BLACKBERRY/BRAMBLE


Blackberry is rich in isocitric & malic acids,sugars, pectin, monoglycoside of cyanidin, tannin (high in root bark & leaves), iron, carbohydrates, sodium, magnesium & vitamin A & C.
Blackberry is astringent & antiseptic.
The root is a classic remedy for diarrhea & is reputed to clean the kidneys & urinary tract of stones & gravel.
The root bark when used medicinally should be thin, tough, flexible bands. It is strongly astringent & somewhat bitter. It should be peeled off the root & dried in the sun.
The bark of the root & the leaves contain tannin & have long been esteemed as a capital astringent & tonic, providing a valuable remedy for dysentery & diarrhea.
Tea from the dried root was used to treat dropsy.

The buds & leaves are used fresh in poultices for wounds,shingles, buns, mouth sores & sore throats.
Prolonged use of blackberry leaf tea has been suggested for enteritis, chronic appendicitis & leucorrhoea.

The Greeks used the berry as a treatment for gout.
The berries are slightly binding  & are useful in diarrhea, as are the leaves.
The berries can be eaten straight from the vine, baked in pies, or transformed into jellies & wines.
Blackberry vinegar is an excellent remedy for a sore mouth or a touch of diarrhea. 
For sore throats & hoarseness, a tablespoon of blackberry jam can be sucked & swallowed slowly.  


RECIPES:

Blackberry wine:

~3 kg blackberries
1 lemon
 4 l boiling water
 ~ 2 kg sugar
1 cup of brandy
Yeast

Wash blackberries, rind the lemon & slice thinly & put into a large bowl; pour over the boiling water.
Cover & leave for 3 days, stirring daily.
Strain on to the sugar through muslin & stir well.
Add the lemon juice & previously activated yeast.
Leave for a day in a warm place, then pour into a demi-john with an airlock.
Ferment. Siphon-off & bottle.
This wine is very sweet, red & heady.

Blackberry Whiskey:

500 g blackberries
sugar
whiskey
Wash & strain the blackberries.
Place the dry blackberries in the sterilised jar, then pour in enough sugar until it comes two-thirds of the way up the jar.
Pour in the whiskey until covers everything,shake it to get the air etc. out.
Close the lid tightly & gently shake the jar from side to side to dissolve the sugar.
Shake the jar once or twice a day for 2 weeks, then once a week for a further 6 to 8 weeks, keeping it out of direct sunlight during this time.
Store in a cool, dry, dark place for up to 1 year before drinking.

Blackberry Smoothie:

1 cup of  milk
1/2 cup of blackberries fresh or frozen
3 tbsp of sugar
5 - 8 ice cubes
Blend together all ingredients.

Mango,blackberry & banana smoothie:

Puree 1 very ripe peeled banana,
1 cup frozen mango chunks,
1/2 cup frozen blackberries,
1 cup plain yogurt &
1 tbsp ground flax seed in a blender until smooth.

Blackberry Sauce:

500 ml blackberries
2 tbsp brandy
2 tbsp orange juice
3 tbsp sugar
Reserve 1 cup of the smallest & most attractive berries.
Puree the remaining 2 cups berries in a food processor with the brandy, orange juice & sugar.
Press the puree through the sieve over a medium bowl & discard the seeds.
Just before serving, stir in the reserved whole berries.
Use with ice cream,yogurt or cake...

Blackberry compote:

50 g sugar
Juice of 1 orange
~300 g blackberries
Put the sugar & orange juice in a small saucepan.
Warm over a low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then add the blackberries & bring to a simmer.
Simmer for 2-3 minutes, then remove from the heat.
Use over the pancakes or ice cream

Use to make jellies, jams, cobblers & in any recipe where you would use raspberries.
Freeze the berries & use them by adding into the tea during the winter "stomach bugs".

2 tbsp of fresh leaves infused in boiling water & drunk both night & morning could relieve the symptoms of shingles.

Blackberry jam:

8 cups blackberries
1/2 cup water
1/4 lemon juice
1 kg sugar
In a large, deep, heavy-bottomed pot, combine blackberries, water & lemon juice.
Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat & simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
Add sugar in a steady stream, stirring constantly.
Boil rapidly, stirring often & reducing heat further as mixture thickens, for 12-15 minutes or until thickened. Test for setting point.Spoon a little on the cold plate, wait a minute & then nudge it with your finger.
If it wrinkles,the jam is set.
Remove from heat & skim off any foam.
Ladle into sterilized jars.
Apply prepared lids.
Transfer jars upside down to a towel-lined surface & let rest at room temperature until set.

Blackberry jam mixed into a cup of hot water was said to be a good cure for a sore throat, especially if blended with a little whisky.

