Red raspberry leaf tea, which is made from the dried leaves of the red raspberry fruit plant, has been used for centuries as a medicinal herbal remedy by European and North American cultures. Proponents believe that it provides many health benefits. It is especially popular as a fertility and pregnancy aid.
According to WebMD, the first therapeutic description of red raspberry leaf appeared in a 1597 book, "The Herbal," written by British herbalist John Gerard.
Red raspberry leaf contains important B vitamins and vitamin E, as well as iron, calcium, manganese and magnesium. According to proponents of raspberry leaf tea, the presence of these nutrients supports the claim that the tea has medicinal value.
Women most commonly use red raspberry leaf tea as a fertility, pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding aid. These women believe that taking red raspberry leaf through pregnancy and labor will ease the childbirth process and reduce in the physical problems that a mother may suffer following childbirth.
Use by Midwives
According to a study that was done by the American College of Nurse-Midwives in 1999, of all midwives who used herbal remedies to aid and stimulate labor, 63 percent relied on red raspberry leaf tea.
Inconclusive Scientific Proof
In spite of positive claims by supporters, no conclusive scientific proof yet exists that red raspberry leaf tea can assist with fertility and pregnancy. As with any herbal supplement, consult with a physician before use.
Additional Forms and Benefits
Red raspberry leaf is used not only as a tea, but also as a gargle and a poultice. Proponents claim it assists with skin rash, sore throats, stomach problems, high fever and other ailments.
- Birthsource.com: Red Raspberry Leaf
- WebMD.com: Red Raspberry
- American Pregnancy Association: Drinking Herbal Teas during Pregnancy
- Birth.com.au: Raspberry Leaf during Pregnancy?
- PubMed.gov: Raspberry Leaf-Should it Be Recommended to Pregnant Women?
- PubMed.gov: A National Survey of Herbal Preparation Use by Nurse-Midwives
red raspberry leaf, red raspberry leaf tea, herbal remedies, herbal medicine, alternative medicine, pregnancy and childbirth
About this Author
Jeff Katz has been a professional librarian, educator, historian, writer and editor for almost 20 years. He holds a Master of Library Science degree from the University of British Columbia and a BA degree in Classical Studies from Hunter College of the City University of New York.