Health Benefits of Red Raspberry Leaf
Best known as “the woman’s herb,” red raspberry leaf tea contains the alkaloid fragrine, which can help strengthen the uterus as well as the pelvic area.
Red raspberry leaf is known to:
- Ease menstrual discomfort
- Improve reproductive health
- Balance hormones to increase fertility
- May improve chances of implantation
- May prevent miscarriage by strengthening and toning the uterine wall
The uterus needs a lot of vitamins and minerals to function properly and red raspberry leaf tea has almost all of them. Red raspberry leaf is rich in vitamins and minerals, containing vitamins C, E, and A, a variety of B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus. It also contains essential trace minerals such as zinc, iron, chromium and manganese. These vitamins and minerals are in a readily absorbable form, making Red Raspberry Leaf tea a wonderful, way to supplement a balanced diet during preconception, pregnancy and beyond. The nutritional boost that RRL gives you can help improve your immune system as well.
Other Uses for Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
Red raspberry leaf is also used in folk medicine for ailments unrelated to pregnancy such as to lower unhealthy blood pressure and blood sugar levels, as well as to treat acne, adrenal fatigue, sore throat, canker sores, and cold and fevers. It has been used to treat children with diarrhea, vomiting or the flu. Red raspberry leaf tea can also help ease a pet’s stomach upset when he is eating something he shouldn’t have. Men can benefit from this tea too as it supports prostate health.
How It Can Help Pregnancy and Birth
Studies have shown that red raspberry leaf tea can help to make labor faster and reduce complications and interventions during birth. One study found that women who consumed RRL tea regularly are less likely to go overdue or give birth prematurely. These women may also be less likely to receive an artificial rupture of their membranes or require a cesarean section, forceps, or vacuum birth than the women in the control group. Red raspberry leaf has many other benefits to pregnancy, birth, and postpartum too.
- May reduce morning sickness
- Improves the effectiveness of contractions
- May be especially beneficial to VBAC moms. A stronger uterus may be less likely to rupture, and more likely to help birth a baby.
- Improve strength of amniotic sac
- Reduced pain during labor and after birth. By toning the muscles used during labor and delivery, labor may be shorter and less painful.
- Helps balance postpartum hormones
- High mineral count helps bring in breast milk for many women
In addition, anecdotal evidence and the centuries of use for women’s health in traditional medicine speak to the benefits of consuming red raspberry leaf tea.
When to Start Red Raspberry Leaf Tea During Pregnancy?
There is no simple answer to this question. Always talk to your healthcare provider about starting red raspberry leaf tea.
Having said that many healthcare professionals (usually midwives) recommend waiting until the 2nd trimester to begin drinking red raspberry leaf tea. This is because RRL is a uterine tonic and stimulates the pelvic floor muscles. This may increase uterine contractions and potentially threaten early labor, although there are no studies to corroborate this.
Some moms prefer to wait until the third trimester, or even until 34 weeks to start drinking red raspberry leaf tea. (They’ll combine their tea drinking with their date eating to help prepare for labor.)
Other midwives and herbalists may recommend beginning red raspberry leaf tea as early as you want because it has been used safely during pregnancy for centuries.
The key is to watch how YOUR body responds and adjust accordingly.
How Much Red Raspberry Leaf Tea to Drink?
With your doctor or midwife’s approval, start with 1 cup of red raspberry leaf tea per day starting in the second trimester. Watch for any uterine cramping or other reactions. If you don’t experience any, you can talk to your healthcare provider about increasing to 2 cups per day. Again, watch for any uterine cramping. If you notice any, cut back on your dosage for two weeks and try again.
Keep in mind, some moms have irritable uteruses and can only drink red raspberry leaf tea once they reach their due date because of uterine cramping.
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