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Raspberry Leaf: Benefits and How to Make Tea

Updated on February 17, 2017
Raspberry leaves with a flower.
Raspberry leaves with a flower. | Source

About Raspberry Leaves

Raspberry bushes are part of the rose family. You may know that rose hips are high in vitamin C, but so are raspberry leaves! They are found as native plants in North America and in parts of Asia. Many Native American nations recognized the value of the raspberry leaf, using it as an herbal remedy for women.

Even ancient Greeks recognized the inherent value of the leaf. They used it to treat everything from diarrhea to dysentery. They had also figured out that women especially benefit from its nutrients.

Nutrients

The leaves, roots and berries are all edible parts of the raspberry bush. The berries are quite delicious in desserts, and also have medicinal benefits. The leaf, however, has the highest value and concentration of nutrients.

The leaf is high in iron, calcium and niacin. Everyone, especially women, need these nutrients on a daily basis for optimal health. It also contains manganese, a mineral needed by the body in small amounts to ensure proper production of connective tissue (bones and cartilage). Manganese also plays a role in energy metabolism.

The leaf contains potassium, and a number of vitamins including A, B, C and E. These nutrients in particular are beneficial to women during pregnancy. Women also benefit from another oil contained within the leaves: fragrine. This tones and nourishes the entire pelvic region.

Raspberry bushes, leaves, and berries in the height of summer.
Raspberry bushes, leaves, and berries in the height of summer. | Source

Uses

  • Raspberry leaves can be used to make teas and tinctures. You can even make popsicles with it! (Just take the tea and put into ice/popsicle trays and freeze.)
  • The tea will help treat diarrhea and nausea. When used during a cold or flu, drinking lots of raspberry leaf tea (RLT) along with plenty of water can really help reduce symptoms quickly.
  • Because RLT targets the genitourinary system of women, it can help with menstrual cramps. Regular use of RLT helps reduce severity of bleeding and cramping.
  • RLT is the ideal tonic for pregnant women. It tones the muscles of the uterus and may play a role in helping women have easier childbirth and faster labor. In addition, it may help to prevent miscarriage.*
  • RLT is beneficial to breastfeeding women because it enriches breast milk.
  • RLT may also help ease menopausal symptoms in women past childbearing age.
  • Coupled with ginger, RLT can really help to reduce the incidence of morning sickness, and/or lessen its symptoms.
  • RLT with a bit of red clover can help to increase fertility in men and women.
  • Raspberry leaves themselves can be crushed into a poultice and applied to minor skin irritations, canker sores, and even sore gums.
  • In men, the potassium content in RLT can help with leg cramps.

*There is some evidence that drinking RLT in the first trimester, as well as nettles, can be harmful. It is imperative to speak with your doctor or nurse to determine the best course of action for you.

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Get out dried raspberry leaves.Load leaves into diffuser.Pour boiling water over diffuser.Enjoy!
Get out dried raspberry leaves.
Get out dried raspberry leaves. | Source
Load leaves into diffuser.
Load leaves into diffuser. | Source
Pour boiling water over diffuser.
Pour boiling water over diffuser. | Source
Enjoy!
Enjoy! | Source

How to Make Raspberry Leaf Tea

Gather fresh leaves or thoroughly dried leaves. (Caution: make sure, if you are gathering herbs, you know exactly what you are gathering. Some plants look alike and you do not want to gather the wrong herb.)

An easy way to tell is when the raspberry bushes have berries on them in midsummer. The leaves are also green on the upper side and white on the underside. They also have tiny thorns at their base.

Also, do not use slightly wilted leaves because they may harbor a compound that can inhibit blood clotting - something that can be dangerous when nearing childbirth, especially.

Get a tea diffuser and fill it halfway with dried leaves. If you have fresh leaves, use two or three (sometimes I try to use more!) and roll them up into small pieces and then put them in.

If you do not have a diffuser, just place the leaves at the bottom of your cup and proceed. Skim them out with a slotted spoon when finished.

Pour very hot or boiling water over the leaves. Steep them for 15-20 minutes and enjoy!

The taste is somewhat bitter, almost like black tea. However, RLT does not contain caffeine. Add stevia or honey for a sweeter taste.

Disclaimer

Note: These recipes and herbs have not been evaluated by the FDA. Always check with your doctor to be sure if home remedies and treatments are right for you. These treatments aren't intended to cure, treat, prevent, or diagnose any disease or ailment.

