Have you ever heard of the infusion of blackberry leaves? If not, the time has come for you to discover this tasty drink that can provide many nutrients to your diet and thus contribute to your good health.
If you have a blackberry close to home, do not hesitate and take some leaves: you will love the taste of this infusion, so much so that you will make it one of your regulars.
The blackberry plant
The blackberry plant, known as Morus by its scientific name, is a deciduous tree native to Africa, Asia, and North America. There are different species of blackberry trees, although their health properties are similar.
These are plants that grow fast and hardly exceed 15 meters in height. They are recognized by their simple, dark green leaves with serrated edges and their rich, black, sweet-tasting fruits.
White mulberry leaves are famous for being the food source of the silkworm. However, blackberry leaves provide different health benefits that we will see below.
Properties for the health of the infusion of blackberry leaves
Alternative medicine has used the infusion of blackberry leaves to treat all kinds of ailments, particularly high cholesterol and the presence of abnormal blood sugar levels. However, this drink has other interesting properties.
A cup of blackberries provides approximately 30.2 milligrams of vitamin C, a substance that helps maintain the proper functioning of the immune system, in addition to protecting the body.
Although there is no specific data on blackberry leaves, it is believed that they would contain similar values of this vitamin and, therefore, would increase defenses.
Vitamin C has antioxidant properties; that is, it acts against the inflammation caused by free radicals and is called oxidative stress. This action can trigger different chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer’s and even cancer. On the other hand, free radicals are responsible for premature aging. Thus, it is suspected that adequate intake of vitamin C would prevent these discomforts.
Lowers blood sugar levels
Different studies have indicated that the protein content of blackberry leaves acts on blood sugar, lowering it and, therefore, preventing the sugar spikes that are so dangerous in people with diabetes.
Reduce the cholesterol
Did you know that adequate fiber intake can help you lower cholesterol? This is because the soluble fiber in blackberry leaves dissolves in water and helps lower cholesterol.
Contributes to weight loss
Blackberry infusion provides fiber to the body and, as you probably already know, fiber prevents swelling caused by constipation but, in addition, fiber expands when mixed with gastric juices and thus generates a feeling of satiety. In this way, drinking it can help you eat less and therefore lose weight .
Protect the bones
Blackberry leaves, like this small fruit, provide vitamin K to the body. This component has among its functions to collaborate with coagulation. But also, did you know that a deficiency can cause brittle bones and lead to fractures?
In addition to providing vitamin K, essential for bone health, it contains manganese, an essential mineral for the formation of collagen and also for the metabolism of amino acids, cholesterol and carbohydrates. Adequate manganese intake is one of the best ways to prevent osteoporosis.
Take care of heart health
Anthocyanins present in both the leaves and berries may act as protectors of heart health by lower blood pressure, one of the main markers of heart attack risk.
Scientific results support that the infusion of blackberry leaves can combat H. pylori bacteria.
How to prepare the infusion of blackberry leaves
You can buy blackberry leaves at your trusted herbalist or pick them yourself if you have a plant at home. In the latter case, choose the most tender leaves; you will notice it because they have almost no spines. Of course, you can also use large leaves but be careful not to prick yourself when picking them up.
Although the leaves can be used fresh, experts often recommend a fermentation treatment to improve their flavor. In this case, you must first crush the leaves with the help of a roller or a mortar. Then, you store the leaf pieces in a large glass jar that can be tightly closed.
Put the jar in a warm place for at least three weeks. You will see how the leaves get darker and darker and, little by little, they take on the color of blackberries. After three weeks (or more), place the fermented leaves on the baking sheet. Preheat the oven to low heat and dry the leaves until crisp. Now, all you have to do is store them in airtight jars, in a cool place and away from light.
- 1 teaspoon blackberry leaves
- 1 cup of water
- Heat the water to 85 ºC.
- Add the tea leaves and let steep for 5 minutes.
- Strain and serve.
Enjoy this sweet infusion every day to benefit from its properties. You can mix it with other herbs to vary the flavor. For example, it goes well with mint or chamomile. Of course, keep in mind that you should consult your doctor about the safety of drinking this infusion during pregnancy.