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Raspberry Leaf Benefits for Women (and How to Make Tea)

Cynthia is a digital marketer, writer, and artist. She writes about a variety of topics, especially languages, art and culture.

The benefits of raspberry leaf will surprise you!

The benefits of raspberry leaf will surprise you!

The Raspberry Leaf Throughout History

Raspberry bushes are part of the rose family, also known as Rubus L. You may know that rose hips are high in vitamin C, but did you know that raspberry leaves are too? They are native to North America and parts of Asia. Many Indigenous Peoples recognized the healing properties of the raspberry leaf (Park et al 2016).

Even ancient Greeks and Romans recognized the inherent value of raspberry leaves. They used raspberry leaves to treat many ailments, including diarrhea, infertility, low backache, poor eyesight, and frequent urination (Hummer 2010). Here we will focus on the benefits of raspberry leaves for women's reproductive health. Raspberry leaf tea is one of the most historically referenced uterine tonics and is used to strengthen the uterus and stimulate labor (Romm, 2010).

Raspberry Leaves With a Flower

Raspberry Leaves With a Flower

Raspberry Plant Nutrients

The leaves, roots, and berries are all edible parts of the raspberry bush, but the leaf has the highest value and concentration of nutrients.

According to Healthline.com, raspberry leaves offer many health benefits for women. Raspberry leaves are:

  • High in antioxidants (especially ellagitannins)
  • High in iron, zinc, and phosphorous
  • Contain potassium, magnesium, and a number of vitamins including A, B, and C

These nutrients in particular are beneficial to women during pregnancy. Women also benefit from an alkaloid contained within the leaves: fragrine. Fragrine the compound that increases blood flow to the uterus, nourishing the pelvic region during pregnancy or during a woman's menstrual cycle (Mallory, 2018).

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

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

Ways to Use Raspberry Leaf

Be sure to check with your doctor about any potential contraindications before mixing raspberry leaf tea with other medications. There is also some evidence that using raspberry leaf in the first trimester of pregnancy can be harmful. It is imperative to speak with your doctor or nurse to determine the best course of action for you (Hess, 2013). Generally speaking, raspberry leaf is a gentle and safe remedy and can be used in the following ways:

  • 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 can help alleviate diarrhea and nausea. When used during a cold or flu, drink lots of raspberry leaf tea along with plenty of water can really help reduce symptoms quickly (Hess, 2013). Coupled with ginger, raspberry leaf tea can help reduce the occurrence of morning sickness, and/or lessen its symptoms.
  • Because raspberry leaf increases blood flow to the genitourinary system of women, it can help relieve menstrual cramps. Regular use of raspberry leaf tea helps reduce the severity of bleeding and cramping (Mallory, 2018).
  • Raspberry leaf in the form of tea can tone 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 miscarriages (Hess, 2013).
  • Raspberry leaf may be beneficial to breastfeeding women because it increases breast milk production (Hess, 2013).

Words of Caution

Make sure that, 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. Extensively, 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.

Put dry or fresh raspberry leaves into a tea strainer.

Put dry or fresh raspberry leaves into a tea strainer.

How to Make Raspberry Leaf Tea

  1. Gather fresh leaves or purchase thoroughly dried leaves. An easy way to tell the leaves are ready for picking is when the raspberry bushes have berries on them in midsummer. Note: The leaves are green on the upper side and white on the underside. They have tiny thorns at their base.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Pour very hot or boiling water over the leaves. Steep them for 15 to 20 minutes and enjoy!

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

Other Raspberry Leaf Tea Recipes

When making these teas, I generally use loose-leaf form tea 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 try to help your chances with this tea.

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

Put into a tea diffuser and steep for 15 to 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 to 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 to 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 pen cap)
  • 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.

Sources

Hess, Henry. (2013). 23 - Herbs and Alternative Remedies. Clinical Pharmacology During Pregnancy. 383-394. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/red-raspberry-leaf

Hummer, K. E. (2010). Rubus pharmacology: antiquity to the present. HortScience, 45(11), 1587-1591.

Mallory, Jill. (2018). Chapter 53 - Postdates Pregnancy, Integrative Medicine (Fourth Edition), 535-541.e1, https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-323-35868-2.00053-0.
Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780323358682000530

Park, S., Hongu, N., & Daily III, J. W. (2016). Native American foods: History, culture, and influence on modern diets. Journal of Ethnic Foods, 3 (3), 171-177. Chicago

Phillips, K. M., Pehrsson, P. R., Agnew, W. W., Scheett, A. J., Follett, J. R., Lukaski, H. C., & Patterson, K. Y. (2014). Nutrient composition of selected traditional United States Northern plains native American plant foods. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 34 (2), 136-152. Chicago

Romm, Aviva. (2010). Chapter 16 - Labor and Birth. Botanical Medicine for Women's Health. 398. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/red-raspberry-leaf

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Comments

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on August 28, 2012:

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

celebritie on August 28, 2012:

This is great because I love tea especially flavored ones.

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on August 25, 2012:

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. :)

Healing Herbalist from The Hamlet of Effingham on August 25, 2012:

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 from American Southwest on August 24, 2012:

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.

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on August 24, 2012:

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!

Healing Herbalist from The Hamlet of Effingham on August 24, 2012:

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.

kelleyward on August 24, 2012:

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

Brian Leekley from Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA on August 23, 2012:

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 from Southern California on August 23, 2012:

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

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on April 07, 2012:

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 from Alberta Canada on April 07, 2012:

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

Audrey Howitt from California on March 25, 2012:

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--

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on March 21, 2012:

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)

Liz Rayen from California on March 20, 2012:

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! :)

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on February 18, 2012:

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 Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 17, 2012:

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.

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on February 08, 2012:

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

dinkan53 from India on February 08, 2012:

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.

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on February 08, 2012:

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 from Caloocan City, University Hills on February 08, 2012:

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.

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on February 08, 2012:

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

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on February 08, 2012:

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. :)

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on February 08, 2012:

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. :)

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on February 08, 2012:

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 on February 07, 2012:

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 from America on February 07, 2012:

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 Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 07, 2012:

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 C from Asia on February 07, 2012:

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.

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on January 25, 2012:

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

Jinnoy on January 25, 2012:

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/

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on January 02, 2012:

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

Tammy from North Carolina on January 02, 2012:

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.

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on January 02, 2012:

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 on January 02, 2012:

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

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on January 01, 2012:

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

Om Paramapoonya on January 01, 2012:

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

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on December 31, 2011:

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

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on December 31, 2011:

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.

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on December 31, 2011:

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!

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on December 31, 2011:

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

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on December 31, 2011:

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! :)

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on December 31, 2011:

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

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on December 30, 2011:

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

Kris Heeter from Indiana on December 30, 2011:

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.

Cynthia Calhoun (author) from Western NC on December 30, 2011:

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 from England on December 30, 2011:

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

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