The Handmaid’s Berry: Raspberry Magical Properties and Uses — Magical Herbs

Raspberries are used prominently in pregnancy. The leaves can be carried during pregnancy and childbirth to lessen the pain. -- Raspberry Magical Properties

The Magic of Raspberry

Raspberry is the essence of the Feminine. Tantalizing with her sweet taste and evoking crimson flush, she is also potent and powerful, with a piquant aftertaste that both surprises and delights the most delicate of senses.

It was the raspberry fruit that took a lowly handmaid and thrust her into the mythos of the very gods themselves. As her blood spilled and gave raspberry its compelling and deep, rosy hue, so too did it give her a place in the creation of one of the earth's most seductive fruits.

The magic of raspberry concerns all things feminine. From maiden to motherhood and beyond, raspberry supplies her power for the ones who provide for and nurture our world. Those whose wombs would prepare for a child; those who are heavy with child, and those whose child relies on them for sustenance will all find willing power in the raspberry fruit and plant.

The energy of raspberry is kind and patient; careful yet fruitful. But like any mother with love for her beautiful child, the raspberry plant does what she must to protect her progeny, guarding the berry with her many thorns by chance someone might try to pluck her fruit before its time.

However, when the time is right and her fruit is ripe, the raspberry plant willingly lets go, allowing that which she created to grace the world with exuberance and enchanting delight.

Raspberry Magical Correspondences
  • Botanical Name: Rubus Idaeus
  • Folk Names: European Raspberry, Red Raspberry
  • Gender: Feminine
  • Planet: Venus
  • Element: Water
  • Magical Attributes: Protection, Love, Fertility

From Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs

Magical Ways to Use Raspberry
  1. Raspberry’s red color is similar to that of blood, and as a consequence is considered potent in love-inducing magic.

  2. Raspberries can be used to strengthen and bring good fortune to marriage, as well as ensure faithfulness.

  3. Bathe in raspberry or raspberry leaves in order to make certain that your lover will not stray, and serve it to encourage love.

  4. Raspberries can be used to protect against wayward spirits and souls, and raspberry branches can be hung on doors and windows to reinforce this protection.

  5. When someone has died, raspberry branches hung on the door will deter their spirit from entering back into the home so that they can more easily transition into the next world.

  6. Raspberry fruit and leaves can be dried and made into an herbal amulet to strengthen the reproductive organs and provide protection for the womb during pregnancy.

  7. Stepping raspberries in wine and serving the beverage to your lover will strengthen the relationship.

  8. Include raspberries in your love-inducing foods and dishes to heighten feelings of attraction and arousal between you and the one you love.

  9. Pregnant women can carry raspberry leaves by their side and allow its magical energy to lessen the aches and pains that come with pregnancy and childbirth.

  10. Raspberry growing near the home is said to provide protection.

The Mystical Symbolism of Raspberry

Raspberries are the penultimate symbol of femininity, motherhood and fertility. The symbolism extends deep into mythology, where the very color of raspberries -- its deep and beautiful blood red blush – comes from the God of Thunder Zeus’ handmaid, Ida.

Perhaps conspicuously, raspberries are integral to matters of women’s health. Raspberry leaf tea is said to help regulate the menstrual cycle and flow. Raspberry leaf tea and raspberry fruit are known to help lactating mothers produce milk and raspberries are used traditionally to lessen the aches, pains and nausea associated with pregnancy and childbirth.

In the Language of Flowers, raspberry symbolizes kindness and the heart, but do not be disarmed by this portraiture – raspberry also represents strength and protection as it’s thorns suggest.

To Dream of Raspberries

Dreaming of raspberries is a wonderful sign, as it usually signifies good fortune, pleasure and joy – even moreso if the raspberries are sweet and ripe. Ripe and sweet raspberries appearing in a dream also portend that you will have big success in future business dealings, and dreaming of raspberry jam hints at merriment, fulfillment of wishes, and the promise of an easy life.

Image Gallery: Raspberry Magic

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Raspberry in Mythology

Raspberries have an intricate connection to Greek mythology, as evidenced by its Latin name, Rubus Idaeus, which means “bramble bush of Ida.” There are varying myths that explain this name, one being that it is a reference to Zeus’ handmaid, Ida, a nymph who pricked her finger while picking raspberries and bled onto them, turning them from snow white to red.

Another tale would have it that the name comes from Mount Ida, “The Mountain of the Goddess,” and the location where the gods happened upon the berries while searching for food. It is important to note, however, that there are two Mount Idas – one in Crete, and one in western Anatolia, which is modern day Turkey, both of which are considered sacred.

It is Mount Ida in Crete that connects us to Zeus and Greek mythology in that it is fabled to be the mountain where the infant Zeus was hidden from his father Cronus and nursed by his foster mother Amaltheia.

The Healing Power of Raspberries

Raspberries are Nature's gift to women. Raspberry leaf tea can help regulate the menstrual cycle and balance the flow. For pregnant women, raspberries can help lessen symptoms of nausea and helps with childbirth, and for lactating mothers, raspberry tea or fruit can help with milk production.

