Raspberries : Pharmacognosy & Medicinal Uses

By: Pharma Tips | Views: 4580 | Date: 04-Oct-2013

Raspberries belong to the rose (Rosaceae) family of plants, which houses some of the world's most beloved fruits including apples, apricots, blackberries, cherries, loquats, peaches, pears, plums, and strawberries. Almonds also belong to this diverse family of plants. Among U.S. consumers, raspberries are the third most popular berry and follow right after strawberries and blueberries. There are over 200 species of raspberries, all belonging to the scientific genus called Rubus. Fortunately, however, many o

Raspberries : History, Pharmacognosy, Nuritional Value, Medicinal Uses, Health Benefits 






Raspberries belong to the rose (Rosaceae) family of plants, which houses some of the world's most beloved fruits including apples, apricots, blackberries, cherries, loquats, peaches, pears, plums, and strawberries. Almonds also belong to this diverse family of plants. Among U.S. consumers, raspberries are the third most popular berry and follow right after strawberries and blueberries.

There are over 200 species of raspberries, all belonging to the scientific genus called Rubus. Fortunately, however, many of the raspberry species that are grown commercially can be placed into one of three basic groups: red raspberries, black raspberries, and purple raspberries.


Like their name implies, mature red raspberries can typically be identified by the shade of red in their color, although this red may veer toward the pinkish side. Among all commercially cultivated raspberries, Rubus idaeus or European red raspberry is among the most common.

Black raspberries may actually be dark enough to be indistinguishable from blackberries in terms of color. Here one of the most common commercially grown species is Rubus occidentalis, also sometimes referred to as thimbleberry, scotch cap, or black cap.

The third category of raspberry—purple raspberry—is a category in which reds and blacks have been hybridized (naturally combined). Over time, when red raspberries or black raspberries underwent naturally genetic mutations, yellow raspberries also developed. Even though naturally yellow or golden in color, yellow raspberries are actually special forms of red or black raspberries.

In science terms, raspberries are referred to as "aggregate fruits." Aggregate fruits are actually composed of many small individual fruits that come from multiple ovaries in a single flower. In the case of a raspberry, those small individual fruits are the little juicy spheres that make up the structure of the raspberry. They are also called drupelets, and each one has its own seed.

The word "bramble" refers to the prickly or thorny nature of a plant, and raspberries are sometimes referred to by raspberry growers as "brambles" (even though some species do not have thorns). The bramble nature of the raspberry plant comes into play on a regular basis for raspberry growers. Although the root system of raspberry plants can last for many years, the canes themselves are typically pruned twice a year to allow for spring and fall fruiting.


Scientists aren't entirely sure about the origins of raspberries. Wild raspberries appear on at least five continents, and there is enormous species diversity for this fruit. Some arctic species of raspberry are native to Alaska, the Aleutian Islands, and northern Asia; other species are native to eastern Asia and the Hawaiian islands; still others are native to Europe or to North America. In terms of their first cultivation, we have evidence dating back about 2,000 years in Europe, making raspberries one of the earliest berry crops. Natural trading and traveling may have been important in the spread of raspberries, for example, into North American from eastern Asia across the Bering Strait.

Interestingly, when cultivated raspberries are compared with wild raspberries, they turn out to be quite similar in terms of total phenols and total anthocyanin content. This similarity is especially true when the cultivated raspberries have also been organically grown. Although we might tend to think about a "wild" food as being more rich in nutrients than a cultivated food, this distinction does not hold true for raspberries when it comes to their phenol and anthocyanin antioxidants.

Today, raspberries rank high on the list of the world's most popular berries. Among the 400,000 metric tons of raspberries produced worldwide, Russia, the United States, Serbia, Poland, and Chile rank among the top producers. In the United States, it's the West Coast that is most active in raspberry production, although commercial producers can be found across the country. Interestingly, well over 500 organic farms in the U.S. are now certified for organic raspberry production, and raspberries rank as the third most popular fresh-use berry in the U.S. following strawberries and blueberries. The U.S. also imports about 15,000 metric tons of raspberries from Mexico to meet consumer demand for this fruit

Latin Name: Rubus idaeus, Rbus spp. (Rosacecae)

Common Names: Red Raspberry, American Raspberry, Dewberry, Bramble Fruit, Thimble Berry

How to Identify:

The red raspberry bush is hard to miss with it’s vibrant red fruit that is just begging to be picked.Red raspberry as well as all the Rubus species have leaves that are alternate, pinnately compound,consisting of 3 to 7 leaflets. They are finely toothed around the edges, wrinkly and generally hairy. The bottom of the leaf is almost white in color. The branches of the plant are arching, mostly hairless, prickly canes. The red raspberry flowers around June or July. The petals fall within a day or two and give way to berries that grow in clusters. It grows in cultivated gardens and in the wild.

