The scientific name for red raspberries, Rubus idaeus, means literally “bramble bush of Ida”, named both for the nursemaid of the Greek God Zeus and the mountain where they grew on the island of Crete.
It is said to have originated on the thick bushes on the foothills of Mt. Ida, the people of Troy gathered the wild berries around the time of Christ. They were associated with fertility in Greek Mythology. The berries were once white but when Zeus’ nursemaid, Ida pricked her finger on a thorn it stained the berries red and they have remained red ever since.
The vibrant colour of berries has served a broad array of uses throughout time. Their juices have been used to add colour to masterpiece paintings and to create ancient manuscripts. They have long been used as beauty products to add colour to lips and to stain the cheeks.
The 13th-century English king, Edward I, is known for the cultivation of raspberries throughout England.
George Washington is known to have cultivated raspberries at Mount Vernon and by the time of the Civil War, there were at least 40 known varieties.
Raspberries are rich in powerful antioxidants that fight free radicals, inhibiting tumour growth and decreasing inflammation in the body.
They are full of flavonoids which have been shown to suppress inflammation that helps to reduce cardiovascular disease. They prevent platelet buildup and reduce blood pressure via anti-inflammatory mechanisms.
They help to keep the digestive system healthy and moving due to the fibre and water content in raspberries help to prevent constipation. Fibre is necessary for the daily excretion of toxins through the bile and stool. This decreases the risk of inflammation-related conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity.
Foods high in vitamin C, such as raspberries, have been shown to help with eye health by providing protection against UV light damage.
Vitamin C is a great antioxidant that helps boost your immune system and protect cells from damaging free radicals. It also supports collagen production, wound healing, and iron absorption.
Vitamin C and magnesium in raspberries can improve fertility in both men and women. The antioxidants in raspberries can protect sperm health, promote conception, and reduce the risk of miscarriage.
In the first year of growth, the bush does not produce fruit. The canes establish their root system as they fill them with with the strength and energy essential for the fertility of the fruit. After the cane has weathered a year the cane is then ready to focus its energy into producing fruits. Raspberry reminds us that maturity and proper conditioning are essential to abundant and healthy reproduction. Patience is the key to any new venture.
The thorns remind us to be picky about who we share the fruits of our labour with.
The thorns also remind us not to rush into anything and it is an opportunity to remember to be gentle, compassionate and patient with others. It is only with care and a gentle touch that Raspberry yields her fruits. Raspberry reminds us to slow down and savour all that must occur before we bear the fruits of our labour.
CONNECT WITH RASPBERRY
3 servings a week of raspberries will show the best benefits.
Frozen raspberries can be added to smoothies and warm oats.
Heat raspberries to create a sweet sauce or jam.
Drink raspberry tea as a reminder to yourself to slow down and to take in everything that is happening in your life right now.