YELLOW HIMALAYAN RASPBERRY (Rubus ellipticus): Rakesh Verma
Rubus ellipticus is native to India and south Asia and well known as one of the tastiest wild fruits in the hills. It grows up to 2 m tall. It is clothed with prickles and reddish hairs. The alternate leaves are compound with three round to blunt leaflets 5-10 cm long. The undersides of the leaves are lighter than the upper surface and covered with downy hairs. The flowers are small, white with five petals. The fruit is a round yellow cluster of druplets easily detaching from the receptacle.
The plant is astringent and febrifuge. A decoction of the root, combined with Girardinia diversifolia root and the bark of Lagerstroemia parviflora, is used in the treatment of fevers. The juice of the root is used in the treatment of fevers, gastric troubles, diarrhoea and dysentery. A paste of the roots is applied externally to wounds. Both the roots and the young shoots are considered to be a good treatment for colic. The leaf buds, combined with Centella asiatica and Cynodon dactylon, are pounded to a juice and used in the treatment of peptic ulcers. The juice of the fruit is used in the treatment of fever, colic, coughs and sore throat. The inner bark is used in Tibetan medicine, it is said to have a sweet and sour flavour plus a heating potency. A renal tonic and antidiuretic, it is used in the treatment of weakening of the senses, vaginal/seminal discharge, polyuria and micturation during sleep.
This fruit is highly nutritive. The juice of Rubus ellipticus , which has an attractive colour and rich flavour, can be preserved as such and can also be used for squash-making. A very good jam can also be prepared from this fruit.
This fruit offers excellent opportunities of cultivation as a hedge or fence plant. There is practically no cost of cultivation involved except the cost of picking. This fruit can give some extra income to the farmers without any investment.
Indian names: jotelupoka (Assam); akhe, akkhi, anchhu, hinure (Himachal Pradesh); hinsalu, anchhu (Hindi); gouriphal, hisara (Kashmir); Hinsar, Hissar, esar, hishalu, jogiya hisalu (Uttarakhand); tolu, aselu (Nepal); akhi(Punjab), aakhre (Dogri)