Raspberry leaf (Rubus species) is a member of the Rosaceae family. The leaves are rich in the important minerals calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, selenium, silicon and sulfur, Carotenoids, citric acid, fragrine, pectin, tannins and vitamins A, B complex, C, D and E. An easily assimilated form of calcium; manganese, phosphorus.
Raspberry leaf traditionally is used for relieving painful menstruation, but you can also use it in an attempt to stop your period.
Raspberry leaves have been regarded as a universal herb for women. They have been introduced to young girls beginning their menses as a welcome ritual to help them through their changes. Raspberry leaves can help alleviate menstrual cramps, reduce erratic food cravings, and curb excessive bleeding.
It has been used for years for uterine toning and throughout pregnancy. It is good to alleviate morning sickness, prevent miscarriage, provide energy, make labor faster and easier, reduce hemorrhage, and increase milk supply.
Raspberry leaf tea has long been used to increase fertility. Pregnant women in China, Europe, and North and South America have all used this herb as a tea for a wide range of female health concerns. Even pregnant cats have been known to seek out the leaves and eat them!
When used during pregnancy, raspberry leaves help to relieve morning sickness, prevent spotting, and improve blood quality thus preventing anemia.
Besides being consumed regularly during pregnancy, women often drink raspberry tea during labor. This is because raspberry leaves contain an alkaloid called fragarine, which is said to make labor easier due to its effectiveness as a tonic for the pelvic muscles and uterus. Westmead Hospital did a study on raspberry’s effect on labor and found it to shorten labour with no identified side effects for the women or their babies. The findings also suggest ingestion of the drug might decrease the likelihood of pre and post-term gestation. An unexpected finding in this study seems to indicate that women who ingest raspberryleaf might be less likely to receive an artificial ruture of their membranes, or require a caesarean section, forceps or vacuum birth than the women in the control group.
When taken after birthing, raspberry tea facilitates placental delivery, helps decrease uterine swelling, and helps prevent postpartum bleeding. Drinking raspberry tea until the time of birthing is so nutritious, it helps to ensure that the colostrum (the first breast milk) will be especially rich. However, it is not used excessively during lactation due to its astringent properties that can decrease milk supply.
When menopausal women use raspberry leaf, it helps promote healthy uterine tone and minimize hot flashes.
Henry Box, an English Quaker herbalist, said, “A tea made from red raspberry leaves is the best gift God gave to women.” Now, that might be exaggerating things a bit, but it does show great appreciation for such a versatile herb.