Blackberry (Hei Mei)Blackberry (Hei Mei)

Botanical Name: Rubus fructicosus, R. allegheniensis

Edible and medicinal, the blackberry has been used by Native American’s and Western Europeans for centuries. It has a long history of healing female disorders and being used in spells for protection from ghosts and vampires. Used in syrups, liqueurs, teas, and pies, blackberry leaves are cooling and the roots are astringent. Often used to treat sore throats, diarrhea and wounds. The leaves were often used to wash wounds and help stop them from excess bleeding.

Below is an overview of Blackberry (Hei Mei), combining and interpreting the best of Western Science, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore and more. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of Blackberry (Hei Mei).

Discover Radical Health Through Energetic & Natural Healing!

Support your unique goals using the natural and energetic worlds around you. Sign up, FREE, and get our 8-step guide on how to choose the right herb for you and some of our most popular Healing Herb Fact Sheets! Find out more >

FREE 8-Step Guide On Choosing The Right Herbs For You!

Safely and effectively choose the right herb(s) to treat your condition or unique set of needs...


Western Name: Blackberry

Also Known As: Allegheny Blackberry, American Blackberry, Brambleberry, Brummel, Bramble-Kite, Brameberry, Thimbleberry

Organs/Systems: Uterus, Stomach, Intestines, Bladder, Mouth, Throat

Key Actions: Astringing, Antimicrobial, Antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory, Antidiarrheal

Medicinal Uses: Dysentery, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, cystitis, menstrual cramping, wounds, skin irritations, regulate menstrual flow, soothes sore throat, phlegmy cough.


Pin Yin: Hei Mei

Also Known As: N/A

Meridians: Lung, Bladder

Key Actions: Clears Heat, Reduces Inflammation, Dries Damp, Promotes Tissue Repair, Stops Bleeding, Expels Phlegm, Softens Stones, Promotes Urination

Medicinal Uses: Fevers, sore throat, mouth sores, inflamed gums, toothache, laryngitis, wounds, animal bites, diarrhea, leucorrhea, blood in the urine or stools, hemorrhoids, loosens and expels sticky phlegm from the lungs and throat, urinary tract infections, bladder stones.

Basic Habitat/Botany:

Blackberries are a perennial plant that has white flowers with five petals that bloom April and May. They have biennial stems and produce a number of new stems from the root stock each year. It is these stems that will fruit in their second year and then die. The vines are long and thorny. They are members of the Rose family. The blossoms and fruit, both green and ripe may all be found on the bush at the same time, a feature not often found in plants.

Native to Europe and now naturalized in the Americas, Australia Eastern North America, it grows along roads, woodlands, and open areas. It likes well-drained soil.

Blackberry (Hei Mei)Parts Most Frequently Used: Berry, Leaf, Root, Root Bark

Flavors/Temps: Sweet, Slightly Bitter, Astringent, Cooling, Dry

Caution: Considered safe.

History/Folklore: Old folklore and witchcraft traditions claim that blackberry leaves help return evil to enemies that sent it while also removing evil spirits from your home.

In Great Britain folklore tradition suggests that blackberries should not be picked after Michaelmas (September 29th) as the devil is said to have claimed them by having urinated on them.  As the weather is wetter and cooler this time of year it is the time that molds can set in making the plants toxic and unfit to eat, so in fact, it is not a bad practice to leave late harvest berries alone.

The Kiowa-Apache, Cherokee, Chippewa, Ojibwa, Menominee, Delaware, and Iroquois American Indians have all used blackberry teas and decoctions to help treat diarrhea, hemorrhoids, and lung conditions.

Blackberry leaves have been found to help prevent stomach ulcers and can be used as an effective antibiotic to fight against the bacteria, Helicobacter pylori, associated with causing such ulcers.

The USDA (US Department of Agriculture) reports that blackberry leaves used in tea have higher antioxidant compounds than the berries do.

The tannins in the leaves help fight diarrhea and dysentery. A heaping teaspoon of dried leaves in a cup of boiling water, with a half cup taken per hour is one recommended dosage for treating diarrhea.

Blackberry leaves can be combined with sage leaves for aiding digestive difficulties and bloating.

