Get Blackberry Leaf Tea – and Reap Surprising Health Benefits
Blackberry leaf tea is made by infusing dried young leaves of the blackberry bush in hot water. In herbal medicine, this caffeine-free infusion has been used to treat everything from high blood pressure to nervous disorders. But what do recent scientific studies say about the health benefits of blackberry leaf tea? Let's find out!
Tip: If you're having trouble finding blackberry leaf tea in organic quality in the shops near you, scroll down to the end of this article where you can find tips on where you can get organic blackberry leaf tea in the UK and the US.
One of the most famous health benefits of green tea is its purported ability to provide protection against several types of cancer. But for those following a caffeine-free diet, green tea may not be an option. But there's good news: blackberry leaf tea, which does not contain caffeine, may also have cancer-fighting properties. A group of researchers from the University of Zagreb, Croatia, discovered that blackberry leaf extract had anti-cancer activity against human colon cancer cells in test tubes. However, given the novelty of these results, further research on these effects seems warranted.
Blackberry Leaf Tea May Promote Oral Health
Periodontal disease, which affects about 50% of Americans, results from chronic infection and inflammation of the gums which support the teeth. Periodontal disease is dangerous enough by itself, but it can also be implicated in the development of several other diseases, including pre-term deliveries and low birth weight, diabetes, cardiovascular problems, and other systemic conditions. As this inflammatory gum disease is largely driven by bacterial overgrowth, one of the best ways to prevent it is to practice daily oral hygiene at home.
A diet that is low in sugar and high in foods and drinks that have anti-bacterial properties, such as blackberry leaf tea, may also help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease. A study published in the February 2013 edition of the Journal of Periodontal Research found that blackberry leaf extract reduced the metabolic activity of Porphyromonas gingivalis, Fusobacterium nucleatum, and Streptococcus mutans bacteria, all of which are associated with oral health problems. The researchers concluded that based on their findings and the results of earlier studies on the anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties of blackberry leaves, blackberry leaf extract is a promising target as an adjunct for prevention and/or complementary therapy of periodontal infections.
Blackberry Leaf Extract Has Anti-Aging Benefits, Study Suggests
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are enzymes that are activated by exposure to the sun's UV rays or inflammation. These enzymes are known to inhibit new collagen formation and to contribute to the breakdown of existing collagen. As you may know, collagen is what gives your skin strength and elasticity. Your body's ability to produce collagen decreases as you age, which in turn leads to wrinkles and saggy skin.
You may have already heard about the beauty benefits of eating blackberries, but also blackberry leaf tea may offer some anti-aging benefits for your skin due to its effects on MMPs. A study published in the October 2007 issue of the International Journal of Cosmetic Science found that blackberry leaf extract (derived from the Rubus fruticosus cultivar) reduced MMP levels in UVA-irradiated cells in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, blackberry leaf extract was found to inhibit the activity of Interleukin-1 alpha, a protein that is known to induce MMP expression. The researchers also discovered that blackberry leaf extract had strong antioxidant activity, comparable to that of vitamin E. All of these findings suggest that blackberry leaf extract may provide anti-aging benefits for the skin.
A Powerhouse of Flavonoids
Much of the antioxidant power of blackberry leaf tea can be attributed to its high concentration of flavonoids. In fact, a Polish study found that blackberry leaves contain even more flavonoids than raspberry leaves! Flavonoids are one of the most researched phytochemicals, and evidence suggests that these powerful compounds may help reduce the risk of fatal cardiovascular problems. Good enough a reason to go get yourself a cup of blackberry leaf tea?
Where to Get Blackberry Leaf Tea in the UK or US
It can be difficult to find blackberry leaf tea in regular stores, but luckily you can buy this tasty, caffeine-free herbal infusion online. If you like to buy your specialty groceries from the online retailer Amazon, then click here if you're interested in buying organic blackberry leaf tea in the US (or click here if you want to buy it in the UK).
D. Komes et al (2014). Formulating blackberry leaf mixtures for preparation of infusions with plant derived sources of sweeteners. Food Chemistry, Volume 151, May 15, Pages 385-393.
O. A. Gonzales et al (2013). Antibacterial effects of blackberry extract target periodontopathogens. Journal of Periodontal Research, Volume 48, Issue 1, pages 80-86.
Martina Herrmann et al (2007). Blackberry leaf extract: a multifunctional anti-aging active. International Journal of Cosmetic Science. Volume 29, Issue 5, page 411.
Jan Gudej and Michal Tomczyk (2004). Determination of Flavonoids, Tannins, and Ellagic Acid in Leaves from Rubus L. Species. Arch Pharm Res, vol 27, No 11, 1114-1119.
M. G. L. Hertog et al (1993). Dietary antioxidant flavonoids and risk of coronary heart disease: the Zutphen Elderly Study. The Lancet, Volume 342, Issue 8878, 23 October 1993, Pages 1007-1011.