Other Raspberry Leaf Tea Recipes

When making these teas, I generally use loose leaf form that I have dried personally or purchased from an organic foods grocery store unless otherwise stated.

Fertility Tea - In the last 50 years, the fertility of individuals has decreased. Some say it's the food we eat and others say it's all the pollutants in our environment. Whatever the case may be, plenty of people are finding it hard to get pregnant. You can help boost your chances with this tea.

  • 1 teaspoon of dried raspberry leaves (or 2-4 fresh leaves)
  • a dropperful of yellow dock extract (don't use if you're prone to thin blood or on blood thinners; this is found at health food stores)
  • 1 teaspoon of dried red clover leaves (or 3-4 fresh leaves)
  • 1 teaspoon of mint leaves (or 1 fresh leaf)

Put into a tea diffuser and steep for 15-20 minutes. Enjoy alone or with a natural sweetener such as honey or stevia. Drink once daily.

Energy Tea - Sometimes a nourishing tea can boost energy levels.

  • 1-2 teaspoons of dried raspberry leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon diced ginger
  • a dash of cinnamon
  • real honey (the kind with the pollen in it, usually found in organic food stores)

In a diffuser, steep the raspberry leaves and ginger for 15-20 mins. Add cinnamon and honey and enjoy! Drink whenever you need a pick-me-up.

Any-kind of Nausea Tea - Ginger is said to help with any sort of nausea ranging from morning sickness to nausea from chemotherapy.

  • 1/4 teaspoon thinly sliced ginger (or 1 gram, about the size of a pencap)
  • 1 teaspoon of dried raspberry leaves

Put ingredients in a tea diffuser and pour boiling water over the diffuser. Steep for 20 minutes and drink.

Comments

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    • cclitgirl profile image
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      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      celebritie - That's awesome! It's fun to try different herbs and combinations to make different flavors. :)

    • celebritie profile image

      celebritie 5 years ago

      This is great because I love tea especially flavored ones.

    • cclitgirl profile image
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      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      aethelthryth and cloverleaffarm - you both have very valid and great points! Indeed, I went back over this hub and inserted a warning about using RLT in the first semester and even in the last month - my herbal books do mention that use of RLT, red clover and nettles in the last month of pregnancy can also pose a problem. Cloverleaf - I think your advice on limiting herb use during pregnancy is a valid one, and also reinforces the point that pregnant women need to work with their doctors/midwives to make sure their dietary and tea habits are sound. :)

    • cloverleaffarm profile image

      Healing Herbalist 5 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham

      Most herbs are contraindicated for pregnant women for one reason or another. Some herbs that are safe include ginger for nausea, oatstraw and for heartburn, slippery elm. Hibiscus can cause hormonal activity, and it lowers blood pressure, and should not be drank during the first few months of pregnancy, as it can cause a miscarriage. During the last months, it may be safe for some.

    • aethelthryth profile image

      aethelthryth 5 years ago from American Southwest

      I have read (Shonda Parker's book on remedies for during pregnancy) that there is one variety of raspberry leaves that may be the problem in pregnancy, but that it is not very clear whether it is just anecdotal. If anyone has solid/recent information, I for one would like to know. (I drank raspberry tea during about the last 7 months of pregnancy.)

      And about hibiscus - I was told by someone from Hawaii (so I figured she has reason to know) that hibiscus can cause miscarriages. And it is in many herb teas (including most of my favorites), so be careful.

    • cclitgirl profile image
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      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Jenna - mmm, that sounds great! Nice!

      B. Leekley - great feedback. Um, I've only tried them with tea. :) Sometimes the root can be a source of good medicine, but if you don't have many canes, you might want to hold off using the root for anything. :) PS - I'll allow the link, but sometimes they can be interpreted as spam in the comments. :)

      Kelley - that's awesome! I love that you were able to use this to help!

      Cloverleaf - You bring up good points. All the herbal remedies books I have and my midwife have advised me that it's safe to drink up until the last month of pregnancy. However, that doesn't mean that they couldn't also be an emmenagogue. I wonder if it's the dosage or something. I know lots of herbs like that - a little is beneficial and too much is not good. I think the lesson here, too, is the fact that it's supremely important to check with your doctor/nurse and to do lots of research to find out what's best for you. Thanks for your feedback!