How to Harvest:

I am all for harvesting raspberries, there is nothing like popping a fresh from the vine berry in your mouth. I do not advise harvesting the leaves yourself. If not dried properly they are pron to mold. In my opinion it is best to buy dried red raspberry leaf from a reputable company such as Bulk Herb Store or Mountain Rose Herbs. I frequently buy herbs from both of these companies.

Nutritional Profile

Raspberries are an outstanding source of phytonutrients, and provide us with dozens of anthocyanins, flavonoids, stilbenoids, phenolic acids, tannins and lignans. They are an unusually concentrated source of ellagitannins (like ellagic acid), cyanidins, and pelargonidins. Raspberries are an excellent source of digestive health-promoting fiber as well as antioxidant-promoting manganese and vitamin C. They are a very good source of bone-building vitamin K and a good source of heart-healthy magnesium, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, copper, vitamin E, and potassium.

In-Depth Nutritional Profile

In addition to the nutrients highlighted in our ratings chart, an in-depth nutritional profile for Raspberries is also available. This profile includes information on a full array of nutrients, including carbohydrates, sugar, soluble and insoluble fiber, sodium, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and more.

Introduction to Food Rating System Chart

In order to better help you identify foods that feature a high concentration of nutrients for the calories they contain, we created a Food Rating System. This system allows us to highlight the foods that are especially rich in particular nutrients. The following chart shows the nutrients for which this food is either an excellent, very good, or good source (below the chart you will find a table that explains these qualifications). If a nutrient is not listed in the chart, it does not necessarily mean that the food doesn't contain it. It simply means that the nutrient is not provided in a sufficient amount or concentration to meet our rating criteria. (To view this food's in-depth nutritional profile that includes values for dozens of nutrients - not just the ones rated as excellent, very good, or good - please use the link below the chart.) To read this chart accurately, you'll need to glance up in the top left corner where you will find the name of the food and the serving size we used to calculate the food's nutrient composition. This serving size will tell you how much of the food you need to eat to obtain the amount of nutrients found in the chart. Now, returning to the chart itself, you can look next to the nutrient name in order to find the nutrient amount it offers, the percent Daily Value (DV%) that this amount represents, the nutrient density that we calculated for this food and nutrient, and the rating we established in our rating system. For most of our nutrient ratings, we adopted the government standards for food labeling that are found in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's "Reference Values for Nutrition Labeling." Read more background information and details of our rating system.

1.00 cup
123.00 grams
63.96 calories
World's Healthiest
Foods Rating
vitamin C32.23 mg53.715.1excellent
manganese0.82 mg41.011.5excellent
fiber7.99 g32.09.0excellent
vitamin K9.59 mcg12.03.4very good
magnesium27.06 mg6.81.9good
folate25.83 mcg6.51.8good
omega-3 fats0.15 g6.21.8good
copper0.11 mg5.51.5good
vitamin E1.07 mg5.31.5good
potassium185.73 mg5.31.5good
World's Healthiest
Foods Rating
excellentDV>=75% OR
Density>=7.6 AND DV>=10%
very goodDV>=50% OR
Density>=3.4 AND DV>=5%
goodDV>=25% OR
Density>=1.5 AND DV>=2.5%


This chart graphically details the %DV that a serving of Raspberries provides for each of the nutrients of which it is a good, very good, or excellent source according to our Food Rating System. Additional information about the amount of these nutrients provided by Raspberries can be found in the Food Rating System Chart. A link that takes you to the In-Depth Nutritional Profile for Raspberries, featuring information over 80 nutrients, can be found under the Food Rating System Chart.