Raspberries might surprise you when it comes to all the wonderful healing power they contain. They are a proverbial fountain of youth – or more appropriately fruit of youth – in that they provide a multitude of resources when fighting against the hands of time and their effects on aging.

Just three servings of raspberries a day can go a long way in combating macular degeneration. Raspberries contain anthocyanins, which do double duty helping to prevent heart disease and staving off the mental decline that often comes along with aging.

For those dealing with arthritic pain or painful gout symptoms, raspberries have anti-inflammatory capabilities on par with ibuprofen and aspirin, and can aid in reducing painful swelling.

Raspberries make an excellent ingredient in anti-aging creams and salves due to their high vitamin C content. For a simple anti-aging cream you can make at home:

  • Blend 2 cups of raspberries with 1 cup of yogurt, apply it to your face and let it sit for 15 minutes before rinsing. Enjoy your glowing skin!

For weight loss solutions, consider raspberry. Not only does its high fiber content contribute to weight loss by helping you stay fuller longer, but raspberries contain manganese, which boosts the metabolism.

Red raspberry oil is prominently used in Japan in weight loss supplements, and well as having the added benefit of promoting healthy skin.

Raspberries are generously high in fiber. Fiber accounts for 20% of its content. They have a higher concentration of antioxidants than any other fruit, and include the antioxidants cyanidan, quercetin and gallic acid.

Raspberries contain ellagic acid, which can help with cancer prevention. Ellagic acid promotes healthy cell death in normal cells, which can help prevent abnormalities that can lead to cancer, while causing cell death in certain types of cancer cells.

Raspberry Interesting Facts
  • Raspberry is a member of the rose family.

  • Raspberry seems to have derived its name from either raspise, which is a sweet-rose colored wine, raspoie which is a Germanic word for thicket; or the Old English rasp, meaning “rough berry,” due to its bumpy texture.

  • Honeybees and other pollinating insects are known to be fond of the nectar of raspberry flowers.

  • While raspberries are typically known for its deep red color, the fruit comes in many other shades, such as golden yellow, black, and purple.

  • Russia is responsible for 21% of the world’s raspberry production.

  • A single raspberry bush can produce hundreds of raspberries a year.

  • Yellow raspberries owe their unique color to a genetic mutation that occurs within the fruit.

  • It is believed that raspberries originated in Eastern Asia, and were brought to North America by prehistoric humans by way of the Bering Strait.

  • There is archaeological evidence that suggests that cave dwellers ate raspberries in Paleolithic times.

  • Raspberry juice was popularly used as a red stain for artwork during the Middle Ages.

  • George Washington was known to grow raspberries at Mount Vernon.

  • Though most U.S. states grow raspberries commercially, Washington leads the pack by far, producing 70 million tons of raspberries a year.

  • Raspberries prefer cooler climates, and can even grow in the harsh conditions of the Arctic circle.

The Care and Feeding of Your Raspberry Plant

So you want to grow a raspberry plant. Wonderful! First things first, you will need to decide what kind of raspberry plant you wish to grow as there are two different types of raspberry plants and each require their own type of care and management.

Summer-bearing raspberry plants yield one crop per year, and that usually is produced during the months of June and July. To care for your summer-bearing raspberry plant, you will want to cut the two-year old raspberry canes once they have produced their berries.

Make sure not to cut the one-year-old raspberry canes that are growing right beside it; you will know the difference between the two as one-year-old raspberry canes will be green and two-year old raspberry canes will be brown.

Ever-bearing raspberry plants, also known as fall-bearing raspberry plants, however yield their crop twice a year – during the fall and during the summer. When pruning ever-bearing raspberry plants, you simply need to cut down all raspberry canes to the ground once they have produced their fruit. There is no need to prune them during their growing season – unless you wish to do so for aesthetic reasons.

Raspberry plants enjoy cooler climates, but you can find varieties of raspberry plants that will thrive in any climate you happen to live in. When you go to plant your raspberry plant, make sure it has access to full sun for the most fruit production. When considering where you will grow your raspberry plant, keep in mind that raspberry plants do not enjoy wind as it dries them out, nor do they like standing water.

Give your raspberry plant the best start possible with nutrient-rich, well-draining soil. You’ll want to prepare the soil a couple weeks in advance using aged manure or compost and give the soil a good tilling before placing your plant.

Give your raspberry plant inch of water per week from Spring until after you harvest your raspberries. It’s best to water your raspberry plant regularly as opposed to soaking it. You will want to use mulch around your raspberry plants to keep moisture in while suffocating any weeds that might grow.

Be on the lookout for Japanese beetles and spider mites that tend to make their appearance in June and August. Also, rabbits are fond of raspberry canes and will look to feast on them during the winter. A simple fence around your raspberry plants should provide enough protection.

Planting raspberries in a place where tomatoes, eggplant, peppers or potatoes have previously grown can cause the raspberry plant to develop a certain type of fungus if the area isn’t properly fumigated

Raspberries are the sweetest when harvested once their color has deepened. Look for shades of red, black, purple or golden yellow, dependent upon the species of raspberry. They are also easily removed from the raspberry plant when ready to be harvested.

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