When we think of raspberries, we often think of them as an addition to iced tea or a topping for vanilla yogurt. Rich in vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants, raspberries are a sweet and delicious fruit that propose many health benefits. But the fruit isn’t the only part that’s beneficial; raspberry leaves are too.
Raspberry leaves boast a variety of benefits ranging from increased fertility in women to a faster metabolism. Once the leaves are crushed and dried, they are used to make a tea. Considering the many benefits that raspberry leaves offer, it would make it hard not to indulge in a cup.
Botanical Name of Raspberry Leaves
Raspberries are botanically known as Rubus idaeus and their existence dates back to prehistoric times. They’re believed to have originated in Asia, but there are also some varieties of raspberries that have originated in the U.S as well.
Botanical Family of Raspberry Leaves
Raspberry is the name given to the edible fruit of the Rosaceae plant species family. Raspberry leaf, also known as the garden raspberry leaf, is produced by this fruit and has been used in folk medicine for centuries.
What Are Raspberry Leaves?
The thorny trailing raspberry vines yield a tasty fruit, but the leaves are of interest for their medicinal qualities. Raspberry leaves have been used for years predominately for women’s health. They are popularly used as an herb to help promote a healthy pregnancy, but the ancient Chinese, Greeks, and Romans have used these leaves as a treatment for wounds and diarrhea as well.
Raspberry leaves are also used for making tea. Interestingly enough, this specialty tea doesn’t have the strong tangy essence of the raspberry fruit, but more of a floral black tea flavor instead.
Active Ingredients Found in Raspberry Leaves
Raspberry leaves are packed with potassium along with iron and magnesium. The leaves of raspberry leaf contain fruit sugars, citric and malic acid, vitamins and a handful of antioxidants and alkaloids that gives this tea a variety of health benefits. Rasberry leaves also contain the following:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Volatile Oils
Health Benefits of Raspberry Leaves
Raspberry leaves have been recommended for a variety of ailments, including the following benefits:
- Used to treat diarrhea, colds and stomach complaints
- Reduces fever
- Builds strong bones
- Reduces excessive bleeding during periods
- Alleviates menstrual cramps
- Tones the uterus and pelvic muscles
Raspberry leaves are also useful for women who are expecting a new addition to the family and for those struggling with fertility issues. These leaves help relieve eczema, psoriasis, obesity, indigestion, high blood pressure, aching joints, and general inflammation. As an added bonus, raspberry leaves extracts have also been used for skin care.
How to Consume Raspberry Leaves
Raspberry leaves have been widely recommended for many generations as an herbal tea to help common ailments. This herb is best taken as an infusion (herbal tea). Drink one cup, one to three times a day.
Pour ¼ cup of dried red raspberry leaf into a quart-size mason jar, then fill with freshly boiled water, cover, and let the leaf steep for at least 15 — 30 minutes. For a stronger infusion, steep for three to four hours.
Side Effects of Raspberry Leaves
Raspberry leaves are generally safe for use, but the tea may not sit well with all individuals. Though the side effects are few, some rare side effects include nausea, increased Braxton Hicks contractions (for pregnant women) and diarrhea. Also, be sure to keep in mind that if you are currently experiencing a high-risk pregnancy or have experienced issues in the past, it is not recommended to drink raspberry tea as it may complicate or exacerbate some of these issues.
Always make sure you discuss new herbal teas or remedies with your doctor before consumption.
How much raspberry leaf tea is needed to induce labor?
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Thomas. C. L. (ed.). (1985). Taber’s cyclopedic medical dictionary 16th ed. F. A. Davis: Philadelphia.
Whitehouse B. (1941). Fragrance: an inhibitor of uterine action. British Medical Journal, Sept 13, pp. 370-371.
Wilson, M. (1993). Herbal tea consumption during pregnancy. Author: Wollongong. (29th December 2000)