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These plants possess astringent medicinal properties, and maybe substituted the one for the other. The bark of the old roots, or the smaller roots, of dewberry and blackberry, should always be preferred, as the woody portion is inert. Their properties are similar, and they impart their virtues to water, alcohol, or port wine. The fruits of these plants (and Rubus strigosus) are much esteemed as an article of diet, and have been manufactured into cordials, jams, jellies, and syrups. They contain volatile oil, coloring matters, citric and malic acids, sugar, mucilage, etc. The root-bark of Rubus villosus, according to analysis by G. A. Krauss (Amer. Jour. Pharm., 1889, p. 605, and 1890, p. 161), contains a crystallizable, bitter glucosid, villosin, sparingly soluble in water and petroleum benzin; freely soluble in alcohol, insoluble in chloroform, nearly so in ether. It is rather unstable, being readily hydrolyzed into sugar and resinous villosic acid, soluble in alcohol, ether, and chloroform. Herman Harms (ibid., 1894, p. 580) believes villosin to be allied to saponin. This author found the dry bark to contain from 12 to 19 per cent of tannin. [King's American Dispensatory]