Raspberry leaf is probably the most pleasant hormonal herb in the apothecary. It is a lovely tea.
Herbalists say Raspberry leaf tones the uterus. Toning involves astrignency. Raspberry’s astrigent action is due to its high tannin content.
I generally like to combine raspberry leaf with nettles in a tea and use it for all conditions affecting the uterus. Raspberry and nettles are high in calcium, iron, folic acid, potassium, phosphorus and magnesium, as well as Vitamin A and C, just to name a few. I consider this beautiful green tea nature’s prenatal vitamin and excellent for replenishing mineral stores after prolonged bleeding. Adding some rosehips will make the minerals even more bioavailable.
When a woman is struggling with fibroids or endometriosis, drinking several cups of raspberry leaf and nettle tea a day will heal the womb. I recommend drinking raspberry and nettle leaf tea throughout pregnancy. Many of the Moms I work with report fewer, if any, cravings when taking this pregnancy tea and have all had very good births. Raspberry leaf has never created a challenge.
Why is there so much controversy around when to drinking raspberry leaf tea during pregnancy? Perhaps it is the alkaloid fragarine found in rich concentration in raspberry’s leaf. This alkaloid, along with the plant’s tannins, relax and tone the pelvis and uterine muscles. It makes the uterus stretchy without losing elasticity. Plants containing alkaloids are generally contra-indicated in pregnancy, as most can affect the developing fetus’ nervous system. Famous alkaloids are nicotine and caffeine. (Note that alkaloids usually end in “ine”). But this is not the case for fragarine. Personally, I think it is because most doctors and orthodox health care professionals know next to nothing about herbs, they decide to play it safe and caution against them. This is certainly the case with raspberry leaf and pregnancy.
Just another testimonial about Raspberry Leaf from herbalist/midwife Willa Shaffer:
It prevents morning sickness, strengthens the uterus, prevents miscarriages “in most cases”, makes delivery more rapid and prevents tearing of the cervix.
Raspberry leaf is not just for women. It is used in China to promote fertility in men. Chinese herbalists use it to stop leaking fluids. I suspect that its action is on the prostate is toning, just like the uterus. Raspberry leaf protects the prostate from becoming boggy. I think “boggy” is a perfect signature for raspberry leaf. It protects tissues from becoming boggy. A leaking uterus is one of the initial signs of a pending miscarriage.