Nutrients in
1.00 cup (123.00 grams)
Nutrient%Daily Value

 vitamin C53.7%



 vitamin K11.9%



 omega-3 fats6.2%


 vitamin E5.3%


Calories (63)3%


What's New and Beneficial About Raspberries

  • One of the most fascinating new areas of raspberry research involves the potential for raspberries to improve management of obesity. Although this research is in its early stages, scientists now know that metabolism in our fat cells can be increased by phytonutrients found in raspberries, especially rheosmin (also called raspberry ketone). By increasing enzyme activity, oxygen consumption, and heat production in certain types of fat cells, raspberry phytonutrients like rheosmin may be able to decrease risk of obesity as well as risk of fatty liver. In addition to these benefits, rheosmin can decrease activity of a fat-digesting enzyme released by our pancreas called pancreatic lipase. This decrease in enzyme activity may result in less digestion and absorption of fat.
  • Recent research on organic raspberries has now shown organic raspberries to be significantly higher in total antioxidant capacity than non-organic raspberries. Raspberries in the study were grown on farms in Maryland that had been previously certified as organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A series of tests involving free radical scavenging all provided the same results: organic raspberries outperformed their non-organic counterparts in terms of their antioxidant activity. This greater antioxidant capacity was associated with the greater levels of total phenols and total anthocyanins found in organic versus non-organic raspberries. While there are many good reasons to purchase organic versus non-organic foods of all kinds, this study makes it clear that these reasons specifically hold true for raspberries in a profound way.
  • You'll get significantly more antioxidant support by purchasing raspberries that are fully ripe. Recent studies have measured the total phenolic content, total flavonoid content, and anthocyanin content of raspberries harvested at varying stages of ripeness (from 50% to 100% maturity) and greatest overall antioxidant benefits were associated with full ripeness of the berries. Although it's possible for raspberries to ripen after harvest, this fruit can be highly perishable and can mold quite easily at room temperature. So your most risk-free approach for getting optimal antioxidant benefits from raspberries is to purchase them at full maturity, keep them refrigerated at all times at temperatures between 35-39°F (2°-4°C), and consume them very quickly (within 1 to 2 days after purchase).
  • Anti-cancer benefits of raspberries have long been attributed to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. In animal studies involving breast, cervical, colon, esophageal, and prostate cancers, raspberry phytonutrients have been shown to play an important role in lowering oxidative stress, reducing inflammation, and thereby altering the development or reproduction of cancer cells. But new research in this area has shown that the anti-cancer benefits of raspberries may extend beyond their basic antioxidant and anti-inflammatory aspects. Phytonutrients in raspberries may also be able to change the signals that are sent to potential or existing cancer cells. In the case of existing cancer cells, phytonutrients like ellagitannins in raspberries may be able to decrease cancer cell numbers by sending signals that encourage the cancer cells to being a cycle of programmed cell death (apoptosis). In the case of potentially but not yet cancerous cells, phytonutrients in raspberries may be able to trigger signals that encourage the non-cancerous cells to remain non-cancerous.

Health Benefits

Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

The diversity of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients in raspberries is truly remarkable, and few commonly eaten fruits are able to provide us with greater diversity. From a research perspective, here is a partial list of phytonutrients in raspberries that provide us antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits:

  • anthocyanins
    • cyanidins
    • pelargonidins
    • delphinidins
    • malvidins
  • flavonols
    • quercetin
    • kaempferol
  • flavanols
    • catechins
    • epicatechins
  • flavonoid glycosides
    • tiliroside
  • tannins
    • ellagitannins
    • gallotannins
    • proanthocyanidins
  • hydroxybenzoic acids
    • ellagic acid
    • lambertianin
    • sanguiin
    • vanillic acid
    • gallic acid
    • chlorogenic acid
  • hydroxycinnamic acids
    • caffeic acid
    • coumaric acid
    • ferulic acid
  • stilbenoids
    • resveratrol

The vast majority of these phytonutrients are not only provided by raspberries, but provided in amounts that are significant in terms of protecting us against the dangers of oxidative stress and the dangers of excessive inflammation. By helping to scavenge free radical molecules, and by helping to regulate the activity of enzymes that could trigger unwanted inflammation, the phytonutrients in raspberries help lower our risk of chronic diseases that are associated with chronic oxidative stress and chronic inflammation. These chronic diseases include obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and atherosclerosis.

The ellagic acid found in raspberries deserves special mention as an anti-inflammatory compound. This phytonutrient has been shown to help prevent overactivity of certain pro-inflammatory enzymes (including cyclo-oxygenase 2, or COX-2) as well as their overproduction. In animal studies, intake of ellagic acid has been shown to reduce numerous aspects of unwanted and excessive inflammation, including aspects associated with Crohn's disease.

Obesity and Blood Sugar Benefits

Perhaps the most fascinating new areas of research on raspberries involve management of obesity and type 2 diabetes. In the case of obesity, two compounds in raspberries have received special focus: raspberry ketone (also called rheosmin) and a type of flavonoid called tiliroside.

