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Photo Credit: Tatters:)

By Katie, Contributing Writer

You have probably eaten your fair share of raspberries over the years. You may have even gone berry picking carefully plucking the delicate fruits from the vines while avoiding getting suck in the bramble. What you might not have known is that the leaf of the raspberry plant is an important medicinal herb.

Latin Name: Rubus idaeus, Rbus spp. (Rosacecae)

Common Names: Red Raspberry, American Raspberry, Dewberry, Bramble Fruit, Thimble Berry

How to Identify:

The red raspberry bush is hard to miss with it’s vibrant red fruit that is just begging to be picked.Red raspberry as well as all the Rubus species have leaves that are alternate, pinnately compound,consisting of 3 to 7 leaflets. They are finely toothed around the edges, wrinkly and generally hairy. The bottom of the leaf is almost white in color. The branches of the plant are arching, mostly hairless, prickly canes. The red raspberry flowers around June or July. The petals fall within a day or two and give way to berries that grow in clusters. It grows in cultivated gardens and in the wild.

How to Harvest:

I am all for harvesting raspberries, there is nothing like popping a fresh from the vine berry in your mouth. I do not advise harvesting the leaves yourself. If not dried properly they are pron to mold. In my opinion it is best to buy dried red raspberry leaf from a reputable company such as Bulk Herb Store or Mountain Rose Herbs. I frequently buy herbs from both of these companies.

What is is good for?

Don’t even get me started, red raspberry is one of my favorite herbs! It’s almost easier to ask what isn’t it good for. Red raspberry is most commonly known as a woman’s herb. It is found in most tea blends for pregnancy and menstruation. It is  loaded with vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, manganese, iron, calcium and niacin. 

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A Brief Over View

Red Raspberry Leaf Is Beneficial For: 

Internal

  • Amenorrhea
  • Bed Wetting
  • Canker Sore, Mouth Ulcers
  • Coughs
  • Diabetes
  • Digestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Enriched Mother’s Milk
  • Gas
  • Menorrhagia, Excessive Bleeding
  • Menstrual Cramps
  • Labor Pains
  • Morning Sickness
  • Nausea
  • Pregnancy
  • Thrush
  • Urinary Tract Infection

External

  • Bleeding Gums
  • Eyewash
  • Sore Throat
  • Wounds, Burns

A Couple of Highlights

If you are pregnant or wanting to conceive then red raspberry is the herb for you! Best of all it is safe to use throughout your entire pregnancy. For those wanting to conceive, it increases fertility. Red raspberry contains an  alkaloid, called fragrine, it strengthens and tones the walls of the uterus and pelvic muscles before, during and after child birth. It is also known to ease morning sickness. It aids in easy birthing and restores the womb after birth. Red raspberry has also been known to help prevent miscarriage.

Red raspberry is also a wonder herb for menstruating woman. It is full of calcium that is easily adsorbed into the body which helps regulate the hormones that flood your body every month easing PMS symptoms such as cramps. The toning effect the red raspberry has on the uterus is vital during menstruation as well. The tannis in this herb are beneficial for curbing diarrhea.

In addition to being an amazing woman’s herb red raspberry also has astringent, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anti-microbial and diuretic properties. The whole family can benefit from this herb.

A Word Of Caution:

If you haven’t used red raspberry leaf before pregnancy some suggest waiting until the third trimester to start using it.

How To Use Red Raspberry Leaf?

Internal

  • Tincture
  • Tea
  • Powder
  • Capsules

External

  • Salve
  • Herbal Bath
  • Infusion

My favorite way to take red raspberry leaf is in a tea or tincture. Here are a few different blends you may enjoy. Why not keep a pitcher of it in the fridge for the whole family to enjoy and benefit from it’s healing properties?

Do you use red raspberry leaf? If so how is your favorite way to use it?

 

 

 

 

This is the writings of:

Katie
Katie is a dorm “mama” to 16 amazing girls ages 5 to 18 at a home and school for the Deaf in Baja California, Mexico. She is happiest in the kitchen creating nourishing meals and home remedies or outside with at least one of her girls at her side. She grew up using herbal supplements but didn’t discover the joy of making her own until 2008. Katie is passionate about real food, herbs and simple living. You can find her blogging about all these things and more on her blog, Mexican Wildflower where she is living simply by God’s grace.MexicanWildflower

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8 Comments

  1. [...] Follow the rest of the post at Modern Alternative Health. [...]

    Reply

  2. [...] Modern Alternative Health shares how identify, harvest and use red raspberry leaf in Red Raspberry Leaf – A Woman’s Herb. [...]

    Reply

  3. [...] Leaf Tea has so many wonderful properties (particularly for women). Here is a post that tells you why you should be drinking it and how it is helping [...]

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  4. I love Raspberry leaf- it really does seem to be great for everything!
    I was wondering though- you list thimbleberry up there under common names- thimbleberry is a different berry though, they’re much smaller, but of the same family. I believe salmonberry is also from the same family. Will thimbleberry leaves work similarly to raspberry? We we lucky that the previous owners put raspberries in our backyard and thimbleberries make the most delicious jam, I am hoping to transplant some into the yard as well. It would be great to use their leaves as well. :)
    Thank you for this informative post!

    Reply

  5. I am 29 weeks pregnant with baby #3. I have never had an issue with supply before and am wanting to pump enough to donate (I donated 300 oz with DD#2 but am wanting to exceed this!) I also am looking for a way to deal with cramps and such that I’ll start getting around 4-5 months pp. So will the capsules be sufficient? I don’t like any of the mother’s milk teas or anything like that so I’m trying to find something else. Sorry for rambling ;)

    Reply

    • I would think that you would be fine taking capsules instead. Some will tell you a blend of herbs is better because they may work together more effectively. A general suggestion for straight red raspberry leaf tea is 1 quart a day. I don’t know what the recommend dosage for capsules would be.

      This is one thing to keep in mind that I recently read but don’t think it will be a problem for you since you were able to donate so much milk before.

      Caution – low milk supply: Raspberry leaf tea is astringent (tightens and constricts bodily tissues) and taken as a “single” can be anti-lactogenic for women who are sensitive to this effect. For these women, it is probably safe to use red raspberry leaf as one ingredient in a lactation tea mixture.
      http://www.mobimotherhood.org/mm/article-herbal2.aspx

      Reply

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