Here are some amazing facts about this versatile, mild herb from Birthsource.com (an excellent prenatal resource):
The leaves of the raspberry plant have been used as a medicinal herb for centuries... It is believed that raspberry leaf, if taken regularly through pregnancy and labor can:
- Ease the symptoms of morning sickness
- Sooth and prevent bleeding gums which many pregnant women often experience.
- Relax the smooth muscles of the uterus when it is contracting (Burn & Withell, 1941).
- Assist with the birth of the baby and the placenta.
- Calm cramping of the uterus.
- Provide a rich source of iron, calcium, manganese and magnesium. The magnesium content is especially helpful in strengthening the uterine muscle.
- Raspberry leaf also contains vitamins B1, B3 and E, which are valuable in pregnancy.
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 decrease heavy periods.
- To relieve sore throats.
- To reduce fever.
It is thought that around one fifth of pregnant women take some form of raspberry leaf. Women believe that it will shorten labor and make the birth easier. The use of this herb for remedial purposes dates back to the sixth century and its benefits in childbirth have been recorded as a proven aid in maternity in the most ancient of herbal books.
RRL can also be taken in capsule form, which is how I took it up until a few months ago--just make sure you drink plenty of water with it so your system can absorb and assimilate it. I took it before and after the birth of my second child and, though I had made a few other changes that time around as well, I believe RRL helped shrink my laboring down from 22 hours to 4 hours and have no issues with my milk coming in late or not being plentiful enough. Now if it will just help with its current intended purpose...