Also known as: Raspberry, Raspberry Leaf
The first recorded use of Red Raspberry was in the 1500’s. Red raspberry leaf tea (Rubus ideas) has been used for centuries in Europe, China, and both North and South America. This popular tea has earned the reputation of "herb-supreme" among pregnant women. According to folklore it can relieve almost any discomfort of pregnancy from morning sickness to leg cramps.
English herbalist Henry Box praised red raspberry as the best gift that God ever gave to women. He said, "If the pains of childbirth are premature, it will make all quiet. If the mother is weak, it will abundantly strengthen her, cleanse her and enrich her milk."
Some herbs seem to have a specific attraction to specific organs, in this case, raspberry leaves have an affinity for the female reproductive system, stimulating, toning and regulating the female organs more effectively than any other known herb. The tea is considered the supreme tonic for women to consume during their nine months of pregnancy to tonify the uterus, nourish themselves and the growing baby, prevent miscarriage, and facilitate birth and placental delivery.
Expectant mothers, who know of red raspberry’s benefits favor it as ‘the drink’ because of the effectiveness of the herb as a “panacea” for everything from morning sickness to prevention of miscarriage and the easing of labor pains. In fact, even reputed scientific research recommends the herb as a traditional remedy to decrease painful and profuse menses, and for use before, during pregnancy and after delivery. Some herbalists recommend suspending use during the first trimester.
Raspberry leaves are often cited as being the most famous of all herbs used during pregnancy due to the relaxing and toning or astringent actions, with particular regard to the uterus and uterine muscles. The astringent and stimulating properties together strengthen and tone up the uterine muscles and the pelvic muscles. The relaxing and soothing properties of the leaves help to relax the uterus. Raspberry leaves tone up the mucous membranes throughout the body, including the kidneys and the entire urinary tract. These leaves successfully alleviate diarrhea, quell the nauseous feeling that women are subjected to during pregnancy, sedate and relax, and arrest hemorrhage. Through the ages, red raspberry has been used to promote a safe and speedy delivery, improve lactation, and facilitate a quicker recovery from the birth.
Red raspberry leaves have been used for centuries dating back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. Red raspberry has also been widely used by Native American women treating a variety of illness or conditions: the flu, gum disease, rubella, upset stomach, hangovers, diarrhea, fevers, vomiting, menstrual problems, and inflammation.
Traditional uses of Red Raspberry
- for PMS symptoms
- for Menstrual pain
- to regulate irregular menstruation cycles
- to ease the symptoms of morning sickness
- to soothe and prevent bleeding gums, which many pregnant women often experience
- to relax the smooth muscles of the uterus when it is contracting
- to assist with the birth of the baby and the placenta.
- to calm cramping of the uterus
- to provide a rich source of iron, calcium, manganese, and magnesium. The magnesium content is especially helpful in strengthening the uterine muscles
- Raspberry leaf also contains vitamins B1, B3, and E, which are valuable in pregnancy
- to help eliminate magnesium deficiency symptoms
Raspberry leaf is also used for the following
- to aid fertility
- to promote a plentiful supply of breast milk
- to help stop excess bleeding after birth
- to treat diarrhea
- to regulate irregular menstrual cycle and to decrease heavy periods
- to relieve sore throats
- to reduce fever
The raspberry plant is used for its astringent and for its stimulant properties. Red raspberry leaf tea has been used for a mouth rinse lessening inflammation of mucous membranes; to treat sore throats, thrushes in the mouth (a yeast infection) or canker sores and in soothing the pain they cause. This action may be due to a substantial quantity of hydrolyzable tannin in the leaves, which contain both gallic and ellagic acids in the free and combined forms. It also soothes wounds and ulcers when applied topically. The plant’s moistened leaves can also be used as a poultice.
Red raspberry leaf is used for gastrointestinal (GI) tract disorders, including diarrhea. It is also used for respiratory system disorders, including flu and swine flu, for heart problems, fevers, diabetes, and vitamin deficiency. Used to promote sweating, urination, and bile production some people use it for general "purification of skin and blood.”
Today, women continue to use raspberry leaf for painful periods, heavy periods, morning sickness associated with pregnancy, preventing miscarriage, and to ease labor and delivery.
The primary chemical constituents of Red Raspberry (Rubus idaeus), both the fruit and the leaves, are flavonoids, the alkaloid fragarine, citric acid, malic acid, pectin, vitamin C, iron citrate, calcium chloride, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc, chromium and tannins.
The leaves also contain significant amounts of vitamins A and E as well as the entire B-complex. According to Dr. Edward Shook, it is the abundant citrate of iron in the raspberry leaf and berry that gives this plant its "bloodmaking" ability, female organ "regulating" properties as well as the contracting action on the female genitalia and other tissues and membranes.
The primary medicinal action and uses of red raspberry leaf are astringent, alterative, anti-abortifacient, antiseptic, antispasmodic, hemostatic, hormonal regulator, hypotensive, kidney tonic, nutritive, prostate tonic, uterine tonic and digestive aid. It has been used successfully in the treatment of all female disorders (even leucorrhea and prolapsed uterus), diarrhea, dysentery, cholera, hemorrhoids and vomiting in children.
Raspberry leaves and fruit can benefit visual acuity when used consistently over a period of time. A few topical applications of raspberry leaf tea include its use as a mouthwash for canker sores, an eyewash for mucus discharge, a douche for leukorrhea, a dressing for wounds, and a hair rinse for dark hair. Raspberry leaf tea has also been used in the treatment of diabetes, gastric disorders, teething, colic, ulcers, prostate problems, herpes and gonorrhea. For measles, the tea is taken both internally and externally, and also applied as a wash to the eyes.
Raspberry leaves contain polypeptides, flavenoids, and tannins.
SIDE EFFECTS AND CAUTIONS
Raspberry may cause nausea and mild loosening of stools.