I think raspberry leaf is one of my favorite herbs to use medicinally. I’ve always absolutely loved raspberries themselves and started growing them a few years ago. There’s nothing I like better in the summer time when I’m out doing chores but to head over to the berry patch and take a little raspberry break! Did you know that the leaves have really great benefits, especially for women?
A little history….
Raspberry leaf also known as Rubus idaeus is Native to Europe and North America. It’s been used medicinally for centuries. It is a small shrub that has woody stems and thorns. The leaves are a light green color and the blossoms are small white flowers which form sweet red berries. Both the leaves and the berries contain a citrate of iron. This iron helps the body with blood making and has regulating properties, so they contain astringent and contracting action on the internal tissues of the body. The leaves themselves contain pectin and other organic acids, potassium and calcium. They are also a very rich source of Vitamin C which helps build the immune system and supports the Adrenal glands.
What are the benefits….
Red raspberry leaf has been known to be a great female uterine tonic and has been used for just about any female complaint. It has the ability to relax tight uterine muscles and also the ability to strengthen the relaxed uterine muscles. Because of this some midwives will use it as a stimulant at the beginning of labor. Clinical studies have revealed that there does tend to be a shorter labor and reduced risk forcep usage when using raspberry leaf. Because of its ability to be a uterine stimulant it’s best to limit it at least during the first trimester to no more then a couple of cups a day, of course consult your own physician.
It has many benefits but what I have really found it great for is menstrual cramps. It contains something called ferulic acid which relaxes the uterus. It also stimulates the muscles that hold the uterus allowing for an easier menstrual flow. I have found this to be the case with myself and it has just about eliminated my need for any sort of pain reliever each month. I started out drinking the tea on a regular basis throughout the month and after a few months of that I noticed a huge difference in my discomfort level. Now I only drink it beginning my first day throughout the day and the next couple of days, which does the trick for me with no potential side effects that pain relievers might pose. At first I made a gallon of it sweetened with a bit of raw honey and drank it cold. Now I just brew up a nice warm mug of it when needed. It is pleasant tasting although I don’t really think it tastes like raspberries at all. I consider it to be another gift placed here to make our lives easier. I am reminded of the ending of the bible verse from Ezekiel 47:12………..the fruit will serve for food and the leaves for healing. The leaves surely do heal!
The best way to take it…
You can purchase tinctures or make your own but I find the tea to be very effective.
2 tsp. dried raspberry leaves
8 oz of hot water
Steep for 7 minutes and strain.
Be careful not to mistake raspberry flavored drinks for raspberry leaves as they won’t have the same benefits.