were safe from a nibbling deer. Also how, now in mid-summer, thousands of berries fed the wildlife. Once eaten, seeds are deposited back to the soil (in a little manure clump of compost), beginning the cycle anew. “Yes”. I thought. “Nature always has a plan to heal what needs healing, be it a forest, a bird or a human.”
The entire scene revealed blackberry’s archetype. It is a very assertive, masculine plant. The bramble knows what to do. And, it goes about the task veraciously.
Blackberry flowers are small and white, with five petals. They, just like the flowers of any plant, are the last stage of growth before a new generation (the seeds) form. All the expressions of a plant’s growth are represented in the flower. This is why flower essences are so powerful. They contain the total archetype, or expression, of that plant. The blackberry flower held the plant’s purpose.
So in summary: As a flower remedy for humans, blackberry helps a person to “put his or her thoughts into action, overcome procrastination or just get going! The plant’s purpose in Nature parallels its gift to humans. We after all, are one with Nature.
I took the flower formula for several months. Soon, I decided to move to Virginia and embark upon a new career. It was amazing how quickly and easily everything transpired and blossomed for me. In addition to helping me get excited about flower essences, blackberry essence has helped 100’s of my clients and students surge ahead with their goals.
Look back at the medicinal uses. How does blackberry archetype relate to the medicinal uses?
Berries ripen over a few weeks.
Herb of the Month Class
You asked for it, you got it! New, monthly study groups will be led by me and Le Kellum. I’ve known Le for many years. We’ve shared an enthusiasm for health-enhancing plants. Le is an herbal research geek; while I’ve had a life-time passion of collecting and using both wild and cultivated herbs. We thought it would be fun to collaborate! Come join us:
The last Tuesday of each month; starting Tuesday, March 28th 6-8pm (1st herb – Burdock)
Each classes will include:
- A trek into the Four Winds Farm gardens to explore our featured herb (or a field trip)
- Instruction from Le and me
- Hands-on activities
- Take home study materials
- An herbal preparation that you make and take home
Fee of $25 includes all supplies and instruction. Limit 12 people, due to space
Purchase tickets online at https://squareup.com/store/deborahleeholistichealth/