Raspberry Leaf: Benefits and How to Make Tea
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.
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 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.
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.
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.