Blackberry, Rubus villosus, grows abundantly in most parts of the United States. The roots of the various species as well as varieties of rubus are more or less astringent and have been used in domestic medicine from the days of America's first settlement. The Cherokee Indians (Rafinesque ), chewed the root of this plant and swallowed the saliva for a cough, probably its astringency being helpful to the throat membranes. They also used a poultice of it for piles, in which direction its mild astringency seems rationally to adapt it. A syrup of blackberry root has been a great favorite in some sections of the country as a remedy for dysentery. This use of the drug in domestic medication, in which it has always been valued in America, led finally to its employment by the members of the medical profession. The juice of the blackberry fruit, spiced and mixed with whisky, is and has ever been a valued carminative drink in Kentucky and other parts of the Southern United States, and founded the pharmacopeial blackberry cordial.
The History of the Vegetable Drugs of the U.S.P., 1911, was written by John Uri Lloyd.