    • cloverleaffarm profile image

      Healing Herbalist 5 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham

      Nell is correct. Raspberry is an emmenagogue, and can cause an instant miscarriage if taken too early in the pregnancy. It is a wonderful tea, but should be avoided by women who are pregnant until their last trimester. I know people who have drank it throughout, but I would never recommend it. Lots of great recipes.

      PS. Raspberry leaf is also a great toner for the face.

    • profile image

      kelleyward 5 years ago

      I remember reading about the benefits of raspberry leaf tea a while back and I drank it often when I was having fertility problems. This is so well-written and packed with tons of useful information! Some of the best remedies can be found in nature. Voted up, useful, and shared! Kelley

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 5 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Thanks cclitgirl for this informative hub. Up, Useful, Interesting, and shared with followers and on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

      Followup questions: Are the leaves only good for making tea or can they be eaten, either raw or cooked? And, how are the roots prepared and eaten? Why would anyone harvest the roots and thereby kill the plant and lose the chance to harvest more berries?

      If you ever visit Portage, Michigan, stop for tea or chocolate at Chololatea http://www.chocola-tea.com/

    • Jenna Pope profile image

      Jenna Pope 5 years ago from Southern California

      Excellent article! I am going to make raspberry popsicles and energy tea. Voted up.

    • cclitgirl profile image
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      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Rolly - mmm, Hibiscus. Yum. I love Hibiscus tea. In fact, I love so many yummy leaf teas, especially the kind where I can go outside and just pick them. I have raspberry bushes growing wild where I live all over the place, so I am able to make raspberry tea all the time. Thanks for stopping by and chatting, Rolly. :) (HUGS)

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Great hub and interesting read... many plant leaves can be used for tea, some even cut up and added to salads. I used to love a tea in the north made from Hibiscus. It had many properties and was used by the natives there for healing of cuts etc.

      Hugs from Canada

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      I have never tried raspberry leaves--do you know if you can use blackberry leaves in the same way? I have lots of that in my back yard--

    • cclitgirl profile image
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      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Rusticliving - I LOVE raspberry leaves! I love making the tea from them. I appreciate your kind words. I, too, drink lots of ginger tea - it's so good for energy and digestion, too. Thanks so much for stopping by. (HUGS)

    • Rusticliving profile image

      Elizabeth Rayen 5 years ago from California

      CC- I did not know this about Rasberry leaves. I love tea and your hub gives so many wonderful examples and information. I do drink ginger tea almost every day as it helps fight against breast cancer in women.

      Great great info! Love it! Voted way up and shared! :)

    • cclitgirl profile image
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      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      rajan - hey there! Wow! I would be so flattered for you to link back to this. Thank you so much for stopping by - I'm so glad you found this useful. :)

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      ccligirl, I am including a link to this useful and informative hub of yours in my hub on health benefits of raspberries.I'll be publishing the hub in a day or two.

      Hope its okay with you.

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      dinkan53 - thanks for stopping by! I love raspberry - the leaves actually MORE than the fruit. Hehehe. I appreciate the votes.

    • dinkan53 profile image

      dinkan53 5 years ago from India

      I knew about the useful properties of raspberry, but about the root hearing first time. Thanks for the tea recipes. Rated this hub as interesting and useful.

    • cclitgirl profile image
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      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      mary-deo - thank you for stopping by! This is definitely nicknamed the "women's plant" because it is so helpful to them. I'm glad you liked this hub. :)

    • mary-deo profile image

      mary-deo 5 years ago from Caloocan City, University Hills

      Nice hub full of facts about this amazing plant that can be herbal for women. This gives me a great idea on how this plant is valuable.

    • cclitgirl profile image
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      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Thanks, Debby! Great to see you again. I love your wonderful, insightful comments. Thanks for stopping by!

