Drugs A - Z

Blackberry (Rubus fructicosus)

treats Antioxidant

Generic Name: Rubus

Category

Herbs & Supplements

Synonyms

Anthocyanins, chickasaw blackberry, marionberry, olallieberry, Rosaceae (family), Rubus, Rubus fructicosus, Rubus villosus, wild blackberry.

Background

Blackberry is a rambling vine with thumb-sized black composite "berries." The plant grows easily in temperate climates, and is often found in recently cleared areas. Laboratory studies have found blackberries to be high in antioxidants, although no benefits were observed in one clinical trial. More research is needed in this area before a potential therapeutic recommendation can be made.

Because of the tannins in the blackberry plant's root bark and leaves, blackberry has been used as an astringent and tonic, and for dysentery (severe diarrhea) and diarrhea. A tea of the root bark has also been used for whooping cough.

Evidence

DISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Antioxidant: Several laboratory studies indicate that blackberry fruit is high in antioxidants, which may be due to the berries' anthocyanin content. However, more research is needed in this area to determine its effects on antioxidant levels in humans.
Grade: C

Tradition

WARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Astringent, boils, cancer, diarrhea, dysentery (severe diarrhea), gout (foot inflammation), skin conditions (scaldhead), tonic, whooping cough.

Dosing

Adults (18 years and older)

There is no proven effective dose for blackberry.

Children (younger than 18 years)

There is no proven effective dose for blackberry.

Safety

DISCLAIMER: Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.

Allergies

Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to blackberry (Rubus fructicosus) or its constituents. There is a case report of a severe food-precipitated anaphylaxis associated with antiphospholipid syndrome in a patient allergic to blackberry.

Side Effects and Warnings

Blackberry is likely safe when used in food amounts in healthy patients. There are few reports in the available literature of adverse effects related to blackberries. There is a case report of sporotrichosis (a chronic fungal infection of the skin and lymph nodes) possibly due to picking blackberries, and one study found that fresh, incubated blackberries were contaminated with mold.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Based on traditional use, blackberry is likely safe in food amounts in pregnant or breastfeeding women. However, other uses are not recommended due to a lack of sufficient data.

Interactions

Interactions with Drugs

Blackberry fruit is high in antioxidants, although early evidence does not suggest that ingestion of blackberry affects antioxidant levels in humans.

Although not well studied in humans, blackberry may have anticancer activity. Caution is advised when combining blackberry with other anticancer agents.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

Blackberry fruit is high in antioxidants, although early evidence does not suggest that ingestion of blackberry affects antioxidant levels in humans.

Although not well studied in humans, blackberry may have anticancer activity. Caution is advised when combining blackberry with other anticancer herbs or supplements.

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