Red raspberry leaf was probably the first herb I really learned in depth. I first heard of it when I was pregnant & fell in love with it! This is pretty common, as it’s considered the pregnancy herb. There are so many benefits of red raspberry leaf tea that it should really be a staple in most households. It’s great for women’s health, especially when trying to conceive, pregnant or to help alleviate period discomforts. Of course, this doesn’t mean that men are excluded, as it definitely has benefits for them too.
Benefits of Red Raspberry Leaf
Red Raspberry leaf is an antioxidant
Berries tend to be high in antioxidants, but red raspberries leaves are even higher in antioxidants than their berry counterpart. According to the NIH (source)
“Antioxidants are substances that may prevent potentially disease-producing cell damage that can result from natural bodily processes and from exposure to certain chemicals. “
Web MD states
Antioxidants protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free readicals. These may help prevent certain medical conditions such as some cancers, macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s disease and some arthritis-related conditions.
It’s chock full of nutrients
Red Raspberry leaf is high in vitamins C, E, B complex, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, niacin, magnesium, and manganese. It’s also a decent source of iron. I drank red raspberry leaf tea every day while pregnant and never needed an iron supplement. Its high iron content will help you post-partum too when your bleeding like crazy those first few weeks.
Strengthen and Tones the Uterus
The best benefit to drinking Raspberry leaf tea is its ability to strengthen and tone the uterus. Setting up prime conditions for birthing. When consumed in larger doses (usually a few cups a day) toward the end of pregnancy it tends to speed up labor by allowing the uterus to have stronger contractions. My first labor was long in my opinion, 17 hours with the last two actually pushing. My baby was also nearly 10lbs. I have heard of women going much, much longer, so maybe mine was only really long to me. The second time I used it differently and made a super strong infusion and labor only lasted 2 1/2 hours. You can read about that here. I honestly believe that my labor was so speedy because of the strong infusion.
Its ability to strengthen and tone the uterus, along with hormone regulation makes for shorter, less painful periods. (omg, yes!)
My husband’s even been sipping on cups of raspberry leaf tea, once he got past the whole “uterus tea” thing. It benefits men by helping to detox and regulate hormones. It’s a great reproductive tonic for both men and women. If you are currently into the baby making business, then both parties should drink up.
Children and Babies
Red raspberry leaf is considered a safe herb for children and can help alleviate stomach aches and diarrhea. When I suspect tummy troubles, I brew my toddler a weak cup of this tea to help soothe his stomach. Of course, never give a baby under one year of age anything to drink other than milk or formula unless ok’d by your pediatrician.
How to use Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
Where to get it
I prefer loose leaf tea. It’s way cheaper than tea bags, plus I find the quality just tends to be a lot better. I did the math over in this post here and the cost difference is ridiculous. (If you want the quick answer loose leaf is 80 cents an oz, while tea bags are about $5 an oz. This still blows my mind!) I get my herbs from Bulk Herb Store. You can get a 1/2lb of organic red raspberry leaf for $6.50. That is A LOT of tea, for a very low price.
You can also use this site, and they give you free shipping over $75 dollars. I love free shipping.
If tea bags are more your thing the best brand I’ve found is this tea. It’s all organic and they are one of the top ranking for healthiest, least contaminated source of tea bags I’ve found. A lot of the other very popular tea brands have a startling number of toxins. You can find some good information on tea brands here.
Typically I don’t recommend capsules. Herbal supplements are not regulated by the FDA. This is both a good and a bad thing. Bad because no one is testing what’s in it. When privately tested many herbal supplements were found to have herbs in them that were not on the label, meaning who knows what you are getting. Some supplements were even found not to have any of the herb specified on the label. However, if you decide that you MUST you in a capsule form, I trust these ones. They are packaged by Starwest Botanicals which is a very trusted source of herbs.
Making your cup
To make an 8oz cup of tea simply put 1 teaspoon of dried leaves or even more simply a tea bag into 6-8oz of boiling water. Steep covered for 10-15 minutes. Drink 1 cup for every trimester you’re in. (ex. 2nd trimester drink 2 cups daily, 3rd trimester drink 3) You can either enjoy your cup as it or add some honey and lemon. Some people preferred to make a larger batch and refrigerate it to have ice tea when the urge strikes. It should be good up to a week in the fridge.
I make mine super strong with usually 1-2 tablespoons of herb. I’ll add chamomile to mine if I’m feeling a bit anxious, or nettle for a nutrient punch.
If you’re looking for how to make a strong infusion for birthing purposes hop over to this post.
I have personally drunk a cup of this tea a day from the start of pregnancy. I continued drinking it throughout breastfeeding my son, and into my second pregnancy. There are some who suggest that red raspberry leaf tea could be dangerous in the first trimester for some people, but I haven’t found concrete evidence of this. As always, consult your doctor or midwife before starting any type of herbal supplement.
Are you pregnant? Check out these FREE Breastfeeding printables and get prepared!