Recipes and Tips for Healthier Living and Smarter Budgeting

Friday, June 25, 2010

Red Raspberry Leaf Tea and Women

For the past three years or so I have taken a daily amount of Red Raspberry Leaf which has depended upon the stage I'm in: newly pregnant, close to delivery, breast feeding, or--like now--struggling with secondary infertility. In an effort to strengthen and tone my uterus as well as regulate my cycles, (in addition to all its other benefits) I currently drink a quart of RRL tea (no caffeine) every day. (Because this high amount made me go through tea bags much too quickly, I ordered a bunch in bulk and now use it loose. Don't worry, I strain it.) There is something about it that is so satisfying, that my body craves, and I can feel it is good for me. It has a pleasant aroma by itself and a very mild taste for an herbal tea, but I like to make it more interesting and tasty by adding a couple spoonfuls of frozen juice concentrate or a spoonful of honey.

Here are some amazing facts about this versatile, mild herb
from (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...


Brandi M said...

very interesting! So does that mean I can dry the raspberry leaves from the bushes in the garden??

Katrina said...

Good question! I would research that and see what you think. You would especially want to make sure your bushes weren't treated with any kind of fertilizer or pesticide, and find out what parts of it can be harvested (there are little stick bits in my tea too).

Patty B said...

Thanks to your tip at the beginning of my pregnancy, I have been able to use it for the past 7-8 months. The Braxton Hicks have been a lot less frequent compared to last pregnancy. And do have to agree to the satisfying/ soothing effect the tea has. So far, so good!

Carolyn said...

How do you know how much you need to drink a day? (Depending on what stage of life you're in or what you're trying to achieve.)

Katrina said...

If you check out the BirthSource link, it will tell you quiet a bit of that. When I was taking it to aid my fertility, my herbalist friend advised me to drink a quart a day, with 1 Tb. of the loose leaf tea per 8 oz. Since I drink so much water a day anyway, I just substituted the tea for some of my water.

Amy said...

Hey Katrina,
This sounds so interesting. I'm a very unknoweldgeable in this, but my husband and I were discussing the word of wisdom and tea - how do you know what teas are ok with that? and are healthful etc. If you have info to help me understand that would be great. I love your ideas and your research - thank you!

Katrina said...

Good question.
Pure herbal teas are good for the body but teas with caffeine and tanic acid are not, which is what the WoW says not to consume (categorized under "hot drinks"). Pure herbal teas (check the ingredients) are just the plants in crushed form, like you would find in an herbal capsule.
Hope this helps!

Amy said...

Thank you, of course that totally makes sense. I wasn't sure what was in the other teas (tanic acid) that made them bad I guess


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...