Raspberry ketone is a compound that naturally occurs in raspberries, but unlike its name suggests, it is by no means exclusive to this fruit. Raspberry ketone is contained in a wide variety of plants, although not usually in such sizable amounts as are found in raspberries. Turkish rhubarb is one such plant. Larch, yew, maple, and pine are trees that contain amounts of raspberry ketone, and in some studies, pine needles have been used as a source of this compound for experimental purposes.

The chemical name for raspberry ketone is 4-(4-hydroxyphenyl) butan-2-one. Researchers are equally familiar with raspberry ketone under the name of rheosmin, and since 1965, it's been included on the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) list as an approved food additive. The primary use of rheosmin as a food additive has been for flavor and aroma.

The rheosmin found in raspberries can increase metabolism in our fat cells by increasing enzyme activity, oxygen consumption, and heat production in certain types of fat cells. By boosting fat metabolism in this way, we may be less likely to deposit fat in our fat cells, and we may be able to use up some of the fat that is stored there. By improving our fat cell metabolism, we may also be able to reduce the number of pro-inflammatory messaging molecules that are produced by our fat cells. As a result, we may be less likely to experience some of the inflammation-based problems that typically accompany obesity.

In addition to these benefits, rheosmin found in raspberries can also decrease activity of a fat-digesting enzyme called pancreatic lipase that is produced by our pancreas. By decreasing the activity of this enzyme, we may digest and absorb less fat—another potential plus when trying to deal with the consequences obesity.

In addition to the rheosmin found in raspberries, scientists have also focused on the obesity-related benefits of a second compound called tiliroside. Tiliroside is a type of flavonoid (called a glycosidic flavonoid) that is found in many plants of the rose family, including rose hips, strawberries, and raspberries. In preliminary studies, tiliroside has been show to activate a special hormone called adiponectin that is produced by our fat cells. (The "adipo" part of this word means "fat," which is also why our fat cells are also called "adipocytes.")

In obese persons with type 2 diabates, adiponectin is not produced in sufficient amounts or, if adequately produced, remains too inactive. This inadequacy of adiponectin in obese persons with type 2 diabetes is a key problem for regulation of their blood sugar and blood fats. By activating adiponectin, the tiliroside in raspberries can help improve insulin balance, blood sugar balance, and blood fat balance in obese persons with type 2 diabetes. In studies to date, there is no indication that raspberry tiliroside will stop weight gain or prevent fat accumulation. But it may be able to help prevent unwanted consequences of too much body fat and compromised regulation of blood sugar, blood insulin, and blood fats.

Within this context of obesity and blood sugar regulation, another aspect of raspberry phytonutrients has captured the attention of researchers involving the ability of raspberry extracts to block activity of an enzyme called alpha-glucosidase. Alpha-glucosidase is a starch-digesting enzyme, and when it becomes active in the digestive tract, it increases the breakdown of starches into sugars. These sugars get absorbed up into the bloodstream and can cause excessively high levels of blood sugar following a meal. (This process is called postprandial hyperglycemia.) By blocking activity of alpha-glucosidase, raspberry extracts may make it possible for persons with type 2 diabetes (or obese persons experiencing problems with blood sugar regulation) to better manage their blood sugar levels.

We've been asked about the exact glycemic idex (GI) value for raspberries, and unfortunately, have not been able to find food research substantiation for any exact value. We've seen estimates for many berries that fall into the 40-50 GI range, and for most researchers, that would place them in the low GI category. Since one cup of fresh raspberries provides about 15 grams of total carbohydrates and only 5-6 grams of sugar (compared with 8 grams of dietary fiber), a modest serving of fresh raspberries (for example, 1/2 cup) is likely to be a very good fit in most diets, even diets focused on stabilization of blood sugar.

Anti-Cancer Benefits

Given the rich antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrient mixture found in raspberries, it's not surprising to see studies showing raspberry benefits in cancer prevention. Chronic excessive oxidative stress and chronic excessive inflammation can combine to trigger the development of cancer cells in a variety of human tissue. By providing a rich supply of antioxidants, raspberries can help lower risk of oxidative stress, and providing a rich supply of anti-inflammatory nutrients, raspberries can help lower the risk of excessive inflammation. When combined, these results mean decreased risk of cancer formation. In animal studies to date, the cancer types most closely examined in relationship to raspberry intake are cancers of the breast, cervix, colon, esophagus, and prostate.

