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Red Raspberry Leaf

Image of Red Raspberry Leaf

Common Name: Raspberry Leaf

Latin Name: Rubus idaeus

History:
For centuries Red Raspberry Leaf has been recognized as a powerful uterine tonic by indigenous people throughout the world and is considered a “Women’s Herb”. Ancient wisdom considers Red Raspberry Leaf as connected with the Great Earth Mother who will remind you to love and honor your family and community, and her leaves are considered to contain very powerful nurturing magic.

Native to North America & Europe, it can be found growing wild here in Canada and the Northern United States, growing in hedges, neglected fields, thickets, and hills. It flowers in May and is prized for its fruit which ripen from June to August, although, I have had ripe berries in my garden with a second growing season in September.

R. idaeus has been cultivated since the 16th century, but there is a wild variety R. strigousus which is considered more potent and can be found growing all over North America. You can pick the leaves being sure it is not sprayed, dry them, or use them fresh to make a refreshing and nutritive tea. Its astringent leaf tea has been used in folk medicine for diarrhea, dysentery, to strengthen pregnant women, help aid in childbirth and helpful for painful periods.

Parts Used:
Leaves and fruit

Constituents:
Fruit sugar, volatile oil, pectin, citric acid, malick acid

Actions:
Astringent, tonic, parturient

Medicinal Uses:
Raspberry leaves are considered herb supreme for pregnancy. Hoffman states that “Raspberry leaves have a long tradition of use in pregnancy to strengthen and tone the tissue of the womb, assisting contractions and checking any hemorrhage during labour. This will happen if the herb is drunk regularly during pregnancy.” It however has a wide range of uses and can be used as an all-purpose herb for your medicine cabinet.

As an astringent, it can be used for a wide variety of uses including diarrhoea, easing mouth problems like bleeding gums and inflammations or as a gargle for sore throats. For childhood ailments it is helpful for reducing fevers and for helping to build strong bones and teeth.

A nutritional powerhouse, RRL is packed full of vitamins, minerals, calcium, iron phosphorous, potassium, and vitamins B, C and E. Polyphenols in the leaf and fruit are known to have strong antioxidant properties. I incorporate RRL tea often as part of my regular daily intake of vitamins and minerals as its simply just good for you.

As a women’s herb, RRL is helpful for excessive bleeding during menstrual cycles and to help with painful periods. Most prized however, RRL is considered a tonic herb due to its high nutritive value making it wonderful for use during all cycles of womanhood.

Polyphenols in the leaf and fruit are known to have strong antioxidant properties

Red Raspberry Leaf & Pregnancy:

In my 20 + years of working with herbs and pregnancy, I have always known this magical herb as an ally to pregnant women and safe to use throughout all 9 months of pregnancy. Of late however, I have heard musings from pregnant that women believe that it induces labour and should not be taken during pregnancy. I was so disturbed by this misinformation I wrote a specific blog about it, that you can find here.

Red Raspberry has been traditional used as a tonic for pregnancy as it is safe, nutritive and helps to tone the uterus. As a pregnancy tonic, it is rich in vitamins, minerals, calcium, and iron needed during this special period in a women’s life to aid her throughout her pregnancy.
 
The presence of fragarine, an alkaloid found in high concentrations in the leaf, contributes to the plant’s potency as a pregnancy tonic. Fragarine helps to tone, relax, and firm the pelvic muscles helping with ease of birth. RRL’s astringent properties help to control bleeding and prevent haemorrhaging during labour. It acts as an aid in cleansing the afterbirth from the system, is used in the fourth trimester to help enrich milk flow and provide beneficial nutrients to new mama and baby.

Used In: Mom to Be Tea, New Mama Comfort Tea