Raspberry (Rubus Idaeus)
The well-known herb, red raspberry leaf comes from the leaves of the common raspberry plant, rubus idaeus. It has been super prominent in my life recently, so I thought I would share my experiences and knowledge of this plant with you. From the ever-bearing plants hanging with abundant fruit that make delicious jams, cobblers and smoothies to the tea leaf infusions to help regulate my body as it transitions into motherhood and prepare for labor, this plant never ceases to amaze me.
Red Raspberry leaf is an effective herbal medicine, especially for women. It is cultivated and grows wild in temperate climates throughout Europe and North America. This plant is very common and many of us know it for its delicious red berries, but the leaves also contain many powerful medicinal benefits especially for the female reproductive system. This tonic herb is mild tasting and has been known to help balance hormones, deal with excess PMS symptoms and improve health of conception, pregancy and labor as it has a particular affinity to the uterus and female reproductive system.
The fruit is well known as a tasty berry, flowering in early summer time and consumed fresh or processed into cordials, jams, or preserves. It is also very high in antioxidants. In folk medicine, raspberry flowers have been used for hemorrhoids, pimples. malaria, and a poultice for inflammatory conditions of the eye.
The Textbook of Natural Medicine states- “Used since the sixth century, the raspberry leaf plant is the best known and oldest of all the herb infusions and [is] included as a proved aid in maternity in the most ancient of herbal books.”
Part of plant used: Leaves and Fruit
Constituents: Flavonoids (mainly glycosides kaempferol/ quercetin), tannins, fruit sugar, pectin, citric acid, malic acid
Benefits of Raspberry Leaf Tea
Women health- Used during pregnancy to strengthen and tone the tissue of the womb, assists/ strengthens contractions and checks hemorrhage during labor, helps stop excessive leucorrhoea. It is known as a uterine tonic, with a strengthening, toning and nourishing effect on tissue/ function of female reproductive organs. Helps to reduce pain from contractions during labour. Helps ease childbirth, improve milk production and sped recovery postpartum.
Oral Support- Helps with issues of the mouth such as mouth ulcers, bleeding gums, inflammations, and sore throats
Nutritional aid- Rich in iron and calcium, potassium, and vitamins A, C and E and antioxidants. Anti-inflammatory due to the high amounts of ellagic acid.
Digestive support- Ease bloating due to water retention due to being a diuretic. Helps to ease mild nausea and diarrhea
Tonifying- Tones muscus membranes throughout body, soothes urinary tract and kidneys,
There are not many known interactions with other herbs/ dietary supplements but there are a few things to take into account.
“Raspberry roots and leaves may be a mild diuretic, and increase the flow of urine. Patients taking herbs and supplements that increase the flow of urine should use raspberry with caution. Raspberry may also have laxative properties, and care should be taken with other herbs and supplement with these effects, such as psyllium.”
• Certain extracts of raspberry leaves may relax muscles. Use caution when taking other herbs/ supplements that may have sedative, relaxing, or antispasmotic effects.
No drug interactions have been researched and reported.
No side effects known- please consult a well-versed healthcare practitioner if you want to take his herb while pregnant.
Use of red raspberry leaf in complicated pregnancies (e.g. Hypertension )
History of c-section/ undergoing planned caesarean for medical reason.
Women undergoing induction of labour.
Women with history of miscarriage/ premature labour.
Women having vaginal bleeding during 3rd trimester.
Women with history of endometriosis, fibroids, breast or ovarian cancer.
As with dosage of all herbs- dosing varies according to constitution, weight and age.
Infusion- use boiling water onto dried herb , let sit 10-15 minutes; one cup over 2tsp. drink freely
Tincture- 2-4 ml three times a day (1:5) in 40%)
*Disclaimer- *These statements/products are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease, please check in with a well-versed healthcare practitioner to see if these herbal choices are right for you. Substances mentioned above may be associated with mild side effects depending upon your constitution, so like with any herbs use with caution and make responsible choices. First and foremost listen to your body and your doctor or midwife.
Pizzorno JE, Murray MT. Textbook of Natural Medicine. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier/Churchill Livingstone; 2013.
Hoffman,David. Medical Herbalism, The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Healing Arts Press, Vermont. 2003.