Medicinal plants

Dewberry - Ackerberry (Rubus caesius)

Dewberry - Ackerberry (Rubus caesius)

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The field berry, more commonly known as the dewberry, is related to the blackberry native to us. It is slightly smaller than the blackberry and also has thorns. However, these are much smaller and softer, do not sting, but only scratch. Maybe that's why it is called dewberry.

Wanted poster dewberry

  • Scientific name: Rubus caesius
  • Plant family: Rose Family (Rosaceae)
  • Popular names: Dewberry, frosted blackberry, bilberry, dewberry
  • Occurrence: Europe and North Asia
  • application areas:
    • Inflammation of the oral mucosa
    • Inflammation of the gums
    • Indigestion
    • Difficulty breathing
    • discharge
    • Skin eczema
    • acne
    • Wound healing
  • Parts of plants used: Leaves, berries
  • ingredients: Tannins, flavonoids, fruit acids, plenty of vitamin C.

Healing effects

The ingredients of the dewberry are responsible for their effectiveness. The tannins it contains help with inflammation of the stomach and intestines and with mild diarrhea. The flavonoids, a group of phytochemicals, are generally anti-inflammatory and astringent. This is helpful for inflammation in the mouth area and also for poorly healing wounds.

The flavonoids are involved in the expectorant effects of colds and coughs. When used externally, the dewberry not only helps to heal wounds due to its blood-cleaning effect, but also for skin eczema and acne. It generally improves the complexion.


The leaves of the dewberry are used in the form of tea or tincture. The tea is drunk, but can also be used as a mouthwash for gargling or for compresses. For a compress, a tea is brewed and soaked in a small cotton cloth or a sterile compress, then placed on the area to be treated and renewed several times.

Tea preparation

To prepare a tea, pour a heaping teaspoon of the dried leaves with a quarter liter of boiling water. The brewing time is seven to ten minutes. Drink the tea in small sips, preferably a cup three times a day.

Making a tincture

Place dried leaves of the dewberry in a screw-top jar and cover them completely with alcohol (at least 40 percent alcohol). The glass should now be in a dark place for about six weeks and shaken well every day. Then the whole thing is filled through a sieve or a paper filter into a bottle with a drop attachment. The amount of intake is up to three to three drops three times a day, preferably in a little water or tea.

The tincture is also suitable for rinsing and gargling. For this, about five drops are poured into a glass of lukewarm water. This mixture can also be used to dab acne pustules with the help of an ear stick.

Related to the blackberry

The dewberry is related to the blackberry. At first glance, it looks a bit like this, although the shrub of the dewberry is much smaller. The dewberry also bears thorns, but they don't really hurt, they only “scratch” something. Their fruits are a bit matt in color and have a slightly powdery appearance, almost like mildew. Great care should be taken when picking. They fall apart very quickly, leaving only a blue porridge between your fingers.

Another difference is the taste. The dewberry has a slightly sour taste and is rather boring overall. Therefore, the fruits get little attention in the kitchen. However, jams can be made from it, ideally mixed with other fruits or berries. The scratchberry liqueur is well known. Although the dewberry doesn't taste good, it's very healthy. Like the normal blackberry, it contains many vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, calcium, magnesium and copper.


The dewberry grows in Europe and Asia. It is close to rivers and streams, at the edges of forests, in forest clearings and on rubble sites and prefers a moderately moist, calcareous, nutrient-rich clay or clay soil. The dewberry is self-pollinating, which means that it does not need any other flowers to produce fruit and seeds. She likes partial shade to sunny. It offers shelter and nesting opportunities for insects, small animals and birds.

The fruits, which resemble those of the blackberry, are whitely frosted and ready for picking between August and September. Leaves are collected from April to September. The young leaves and shoot tips can be eaten raw in the salad or smoothies can be added. The taste of the leaves is a bit bitter, but aromatic and quite pleasant.


People in the Stone Age probably already knew about the health benefits of dewberry. It is believed that they collected and ate the berries back then and their leaves were used to make a tea. The leaves of the dewberry used to be used as a black tea substitute because it was too expensive for many. Today the field berry no longer plays a major role as a medicinal plant, since blackberry is now used more. It may decorate the gardens as a “small blackberry plant”. (sw)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Diez, Otmar: Our edible trees and shrubs. Determine, collect, prepare; Franckh Kosmos Verlag, 2019
  • Colditz, Gabriele: floodplains, bogs, wet meadows; Birkhauser, 1994
  • The cosmos plant guide: over 900 flowers, trees and mushrooms 1200 pictures; Franckh Kosmos Verlag, 2014
  • Teubner / Gräfe und Unzer: Teubner Food: The Whole World of Food, 2011

Video: Harvesting and Cooking Wild Wineberries (October 2022).