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Moonlake - yes! If you have them growing, it's actually GOOD for the raspberry bush to be cut back in its first year of growth (where the cane part of the plant hasn't turned red, yet) because the second year it dies back. So, I just went and clipped all those first-year bushes and let the leaves dry outside on a screen for a few days. The tea itself is slightly bitter, but I like it. You can always add a little mint and/or honey and it makes a yummy drink. :)

    • cclitgirl profile image
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      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      rajan - thanks for visiting. I love your herbal insights. You have great information regarding health as well in your hubs. Thank you so much for SHARING and the votes. I really appreciate your comments. :)

    • cclitgirl profile image
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      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      I didn't know that until last summer when I started researching it. I have it growing wild all over the place where I live and I was getting into herbs. Thanks for SHARING as always, Brett. :)

    • Debby Bruck profile image

      Debby Bruck 5 years ago

      You have done an excellent job on all your raspberry Hubpages. Nature is wonderful and provides many healing and nourishing herbs and plants. Blessings, Debby

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 5 years ago from America

      I have never heard of this. We have a meadow full of raspberries. We always pick the raspberries and freeze them. I'll have to try the tea. Voted up.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      cclitgirl, this is awesome information. Raspberry leaves are best known for its beneficial action on the female reproductive system including other health benefits. Raspberries themselves are rich in ellagic acid which accounts for their anti cancer properties.

      Voted up, useful and awesome.

      Shared and tweeted.

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 5 years ago from Thailand

      Interesting, I actually had no idea that you could consume the leaf, let alone that it was so healthy for everyone and can help with pregnancy!

      Will share this health tip for all, but particularly the women. Thanks for SHARING.

    • cclitgirl profile image
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      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Jinnoy - I'm so glad you found this helpful! I love making raspberry tea all the time. I appreciate your comments.

    • profile image

      Jinnoy 5 years ago

      Interesting Information.I never knew that this Raspberry leaves have such medicinal benefits. Waw..! I really liked it.I am really gonna share this hub.Usefully informative hub.Thanks a lot for sharing this :)

      visit:http://fullthrottleondemand.com/blog/

    • cclitgirl profile image
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      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Wow, tammy! You're in Hickory? Nice! Let me know if you're ever in the mountains. :D

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Great tips! I have not heard about Raspberry leaves for health. I am going to try the energy tea. I can't stand hard core energy drinks. Great hub! We are neighbors.. I'm in Hickory! Good to meet you.

    • cclitgirl profile image
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      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Aw, Injured, I'm glad I was able to help with something new. I love HP like that - I'm always learning something new on here. :)

    • Injured lamb profile image

      Injured lamb 5 years ago

      Thanks for taking time to share this with us cclitgirl, I have learned something new again...cheers!

    • cclitgirl profile image
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      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Om, my sis-in-law said that her symptoms were reduced after regularly drinking RLT. I hope it helps your mom. :)

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago

      Very interesting and informative hub. I'll recommend this herb to my mom; she's having some horrible menopausal symptoms.

    • cclitgirl profile image
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      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      If I were to judge the best circumstances for growth, alocsin, I'd say that constant moisture and hummus-y soil are your best bet. All the literature I find says it needs sun, but I live in complete shade in western North Carolina and it grows like crazy out here! In the summertime, I find these bushes growing in the woods with complete shade and they're fruiting. Granted, the canes that are in the sun have more fruit, but even the shady ones are happy. So, have at it, I say - you never know what could happen. :D

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Actually, no grape vineyards out here at all. They are mostly in Northern California, in Napa Valley, north of San Francisco. That would be a more ideal spot for the raspberry plants I think.

    • cclitgirl profile image
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      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      alocsin - yes, I would think Southern California would be great. That's where all the grape vineyards are, right? It's pretty moist there, too - at least the parts I visited were. :D Good luck!

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Yes thanks, cclitgirl. Sounds like this can be grown in Southern California.

    • cclitgirl profile image
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      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      alocin - Thanks for stopping by. It's relatively easy to grow, though it really likes moist, temperate areas. It likes soil with a lot of organic matter and plenty of sunlight. Hope that helps! :)

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      What a useful plant to have around. How easy is it to grow? Voting this Up and Useful.

    • cclitgirl profile image
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      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Glad you like it, Kris. I only discovered this herb this past summer and it's amazing.

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 5 years ago from Indiana

      Thanks for sharing this. I have raspberry canes in my yard so I'll have to give this a try in the spring. I've never had raspberry leaf tea.

    • cclitgirl profile image
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      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Thanks for responding, Nell. :) Interesting, that may be something that depends on the person - my midwife told me to drink it everyday when I first got pregnant. So, it just goes to show that really, it pays to check with the doctor or midwife to see what's best for you. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi, raspberry leaf really is good for the body, but it musn't be taken by someone who has just got pregnant, as it can cause miscarriage in the first trimester, I drink herbals all the time, well I used to, and I was told to keep away from this when first pregnant, great hub! rated up! cheers nell