Old English folklore says that passing under an archway of blackberry brambles will cure, or prevent, hernias, ruptures, and pimples. Celtic lore said blackberries were the fruits of faeries and therefore taboo to eat. Early Christian mythology relates blackberries to both Christ and the Devil. Some say the brambles were used to make Christ’s crown of thorns which is why the berries turn from red to black. Some stories relate that the Devil, Lucifer landed in a bramble of blackberries when he was cast our of heaven. Still blackberries were understood to ward off evil, ghosts and vampires. If they are planted near your home a vampire would not be able to enter, as he would begin to count the berries and would forget what he was up to!

The plant’s thorny branches are used for protection. The vines are woven into protective wreaths and the leaves are used to treat all sorts of feminine issues dealing with fertility. The cooked berries are used in spells and cooking to insure prosperity. The berries are often baked in pies to celebrate First Harvest festivals.

Blackberry is not native to China. Western healers of TCM integrate blackberry into herbal protocols and formulas as needed as it is more easily available in the America’s and Europe.

A permanent black die can be made using blackberry leaves and lye. An orange dye is made using the roots, and a bluish grey dye is made from the berries.

The leaves should be harvested before or during flowering and the roots are best harvested in the Spring of Fall after the berries have been harvested and dried quickly in an oven or under the hot sun.

Key Constituents:

Leaves – Tannins, Flavonoids, Fruit acids (Gallic, Citric, Isocitric). Fruit – Anthocyanins, Pectin, Fruit acids, Vitamin C. Roots – Saponins, Tannins.

Did you know?

Relieve Canker Sores

High in vitamin C, chewing blackberry leaves can help relieve canker sores and inflamed gums.


Apply to Burns

The fresh leaves can be applied to burns, hemorrhoids, skin ulcers and eczema.

Fun fact!

Benefits of the Fruit

The fruit is especially good for the liver and kidneys, and the leaves are good for the stomach and intestines.

FREE 8-Step Guide On Choosing The Right Herbs For You!

Safely and effectively choose the right herb(s) to treat your condition or unique set of needs.


WRI's Healing Herb Fact Sheets, FREE Trial!

Sign up for immediate access to some of our most popular Fact Sheets and find out for yourself why 85,000+ people have already signed up!


Herbs That Heal

Medicinal & Culinary Herbs That Heal - New Book Coming Soon!

Sign up to be notified when my new book is released! Explore 184 Healing Herbs for Body, Mind, and Spirit.


Discover Radical Health Through Energetic & Natural Healing!

Support your unique goals using the natural and energetic worlds around you.

Find out for yourself why 85,000+ people have already signed up! Get our 8-step guide on how to choose the right herb for you and some of our most popular Healing Herb Fact Sheets! They're our gift to you.

Get Your FREE Guide!

Disclosure: If you purchase from some links on this web page, we may receive some kind of affiliate commission. However, we only ever mention products we would recommend whether we were being compensated or not. Thank you so much for your support of White Rabbit Institute of Healing!

ATTENTION: All material provided on this website is for informational or educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of your healthcare professional or physician. Redistribution permitted with attribution. Be Healthy. Be Happy. Be Whole. Be Free.

ATENCIÓN: Todo el material proporcionado en este sitio web es sólo con fines informativos o educativos. No es sustituto del consejo de su profesional de la salud o médico. Esté sano. Sea feliz. Siéntase completo. Sea libre.

Health Break: Detox, Strengthen & Cleanse

Join our next 30-Day “Love Your Liver” Detox Challenge!

A Health Boost and Reset to Balance Body, Mind, & Spirit Using Traditional Chinese Medicine. You'll also recieve our Free Healing Herb Fact Sheets and latest news. Your privacy is guaranteed.

Thank you, you have joined our wait list! We'll let you know when our next 30-Day “Love Your Liver” Detox Challenge is open.

Healing Herb Fact Sheets

Download. Print. Share.

Complete the form below for immediate access to ALL our Herb Fact Sheets.

Thank you for joining us! Please check your email for details on how to access our free Healing Herb Fact Sheets. Be sure to check your spam folder and promotions tab if you have one.

You have Successfully Subscribed!