Raspberry leaves taken either as a tea or in tablet form have been seen to aid in labour. The leaves of the popular raspberry summer fruit have been used for many years as a medicinal herb for women during menstruation and pregnancy. Raspberry leaf seems to have the effect of relaxing the uterus muscles during labour, ease morning sickness, prevent bleeding gums often experienced in pregnancy, as well as calming cramping of the uterus.
How is Raspberry Leaf available
More health benefits?
These simple leaves of the raspberry cane also provide a rich source of iron, calcium, manganese and magnesium, as well as B1, B3 and E. Of course you shouldn’t be consuming very much of the leaf so don’t put too much store by the vitamin and mineral content, although the magnesium is helpful in strengthening the muscles of the uterus.
Many mums say that taking Raspberry leaf helped give them a shorter labour. Raspberry Leaf should never be taken during the first 8 weeks of pregnancy because of the stimulating effect on the uterus. (There are no other ill effects at all). It can be taken after this time, but is probably best being left until the final 2 months of pregnancy.
Trials of Raspberry Leaf during Pregnancy
Other items of interest
In a study carried out in Sydney, Australia, 192 first-time mums were given at random either a 1.2g raspberry leaf tablet or a placebo twice a day from 32 weeks of pregnancy. The herb had no harmful effects on mother or baby, and those women who had taken raspberry leaf tablets were found to have a shorter second stage of labour and a lower rate of forceps delivery (19.3% versus 30.4%). However, far more research is needed to confirm these results.
It is advisable not to use raspberry leaves until the last two months of pregnancy (32 weeks) because of their stimulating effect on the uterus. Start with one cup of tea a day or one tablet and build up gradually to a maximum of four cups of tea or tablets daily. The tea can be sipped freely during labour, too.
Raspberry Leaf is good for other conditions too
Raspberry leaf can also aid other conditions, some associated with pregnancy, but others totally disconnected:
- To aid fertility.
- To promote a plentiful supply of breastmilk.
- To help stop excess bleeding after birth.
- To treat diarrhoea.
- To regulate irregular menstrual cycle and decrease heavy periods.
- To relieve sore throats.
- To reduce fever.
How do I take Raspberry Leaf?
If you want to use the dried leaves to make an infusion put 25g/1oz of the dried herb in a pot and pour on 600ml/1 pint of boiling water. Cover and infuse for 15 minutes. Alternatively, add 1 teaspoonful of the dried herb to a cup of boiling water.