Blackberry-Apple Jam:

2 kg blackberries
500 g large cooking apples
150 ml water
Juice & zest of 1 Lemon
1.5 kg  sugar

Peel, core & roughly chop the apples.
Put the apple, blackberries, lemon juice & water into a large heavy-based pot & bring to the boil.
Turn down the heat & simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. The fruit should be smooth & soft.
Rub the fruit through the sieve with the back of the spoon into a clean pot. Discard the seeds.
Add the sugar, stir it in well & simmer the jam for another 20 minutes.
Test the setting point.
Pour your hot jam into the warm sterilized jars.
Turn the jars upside-down,cool.

Blackberry tea: 

To 2 tbsp of the dried leaves & root bark add 500 ml of boiling water & steep 10 min
Drink a tea 1 cup at a time.


MAGIC:


A loop of blackberry bramble served as a healing source in much the same way as a holed stone. In Ireland, to pass under such an arch & promise to devote oneself to the Devil’s service brought uncanny luck at playing cards.   

One ancient legend tells how blackberries gathered & eaten during the waxing moon at harvest time assured protection from the force of evil runes.
For refuge, in times of danger, one need only creep under a bramble bush.

The blackberry is a faerie plant. In some rural regions of France & the British Isles it was considered dangerous to eat blackberries. The reason given was that the fruit belongs to the faeries & they resent it when mortals eat of the magical berries.
A clue to the blackberry magic may be found in a piece of country wisdom. When frozen dew covers blackberry blossoms at dawn in early spring, the farmers rejoice & hail the event as a “blackberry winter.” Without this frost, the berries will not set. What may appear threatening turns out to be a blessing, for the hoarfrost is a harbinger of a rich harvest.  

There are stories involving traditional rites involved passing a baby through the loop 3 times to secure good health. It was also said that the whooping cough could be cured by passing a sick child under a bramble arch that is rooted at both ends. It was important to also leave an offering of bread & butter.
Sacred to Brighid, the leaves & berries are used to attract wealth or healing.

A bramble bush that forms a natural arch is a great aid to magical healing. On a sunny day, crawl through the arch backward & then forward 3 times, going as nearly east to west as possible.
Old tales say that using blackberry will make boils, rheumatism & whooping cough to disappear.

The blackberry leaves are used in spells of wealth, as are the berries themselves & the vines are protective if grown.
The blackberry plant is also used to heal burns by dipping 9 blackberry leaves in spring water & then laying them against the wound gently, while saying the following chant 3 times to each leaf :
Three ladies came from the east,
One with fire & two with frost.
Out with fire, in with frost.

Protection Charm:

Take a small, dead blackberry branch with the brambles & soak it in water overnight.
Once it’s pliable, bend it into a circle & place it around an item that symbolizes that which needs safety & protection.
Leave the brambles & the item in place until the trouble passes.
At this point you can grind the wood into powder & use it as a base in a warding incense.

Wealth Spell:

Wrap a large blackberry leaf around a silver coin.
Take a braid of gold, silver & green thread to bind this in place saying:
Where gold & green are joined,
blessed herewith by a silver coin,
wealth, & prosperity, to me … to me.

Choosing a blackberry wand in divination, means you are in for an interesting time. It brings a phase of joy, unbridled enthusiasm & exhilaration. This can come in the form of intoxication or with an idea, sex, passion, or any impulse that masters the mind & breaks down barriers, quashing what would have previously been personal or cultural taboos.
It can bring a temptation, a chance to practice excess, or a new enthusiasm, for a religion, person, or political creed.
If a person is carried away with an impulse brought by the blackberry, it could lead to ruin.
But if channeled correctly, it can transform both you & others, opening floodgates to creativity & the dissemination of ideas. Whatever passion it brings, you will never be the same. Expect news of a celebration or exciting event, a chance to dance, drink & even love.

Folklore warns not to pick blackberries after St Michaelmas day, the 29th of September or you will get sick. A tale tells of how this was the day the devil was kicked out of heaven & he landed in a bramble patch, every year since, on this day he has still been so angry about it that he pissed on all the blackberries.

After burial, prickly brambles were traditionally planted around the edge of the grave to Keep the devil out & to protect the soul of the departed from escaping.
If the bramble blooms early in June an early harvest may be expected.

It was once said that to cure a wart the first seen blackberry of the season should be picked & rubbed over the wart & then thrown away. As the berry either rotted away or was eaten by some bird or animal the affliction would disappear.

The vines are protective when purposely grown & may be gathered & woven into protective symbols or wreaths.
Bramble may be gathered during a waning moon to ward off evil magic.


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