Recent studies suggest that the anti-cancer benefits of raspberries may extend beyond their basic antioxidant and anti-inflammatory aspects. Phytonutrients in raspberries may also be able to change the signals that are sent to potential or existing cancer cells. In the case of existing cancer cells, phytonutrients like ellagitannins in raspberries may be able to decrease cancer cell numbers by sending signals that encourage the cancer cells to being a cycle of programmed cell death (apoptosis). This signaling is likely to involve activity of the p53 protein that is typically classified as a tumor suppressor protein.

In the case of potentially but not yet cancerous cells, phytonutrients in raspberries may be able to trigger signals that encourage the non-cancerous cells to remain non-cancerous. The role of the a protein complex called nuclear factor kappa B (NFkB) is likely to be involved in this set of events.

How to Select and Store

As raspberries are highly perishable, they should only be purchased one or two days prior to use. The goal when purchasing this fruit is to choose berries that are fully ripe without being overly so. Choose berries that are firm, plump, and deep in color, while avoiding those that are soft, mushy, or moldy. If you are buying berries prepackaged in a container, make sure that they are not packed too tightly, since this may cause them to become crushed and damaged, and that the container has no signs of stains or moisture, indications of possible spoilage. Within the U.S., raspberries are generally available from mid-summer through early fall.

Raspberries are a highly perishable fruit, so extra care should be taken in their storage. If you do not plan to eat your raspberries upon arrival back at home, they should be stored in your refrigerator. Before storing in the refrigerator, remove any berries that are molded or spoiled so that they will not contaminate the others. Place the unwashed berries back in their original container or spread them out inside of a glass or plastic container that has a lid and can be sealed. Raspberries will keep fresh in the refrigerator for one or two days. When taking your raspberries out of the refrigerator for consumption, try not to leave them at room temperature any longer than necessary (one to two hours), and also try to avoid placing them directly in strong sunlight. These steps will help prevent spoilage.

Raspberries freeze very well. Wash them gently using the low pressure of the sink sprayer so that they will maintain their delicate shape and then pat dry with a paper towel. Arrange them in a single layer on a flat pan or cookie sheet and place them in the freezer. Once frozen, transfer the berries to a heavy plastic freezer bag or plastic freezer container that can be sealed and return them to the freezer where they will keep for up to one year.

Within this context of How to Select and Store, we would like to point out the often dramatic differences we've seen between whole raspberries and products containing processed forms of raspberries. Unless provided with information from the manufacturer, it's difficult to be sure that you are getting substantial raspberry benefits from products that contain raspberries in processed forms. Processing in this case may include drying, juicing, fermenting into wine, straining, or filtering. For example, if the seeds of the raspberries have been removed during processing, many key phytonutrients may be lost or greatly reduced. Exposures to heat during processing may also result in substantial phytonutrient loss. We've seen studies that make us cautious about the preservation of nutrient richness in most processed forms of raspberry, including wines produced in the absence of seeds, baby foods produced with the use of heat and filtering, and commercial drying of raspberry for creation of an industrially versatile powdered form. While there are ways to make wine and baby food and other raspberry-containing products that avoid great damage to raspberry phytonutrients, it can be difficult to determine how careful manufacturers have been in their food production. For this reason, we recommend that you stick with whole raspberries in fresh or frozen form when purchasing them at the grocery and incorporate them into recipes using the minimal type of processing that you would be undertaking in your own kitchen.

Tips for Preparing and Cooking

Tips for Preparing Raspberries

As raspberries are very delicate, wash them very gently, using the light pressure of the sink sprayer if possible, and then patting them dry. They should be washed right before eating or recipe preparation so that they do not become water-soaked and are not left at room temperature for too long. Do not use any berries that are overly soft and mushy unless you will be puréeing them for a sauce or coulis.

How to Enjoy

A Few Quick Serving Ideas

  • Mix fresh raspberries in with creamy millet porridge for a sweet morning breakfast treat.
  • While at first glance it may seem unusual, the flavor combination created by sprinkling fresh raspberries with balsamic vinegar will send your palate to heaven.
  • Plain yogurt mixed with raspberries, honey, and freshly chopped mint is delicious eaten as is or used as a topping for waffles or pancakes.
  • Depending upon how much sweetener you use, homemade raspberry coulis can be used as a sauce for either savory poultry dishes or sweet desserts.

