Raspberry is a perennial, shrubby plant from the rose family, which is also known as RED GOLD. Raspberries are growing in Asia, North and South America, Europe, southern parts of Africa and Australia. Most species are originated from Asia and the least from Europe.
In ancient times, raspberries were known in Europe among all peoples, whose fruits were picked in the forests and used for food and medicine. The first historical records of raspberries date back to the Roman Empire, where at the beginning of the new era Pliny the Elder, Roman author, states that raspberries grow abundantly on Mount Ida in Greece (in Asia Minor, not far from Troy), after which the red raspberry was named Rubus idaeus L. The first written information that comes from Russia, in the time of Yuri Vladimirovich Dolgorukov (1090-1157), the founder of Moscow, states that there are impassable little ones in the vicinity of that city. Raspberries were first grown in some gardens in England in 1548. In the following period, this country became the center of gardening, after which numerous written data about raspberries remained. In the book “New Orchard and Garden” from 1618, the priest William Lawson published a picture of a garden with raspberries. In the book “Paradise in the Sunny Earthly Paradise” from 1629, John Perkinson, English botanist, dedicates the entire first chapter to raspberries, and also mentions two types, red and white. In the book from 1729, botanist Langley describes three types, white, red and purple, and until the end of the 18th century, raspberries were mentioned in books by numerous authors about gardens. The London Horticultural Society published the “Fruit Catalog” in 1826, which contains 23 known species. Many varieties were created in East Malling in England in the 20th century. In North America, nurseryman V. Prince from the state of New York mentions three varieties in 1771: white, red English and red American, and his son V. R. Prince, 1832, as many as 18 varieties. Dr. W. D. Brickle (1799-1863) created many new varieties of raspberries. While E. S. Fuller, in his book “Berry Fruit” from 1867, gave impetus to the creation of the berry fruit processing industry. In the experimental centers of the USA in the 20th century, many varieties were created: willamette, killarney, ripley, octavia, heritage, munger, meeker, etc. In Russia, botanist Zinger published a book “Detailed instructions on growing fruit trees in our northern climate” in 1803 in Riga, in which he mentions raspberries, and then in 1829 he published a book in which he mentions three varieties of raspberries: better red killarney, better yellow malt and better American. In the 20th century in Russia, numerous new varieties were created.
Raspberry fruits are sweet and sour, very tasty, aromatic and easy to digest. Raspberry is a dessert fruit, and the fruit can be used fresh or frozen, as well as for processing: juice, syrup, wine, natural liqueur, compote, jam, marmalade, ice cream, candied fruit, raspberry powder and pulp.
The leaf is practically used only in folk medicine for rinsing the oral cavity with inflammation of its mucous membrane, inflammation of the pharynx and diarrhea. It is part of numerous mixtures for the treatment of diseases of the cardiovascular, gastrointestinal system, menstrual and hormonal disorders and avitaminosis. It is also part of the mixture for spring blood cleansing. Raspberry leaf can replace some teas, such as Indian, Georgian and Russian.
In many countries, the fruit is used in scientific medicine as a means of expelling fluids, in diarrhea and eczema. The fruit extract works against the virus. In addition, it activates the pancreas to secrete insulin and regulates level of blood sugar. It is also used in the food industry.
Recently, the effect of raspberries on malignant cells has been investigated. Ellagic acid, which is abundant in raspberries, has been found to prevent cancer cells from multiplying. Raspberry fruit and tea (and other berries: strawberries, blackberries, etc.) also have a preventive and suppressive effect. In the treatment of malignant diseases, raspberries are not a medicine and cannot replace it, but they are a good protection against those diseases.
According to UN FAO, the largest producers of raspberries in the world are Russia, Poland, Serbia, USA, Ukraine, Mexico, The Great Britain, Canada, Azerbaijan and Spain.