Raspberry Leaf

 

Who doesn’t love raspberries!?!? So sweet and plump with a perfect tart in some of them… One of my favorite berries, it brings me back to my childhood. Warm summer days with a slight breeze cooling us off and red stained hands spotted with a few prick marks if we weren’t careful. My dad would plop down that square plastic carton or a ice cream pail and we would pick them until they were full. When we moved to Seattle 6 years ago we lost those moments. There were wild blackberries but those weren’t the same for me :/ Now we are back but wont have raspberry plants for a while. But I digress, we are here for a different reason!

Raspberry leaves! No, they aren’t sweet like the berry and to get the benefits in a tea you DONT want raspberry flavored. Sorry, most flavorings aren’t good for you for one, but the leaves are what help you here. They still have the most wonderful smell alone though and every time I open my bag it takes me back to those lost moments of ours.

One of my best friends started taking the tea before I even was far into hippy mode. She used it to help regulate that oh so fun time we women enjoy. HA. I thought it was a good idea but taking something every day for a good 30 years wasn’t my idea of fun, or even attainable for me I thought. Heh. Every time I think of the tea I think of her. From her output and others, it has been said to help a lot.. I didn’t start taking it until I got pregnant though and wont know personally on that area for a while I hope, haha.

But I guess now I AM taking it daily,  funny how things work. I can attest to it working throughout my pregnancy, labor, and I also believe nursing. All of those a product of hormone balancing like regulating your cycle.

Here is a short synopsis of Raspberry Leaves.

(While generally safe, PLEASE do read to the bottom, as there are some cases you do NOT want to take R.L. )

Contains:

  • Vitamins A, B complex, C, and E
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorous
  • Iron
  • Pectin
  • Fragrine – an alkaloid which gives tone to the muscles of the pelvic region and strengthens it, including the uterus.
  • Very high in anthocyanins (A natural antioxidant and the pigments that color red, purple, and blue plants. They have many benefits but may help by being anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-cancer to name a few)

It helps increase fertility, tones and strengthens the uterus( which may be beneficial for VBACS!), regulate hormones, helps prevent miscarriage, ease labor, remedy many other ailments, and helps with breastmilk production. It can help with morning sickness and also the leg cramps and swelling. The minerals, vitamins, and plant compounds found in R.L  help to give you “rich milk”.

Now the lengthy part..

Its been long said that raspberry leaf tea may make labor and childbirth easier. However it doesn’t speed it up. I know, I know.. I am sorry. For hundreds of years at least! In fact they tested Raspberry Leaf Extract on pregnant rats in a study published. They found it did help with contractions during labor. I think I would agree! I feel it even helped with after birth for me! I had two homemade gatorades made with my Pregnancy Tea but forgot to drink them until after birth. I had drank my daily tea before labor though. Its muscle relaxant properties are at work with both of these situations. It has been said it makes contractions more effective by concentrating them and can also help with bleeding during labor. Raspberry can also strengthen the membranes protecting baby in birth!

Consuming Raspberry Leaf tea throughout pregnancy reduces the risk of C-sections, forceps or vacuum-extraction births showing less instances than women who did not consume the tea

Well, what about after birth? The great thing is that that leftover R.L you have could help you with lactation and depression! It balances hormones which will help with that and cramping too! I actually based my lactation tea off of my pregnancy one ( so you don’t have to worry about making too much ahead of time unless you make like 50 gallons of mix..)

For menstruation it helps by regulating your cycle including the frequency and length. It also reduces just about ever symptom you get. Pretty cool huh? Even though Raspberry has all these hormone related benefits, it can actually help remove extra hormones your body doesn’t need, which is one way it helps to regulate them!

Other remedies not specific to women include digestion, diarrhea, gas, helps with colds/flu, sore throats, may fight infections, helps skin rashes,  diabetes, heart and respiratory problems, and purifying your skin and blood!  Men can also look forward to its cleaning extra hormones effect, many men are exposed to estrogen/ estrogen mimicking chemicals daily with plastics and chemicals.

It is generally safe for all ages and some people drink one cup and some have drank up to a gallon daily. DO exercise caution and be wise. Honestly 2-3 cups would be ideal for a pregnant lady, less for children. And personally I would think unless you are very deficient that much more is probably not needed. Now read below for some important mumbo jumbo. Seriously.

 

Now to the don’t do this or that part.

In a report in 2007, “International Journal of Toxicology” reports that Castoreum, an extract derived from secretions of a beaver’s anal glands, is an FDA-approved natural food additive that has been used for decades to flavor foods. It is commonly added to vanilla ice cream and raspberry-flavored products, such as raspberry tea. So make sure you get the LEAVES!

While no side effects have been reported. It is still wise to use precautions, as always!!

WebMD says:

Pregnancy and breast feeding: It’s LIKELY SAFE to eat red raspberry in food amounts during pregnancy. Red raspberry leaf is POSSIBLY SAFE for use in medicinal amounts during late pregnancy, but only under the direct supervision of a healthcare provider. Red raspberry leaf is commonly used by nurse midwives to ease delivery. Don’t take it on your own. The concern is that red raspberry might act like the hormone estrogen, and this might harm the pregnancy.

Not enough is known about the safety of taking red raspberry during breast-feeding. It’s best to stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Red raspberry might act like estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, don’t use red raspberry.

 

Hopefully you learned a bit here! What have you used it for or what will you try it for now?

 

 

 

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