Individual Concerns

Raspberries and Oxalates

Raspberries are among a small number of foods that contain measurable amounts of oxalates, naturally-occurring substances found in plants, animals, and human beings. Red raspberries, like many commonly eaten berries, typically contain between 15-25 milligrams of oxalates per 3.5 ounces. For persons following a low-oxalate diet, this amount would often mean restriction of red raspberries, but not outright avoidance of this fruit. In the case of black raspberries, however, the concentration of oxalates may be increased to a level of 50-60 milligrams per 3.5 ounces. Due to this higher level, outright avoidance of black raspberries might be necessary depending on the individual situation and the oxalate restrictions involved. When oxalates become too concentrated in body fluids, they can crystallize and cause health problems. For this reason, individuals with already existing and untreated kidney or gallbladder problems may want to avoid eating raspberries. Laboratory studies have shown that oxalates may also interfere with absorption of calcium from the body. Yet, in every peer-reviewed research study we've seen, the ability of oxalates to lower calcium absorption is relatively small and definitely does not outweigh the ability of oxalate-containing foods to contribute calcium to the meal plan. If your digestive tract is healthy, and you do a good job of chewing and relaxing while you enjoy your meals, you will get significant benefits—including absorption of calcium—from calcium-rich foods plant foods that also contain oxalic acid. Ordinarily, a healthcare practitioner would not discourage a person focused on ensuring that they are meeting their calcium requirements from eating these nutrient-rich foods because of their oxalate content. For more on this subject, please see "Can you tell me what oxalates are and in which foods they can be found?"

Raspberry Fruits Compared to Raspberry Leaf

In this Individual Concerns section, we would like to make one additional note about the difference between raspberry fruit and raspberry leaf. Raspberry leaf has a long history of use in botanical medicine and is widely available in the U.S. and other countries in tea form. While raspberry leaf has been used to support function in various body systems (including the digestive tract), it's best-known use has been in conjunction with pregnancy and childbirth. While these medically related uses of raspberry leaf may be well worth discussing with your healthcare practitioner, it's important to treat them as separate and distinct from the benefits of raspberry fruit as ordinarily consumed in whole food form.


The Health Benefits of Raspberries

Raspberries delight the senses and serve up an impressive dose of antioxidants. Here are recipes and preparation techniques for making the most of this summer’s harvest.

Fresh, plump raspberries are so abundant in the summer that sometimes it’s hard to know what to do with them. They’re fabulous fresh from the garden, of course, and always lovely in desserts and jams, but they can also add unexpected spark and complexity to savory foods — from salads to BBQ ribs. Resplendent in vibrant red (and equally gorgeous in their exotic black, yellow, orange, purple and white varieties), raspberries bring an artful, delicate touch to all kinds of dishes. Read on for ways to enjoy them now, at the height of their season, as well as how to creatively preserve the big harvest, so you can continue to enjoy raspberries’ vibrant gifts during the colder months to come.

Quick and Easy

  • Breakfast Bowl: Top a big handful of raspberries with nuts, dried fruit, shaved coconut and chia seeds. Then add your choice of milk, such as coconut, hemp, almond or rice. A great alternative to breakfast cereal.
  • Vinaigrette:  Blend together 1/2 cup raspberries, 1/3 cup red wine vinegar, 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Great over salad greens topped with toasted walnuts and chèvre. (For more salad dressing options, see the upcoming September issue.)
  • Syrup: Combine 3/4 cup raspberries with 2 tablespoons honey, and cook until soft, then mash and strain through a fine sieve. Add desired amount of chilled syrup to fizzy water to flavor and make your own natural soda drinks. And try drizzled over whole-grain pancakes, oatmeal or tart fruit desserts.
  • Infused Vinegar: Add a handful of fresh raspberries (and a sprig of thyme, if you like) to a bottle of white wine vinegar. Steep for a few days and enjoy on salads or braised greens.
  •  Coulis: Cook 11/2 cups raspberries with 1/2 cup white wine or apple juice. Flavor with 1 tablespoon grated fresh gingerroot or 1 teaspoon grated citrus zest, if you like. When the raspberries are soft, purée the mixture, and strain through a fine sieve to remove the seeds. Serve the velvety sauce over ice cream, in a yogurt parfait, or with chèvre or other cheeses
  • Frozen Fruit Pops: Blend 2 cups raspberries with two bananas in a food processor or blender. The mixture should be thick enough to support a wooden craft stick (if not, add a little more banana). Add a handful of blueberries for playful polka dots. Freeze in ice-pop forms or small paper cups until firm.

