Red raspberry leaf (Rubus idaeus) tea is simple to make and highly nutritious. It is one of my favorite herbs and for so many good reasons. I love to use this wonderful herb and feel like it is especially made for women!
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Once upon a time, I didn’t know a thing about herbs, except that they tasted great (at least the ones in the spice cabinet), and I had this preconceived idea that herby people were a bit different to say the least. After having several babies and dabbling in elderberries to help keep their immune systems strong, I found myself many years later, an herbalist.
When baby #7 came along, red raspberry leaf was a game changer. Turns out, women all around the globe have been using red raspberry leaf for various health aliments and to induce labor, for centuries. Mamas, you need this one under your belt for the last half of your pregnancy! Let’s talk about why this herb is fabulous.
What Are the Health Benefits of Red Raspberry Leaf?
Red raspberry leaf contains many vitamins such as vitamin A, B, C, & E. It is loaded with minerals calcium, magnesium, zinc, and potassium. Many of these minerals have a positive effect on cellular processes.
Red raspberry leaf also contains many antioxidants. These antioxidants help protect the body against free radicals that can cause oxidative stress. Oxidative stress puts pressure on cells and tissue, essentially aging the body quicker and causing more stress. These antioxidants will neutralize or remove free radicals by donating an electron.
How Does Red Raspberry Leaf Help in Pregnancy?
Red raspberry leaf is the pregnancy herb.
Red raspberry leaf is perhaps one of the most historically venerated herbal uterine tonics. It is used during pregnancy to strengthen the uterus, improve labor outcome, and prevent excessive bleeding after birth. Its use continues to be highly popular. One study indicates that approximately 63% of US midwives use this herb to stimulate labor.Red Raspberry Leaf – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics
As a uterine tonic, red raspberry leaf prepares the body for labor. Many compounds in red raspberry leaf, help to tighten and tone muscles in the pelvic area, including the uterine wall.
Red Raspberry Leaf (Likely Safe) – Rich in iron, this herb has helped tone the uterus, increase milk production, decrease nausea, and ease labor pains. Many pregnancy teas contain red raspberry leaf to help promote uterine health during pregnancy. There is some controversy about whether this should be used throughout pregnancy or just in the second and third trimester, so many health care providers remain cautious and only recommend using it after the first trimester.Herbal Tea and Pregnancy | American Pregnancy Association
After giving birth six previous times, I was blown away after using this herb faithfully for the last three months of pregnancy. One of my dear friends gave birth at home (planned), and by the recommendation of her midwife used this herb for several months leading up to labor. It helped her to get through the contractions much easier, and her body was fully engaged in delivery.
My labor from start to finish was 3 hours (for baby #7). When we arrived at the hospital, (40-minute drive), I was dilated to a 9. The pain was intense, but I never would have dreamed I was dilated to a 9 with that kind of pain. I was thinking more around a 5. The delivery was one push. Now, I realize that having a lot of babies also made a big difference in how fast and smooth things went. But the recovery was best I’ve ever experienced and for me it usually gets worse with each baby!
Anyone who has given birth, knows that after the baby is born, that wonderful hormone oxytocin, helps the uterus to contract back down to its normal size. That part of recovery can be very painful, especially the more babies a person has birthed.
This time I was equipped with a heating pad, a Jovi patch and this tincture Afterease that has helped in recovery past. But I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t need to use all of these remedies. The red raspberry leaf really helped to tone the uterus back down with significant less pain.
For the next six weeks, I took red raspberry leaf daily. It was mind blowing how well it worked.
How Do You Take Herbs?
There are many ways to take herbs!
- Teas (or hot infusion- same thing)- Water brought to a boil, turned off, and herbs brewed inside.
- Cold Infusion- Herbs put in cold unheated water and left to sit overnight.
- Tinctures- Liquid extracts in a bottle, made using solvents such as vinegars, glycerin, or alcohol mixed with the herbs.
- Herbal pills- Powdered herbs mixed with the right water/ herb ratio to make an actual pill that can be swallowed.
- Capsules– Powdered herbs put inside of capsules and swallowed like a pill.
- Electuaries- Herbs in powdered form mixed with good tasting things like peanut butter, honey, or real maple syrup (great way for kids to take herbs- Mary Poppins style with a spoonful of sugar!).
The magic of taking herbs- there is no right or wrong way to do it. All that matters is that you get the herb inside of you, and the herb will know what to do when it gets there!
Two of my favorite ways to take herbs are hot and cold infusions.
Cold infusions are easy. Simply put red raspberries leaves in a jar (either powdered, chopped, or whole) and fill the rest of the jar with water. Put a lid on the jar and shake vigorously. Let it sit for 24 hours or so until the water takes on the color of the herbs. Strain the herbs off and drink! You can add honey or a sweetener if needed. If you add honey, you will need to warm the cold infusion as well as the honey so they will mix properly.
Hot infusions are also simple. In a saucepan, bring water to a boil and remove from heat. Put your herbs in (either powdered, chopped, or whole) and put a lid on the saucepan. Let sit for at least 20 minutes or up to 12 hours. Remove lid, strain, and drink. You can add honey or a sweetener if needed.
How Much Water and Herb Ratio Do You Use?
- Water- 1 cup
- Herbs- 1 teaspoon powdered
Daily: 1-2 teaspoons 2-3 times a day (for powdered herbs)
When I was a newbie to herbs however, I started with capsules. Capsules were easy to buy and take daily. This was actually how I discovered the power of herbs! 1-2 capsules 3 times daily is how many to take, unless otherwise marked on the bottle.
There are so many options out there. Growing your own or harvesting them yourself locally is always the best option. Buying online is another option, or at your local natures store.
How Do You Make Red Raspberry Leaf Tea?
First, in a small saucepan, pour 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
Add 1 heaping teaspoon of dried red raspberry leaf or 2 teaspoons fresh leaf. Use a spoon and mix in.
Put lid on saucepan and let sit for 20 minutes or up to 12 hours.
Strain tea concoctions into a medium sized glass cup or mug. Add some warm honey if desired.
There you have it! A healthy and safe herbal tea that will get you through labor and delivery!
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon red raspberry leaf (powdered or chopped)
- 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
- In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil and remove from heat.
- Pour in red raspberry leaves and stir with a spoon.
- Put on lid and let steep for 20 minutes or up to 12 hours.
- Strain the leaves out. *more info in notes
- If desired, add in 1 teaspoon of warm melted honey and stir. Any other sweetener may be added.
*I use a white handkerchief, or fine mesh fabric, or a fine mesh strainer to strain the loose herbs out.