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Raspberry Leaf Tea: Rubus Idaeus

Red raspberry leaf is often used during pregnancy. A strong tea can be made into ice cubes and given as ice chips to the women during labor. It will help prevent post-partum haemorrhage. It is used to improve digestion. This herb is also useful in passive uterine haemorrhage, menorrhagia and symptoms of diarrhea.

For thousands of years midwives and Chinese herbalists have used herbs with very good results. Most of our allopathic medicines have come from herbs. A safe commonly used herbal tonic for pregnancy is red raspberry leaf tea. Red Raspberry Leaf Tea has a rich flavour similar to green tea, grayish green in colour. It can be drunk on its own or mixed with other herbal teas.

Most people are probably familiar with the popular fruit, the Raspberry (Rubus idaeus). Raspberry leaf tea is often confused with the fruit of the plant.

Loaded with calcium, iron, phosphorus and potassium, and brimming with vitamins B, C and E, raspberry leaves are storehouse of nutrients and a tonic to the entire body. They are highly regarded as a female tonic due to their high content of fragrine, (also called framamine), an alkaloid, strengthening the entire pelvic region, and helps to tone to the muscles of the pelvis, ovaries and uterus. It strengthens the uterine wall during pregnancy, reduces the pain of childbirth, and helps to reduce false labor pains. These nutrients make it an excellent prevention and treatment for anemia and leg cramps.

Red raspberry leaves are taken by women all over the world during pregnancy to strengthen and tone the uterus in preparation for childbirth. The high calcium content of the leaves help nourish the nervous system and relieve pain, and so drinking the infusion during light labor is good idea if pain becomes an issue.

It is thought that around one fifth of pregnant women take some form of raspberry leaf. Women believe that it will shorten labour 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.

The abundant calcium in the leaves makes raspberry a good ally for strengthening the bones and preventing osteoporosis. They are also very astringent and so effective when taken to control heavy menstrual bleeding.

When to use:-

There is agreement among many clinicians that taken daily in the last six to eight weeks of pregnancy (1 – 3 cups per day of tea) is beneficial to the uterine and pelvic muscles. Some say it is advised to avoid Raspberry Leaf tea in the first trimester, particularly if you have a history of miscarriage.

The more conservative stance is that red raspberry leaf can cause minor spotting in the beginning of a pregnancy, and some U.K. midwives claim an increase in miscarriage rates. Contact your midwife, herbalist or physician for more information. If you’re thinking about using it, to be safe, just wait until you’re 36 weeks along.

What Does Red Raspberry Leaf Do?

Red raspberry leaf does not start labour or promote contractions. It is NOT an emmenagogue or oxytocic herb. What it does help strengthen the pelvic and uterine muscles so that once labor does start the muscles will be more efficient.

Brewed as a tea or as an infusion, red raspberry leaf is one of the safest and commonly used tonic herbs for women wanting to get pregnant or for women who are already pregnant. Red raspberry leaf (Rubus Idaeus) tones the uterus, improves contractions and decreases constipation.

Studies indicate raspberry leaves help reduce blood sugar levels, making it a useful herb in the management of diabetes.

· Sooth and prevent bleeding gums which many pregnant women often experience

· Relax the smooth muscles of the uterus when it is contracting

· 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 muscles. Raspberry leaf also contains vitamins B1, B3 and E, which are valuable in pregnancy

· To aid fertility

· To promote a plentiful supply of breast milk

· To help stop excess bleeding after birth

· To treat diarrhoea

· To regulate irregular menstrual cycle and decreases heavy periods

* Sources are from LMC, New Zealand

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