Nutrition Know-How

  • Dark berries, including raspberries, are a good source of phytonutrients and antioxidants, including ellagic acid, a tannin that helps prevent cell damage from free radicals and slows tumor growth.
  • Anthocyanins, the flavonoids that give red raspberries their color, contribute to fresh and frozen berries’ high antioxidant level. There are notably fewer anthocyanins in processed raspberry products, including jams. (Freezing raspberries doesn’t significantly affect their antioxidant properties, but it does reduce their plentiful vitamin C by half.)
  • Anthocyanins also help prohibit too much growth of certain bacteria and fungi in the body, like Candida albicans, which can contribute to irritable bowel syndrome and vaginal infections.
  • Raspberries are an excellent source of fiber, and because they rank low on the glycemic index, they’re a good fruit option for those managing their blood-sugar levels.

Kitchen Tricks

  • Freeze an abundant crop of berries in a single layer on a sheet tray, and then transfer to an airtight freezer container. This helps berries freeze separately and keeps them from getting squashed.
  • For best results when straining puréed raspberries, don’t just press the purée through a sieve — the seeds will clog the holes. Instead, tap the edges of the sieve until most of the mixture passes through. Then squish.

Shopping and Storage Tips

  • When purchasing, select plump, brightly colored berries. Remove any moldy or soft ones so they don’t contaminate the others.
  • Raspberries rarely keep well for more than a few days. They’ll do best in a moisture-proof container (preferably in single layers between paper towels) in the refrigerator. Wash berries right before eating.
  • To keep raspberries fresh longer, swish them in a basin filled with a solution of three parts water to one part vinegar. Drain, pat dry and store in the paper-towel-lined container in the refrigerator.


Raspberry-Ginger BBQ Sauce

This sweet, tangy, smoky sauce is terrific brushed on grilled meat or vegetables.

Makes about 11/2 cups 

  •   2 cups fresh raspberries
  •   2 tbs. chopped fresh gingerroot
  •   1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  •   2 tbs. adobo sauce
  •   2 tbs. honey
  •   3 tbs. molasses
  •   1/4 cup minced onion

Simmer all ingredients together in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and spattering. Cook for about 20 to 25 minutes, until BBQ sauce is slightly thickened. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Raspberry Arugula Salad

Dressed with a tarragon vinaigrette, this makes a wonderfully refreshing light lunch or first course.

Serves four 


  •   4 cups arugula
  •   1 cup raspberries
  •   1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  •   2 cups sliced cucumber
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted almonds


  • 3 tbs. sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar (or raspberry vinegar)
  •   1 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon
  •   5 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together. Toss with salad ingredients in a large bowl and serve

Raspberry Crisp

Luscious raspberries and plums are topped with a crunchy crumble of oatmeal, pecans and brown sugar. Other types of fruit, such as apples, peaches and nectarines, also work well in this recipe. Try subbing in maple syrup for the brown sugar. 

Serves four

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
  •  4 medium plums, pitted and cut into chunks, about 3 cups
  •  2 tsp. potato starch
  •  Zest and juice of one lemon
  •  2 tbs. honey


  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats (not quick-cooking oats), divided
  •   1/4 cup brown sugar
  •   1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  •   4 tbs. butter or coconut oil
  •   1/2 cup pecans or walnuts

Toss the raspberries and plums with the potato starch, lemon zest, lemon juice and honey, and spread into a 1-quart baking dish or pie plate. In a food processor, blend 1 cup rolled oats with brown sugar, cinnamon and butter until it can be compressed into a crumble. Pulse in the pecans and gently stir in the remaining ½-cup rolled oats. Spoon topping over the fruit and bake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature and top with crème fraîche, whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.

Raspberry juice provides a source of vitamin K, a nutrient important to healthy blood and bones. Vitamin K promotes bone development, helping your body make the proteins it needs to deposit new bone tissue. It also activates proteins needed to form blood clots, a process you need to stop bleeding after an injury. Drink a cup of raspberry juice to consume approximately 22 micrograms of vitamin K -- 24 and 18 percent of the recommended daily vitamin K intake for women and men, respectively, according to NYU Langone Medical Center.


Benefits of Raspberry Juice


A healthy and balanced diet should include plenty of fresh fruit, either whole or juiced. The nutrients in fruits help to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease and may protect against some types of cancer, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Drinking raspberry juice increases your fruit intake and contributes to the general benefits of a fruit-rich diet. While it should be consumed in moderation, raspberry juice offers health benefits due to its vitamin and mineral contents.

Vitamin C

Raspberry juice provides a rich source of beneficial vitamin C, or ascorbic acid. Getting enough vitamin C promotes proper healing of wounds and burns, helps your body metabolize cholesterol and aids in hormone production. Vitamin C also maintains tissue integrity -- it helps you make collagen, a tough and fibrous protein that acts like glue to hold your tissues in place. A cup of raspberry juice provides approximately 72 milligrams of vitamin C. This makes up 96 percent of the recommended daily ascorbic acid intake for women or 80 percent for men, according to the NYU Langone Medical Center.


Consume raspberry juice as a source of manganese, an essential mineral. Each cup of juice contains approximately 2.1 milligrams of manganese -- 91 percent of the recommended daily manganese intake for men, and an entire day's worth of manganese for women, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. Manganese protects your body from damaging free radicals, helps you get energy from the foods you eat and aids in wound healing and bone development.

Vitamin K

Raspberry juice provides a source of vitamin K, a nutrient important to healthy blood and bones. Vitamin K promotes bone development, helping your body make the proteins it needs to deposit new bone tissue. It also activates proteins needed to form blood clots, a process you need to stop bleeding after an injury. Drink a cup of raspberry juice to consume approximately 22 micrograms of vitamin K -- 24 and 18 percent of the recommended daily vitamin K intake for women and men, respectively, according to NYU Langone Medical Center.

Serving Tips and Considerations

Raspberry juice is delicious on its own, mixed with other fruit or vegetable juices or blended into fruit smoothies. Experiment with using the juice in your cooking -- blend raspberry juice with raw tomatoes, whole raspberries and mint for a refreshing raspberry gazpacho, or combine the juice with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for a nutritious homemade salad dressing. Consume raspberry juice in moderation. While it offers many health benefits, raspberry juice lacks the beneficial dietary fiber found in whole raspberries. You can consume juice on a regular basis as part of a balanced diet, but make sure you still get most of your fruit intake from whole fruits.

Red Raspberry Leaf- A Woman’s Herb

You have probably eaten your fair share of raspberries over the years. You may have even gone berry picking carefully plucking the delicate fruits from the vines while avoiding getting suck in the bramble. What you might not have known is that the leaf of the raspberry plant is an important medicinal herb.

What is is good for?

Don’t even get me started, red raspberry is one of my favorite herbs! It’s almost easier to ask what isn’t it good for. Red raspberry is most commonly known as a woman’s herb. It is found in most tea blends for pregnancy and menstruation. It is  loaded with vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, manganese, iron, calcium and niacin. 

A Brief Over View

Red Raspberry Leaf Is Beneficial For: 


  • Amenorrhea
  • Bed Wetting
  • Canker Sore, Mouth Ulcers
  • Coughs
  • Diabetes
  • Digestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Enriched Mother’s Milk
  • Gas
  • Menorrhagia, Excessive Bleeding
  • Menstrual Cramps
  • Labor Pains
  • Morning Sickness
  • Nausea
  • Pregnancy
  • Thrush
  • Urinary Tract Infection


  • Bleeding Gums
  • Eyewash
  • Sore Throat
  • Wounds, Burns

A Couple of Highlights

If you are pregnant or wanting to conceive then red raspberry is the herb for you! Best of all it is safe to use throughout your entire pregnancy. For those wanting to conceive, it increases fertility. Red raspberry contains an  alkaloid, called fragrine, it strengthens and tones the walls of the uterus and pelvic muscles before, during and after child birth. It is also known to ease morning sickness. It aids in easy birthing and restores the womb after birth. Red raspberry has also been known to help prevent miscarriage.

Red raspberry is also a wonder herb for menstruating woman. It is full of calcium that is easily adsorbed into the body which helps regulate the hormones that flood your body every month easing PMS symptoms such as cramps. The toning effect the red raspberry has on the uterus is vital during menstruation as well. The tannis in this herb are beneficial for curbing diarrhea.

In addition to being an amazing woman’s herb red raspberry also has astringent, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anti-microbial and diuretic properties. The whole family can benefit from this herb.

A Word Of Caution:

If you haven’t used red raspberry leaf before pregnancy some suggest waiting until the third trimester to start using it.

How To Use Red Raspberry Leaf?


  • Tincture
  • Tea
  • Powder
  • Capsules


  • Salve
  • Herbal Bath
  • Infusion

My favorite way to take red raspberry leaf is in a tea or tincture. Here are a few different blends you may enjoy. Why not keep a pitcher of it in the fridge for the whole family to enjoy and benefit from it’s healing properties?

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