Forbes Nutrional Services

The Many Benefits of Raspberry Leaf Tea

It seems like I have a freakish amount of friends and relatives who are pregnant or are looking to get pregnant soon.  Either the government is adding something to the water or the people I know are just happy and want to bring another life into the world to share their happiness!  In honor of all of you, I wanted to post some fun facts about raspberry leaf tea that I’ve learned either from research or from personal experience.  And no, you don’t have to drop lemons into your glass of tea from a height of 10 feet as seen in the above photo to enjoy the benefits.

Pre-pregnancy benefits

  • Has been used for centuries as an herbal remedy to increase fertility.  If druids drank it, then so can you.
  • Strengthens the uterine wall while relaxing smooth muscle in the uterus, which improves chances of implantation and prevents miscarriage (basically the bizarro opposite effect of gin).
  • Full of vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds that help the body to detoxify extra hormones that may impede conception.

Pregnancy benefits

  • Hugely miraculous and amazing remedy for morning sickness (according to reports from friends – I did not try raspberry leaf tea myself for this as I did not realize I was pregnant for the 4 days during early pregnancy that I was vomiting and thought I had stomach flu but actually had a parasite known as Mr. Milk).
  • Provides vitamins and minerals including A, B complex, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium in an easily absorbable form to help baby grow while keeping mom nourished.
  • Many women also report that it reduces leg cramps and swelling associated with late pregnancy.


Labor benefits

  • Has been shown to concentrate the effects of contractions to make them more effective.  From personal experience, I drank 1-2 quarts daily of raspberry leaf tea during my last 2 months of pregnancy and had a great labor (8 hours labor at home, 30 minutes in hospital, 10 minutes of pushing).  I can’t say it was just the tea – I think laboring at home helped a lot because I could run around like a crazy person with each contraction rather than being confined to a small hospital room and Mr. Milk was only 5 1/2 pounds at birth (yay for being a small Filipino mom!) – but I do think it helped.
  • May be especially helpful for women who are planning a VBAC (vaginal birth after Cesarean) because of its ability to tone uterine muscles (since the uterus was cut open during the C-section).
  • Many reports I have read from midwives say that the tea especially helps to shorten the second stage of labor (the pushing stage – from complete dilation of the cervix until the baby is born).  I have also heard from midwives that women who drink the tea later in pregnancy tend to have extremely strong membranes protecting the baby.  I would attest to this, since my water never broke on its own – the midwife actually had to break it when I got to the hospital since it didn’t break even as the baby was emerging – and I think the fact that this membrane remained intact was the only reason that Mr. Milk was not born in the bathroom at home or in the car on the way to the hospital.

Nursing benefits

  • Has been reported to “bring in rich milk”, most likely due to its mineral content.
  • Helps to balance postpartum hormones to prevent the drastic change in hormones that causes many women to experience postpartum depression.

Even if you don’t want to get pregnant benefits

  • Has been shown to reduce menstrual cramps and may help to regulate the flow of menstruation due to its effects on the uterus.
  • Helps to detoxify excess hormones which is very helpful during times of hormonal shift such as menopause or in the second half of the menstrual cycle (the two weeks before starting your period, which is when most women experience PMS).

Benefits for menfolk (also known as dudes but since this is a blog about herbs I thought to use midieval terms like “menfolk” and if possible I will throw the most despised of all renaissance terms – “m’lady” – in here somewhere)

  • In herbal terms, it’s a “nourishing reproductive tonic” for men, which is just a fancy way of saying it helps your junk work better.
  • Its ability to detoxify extra hormones is helpful for men also since they are bombarded with artificial estrogens on a daily basis from commercial meat and milk, plastics, food additives, and chemical fumes (especially if they are in the construction business).  These extra estrogens, along with too much unresolved stress over a lifetime, are major culprits in the phenomenon known as “andropause” or male menopause, which is characterized by a drastic drop in testosterone levels.
  • May also help with diarrhea, which if you’ve ever been kind enough to clean the bathroom at a location shared by several college age men who drink beer, you will see that diarrhea is apparently something that needs to be helped.

The nice thing about raspberry leaf tea is that it is a balanced food so it’s safe for virtually everyone at every stage of life (I even saw one article about giving it to children with stomach aches) and you can’t really overdose on it.  Herbal experts and midwives recommend between 1 cup daily all the way up to a gallon daily during pregnancy with no side effects.  I did a little bit of research on PubMed and only came up with 2 research articles on raspberry leaf tea, but neither of them found any negative side effects and the articles I saw on other research sites only found unwanted side effects when specific active ingredients were taken out of the tea and used in ridiculously huge doses.  Drinking the tea in its whole state is supposed to be “self-regulating”, meaning the active ingredients balance each other out.

To make the tea, I suggest 1 Tablespoon of bulk tea per cup of hot water.  Or you can just buy tea bags and follow the brewing instructions.  I also like to use the bulk tea to make sun tea (since I am too lazy to boil water, which is why I specialize in nutrition and not delivering babies).  I just take a handful (mind you a small, half-Filipino handful so if you have big hands ask a half-Filipino neighbor to do your measuring for you) of bulk tea leaves and throw it into a half gallon Mason jar, fill it with water, put on a lid to keep out bugs, and set it outside in the sun to brew to desired darkness (also known as, set it out and forget about it for several hours until my husband comes home and asks me why I left jars filled with dirt and leaves and is that urine? on the back porch) like so:

Then I just keep it in the fridge and have iced tea to sip on whenever the mood hits.  So drink up, m’lady!

NOTE: This blog is not intended to replace the advice of a qualified healthcare practitioner.  All information contained in this blog is the opinion of Jessica Forbes and is not to be interpreted as medical advice.

Be Sociable, Share!

79 comments

1 Side effects using Agnus Castus for PCOS? { 03.22.14 at 9:54 am }

[…] been said to help sperm quality aswell. Read some more about the benefits of raspberry leaf here The Many Benefits of Raspberry Leaf Tea ? Jessica Stamm, MS CCN It's probably the best one i've read about it. Reply With […]

2 Nina { 06.20.14 at 8:12 pm }

I am trying to get pregnant. I have uterine fibroids that are monitored. Doctor says that I have 1 small one and it should not interfere with conception. My periods last 7 to 8 days with approximately 3 heavy days. I just started drinking Organic Raspberry Leaf tea and I think it made my period come early. I notice that my breast are frequently tender before after and during my cycle. My guy and I have been casually TTC for about 3 years meaning not trying to prevent it but not really timing it, etc. I recently ordered fertility tea. But havent taken it yet. I have also been going back and forth to the dr to check different things and she said I should be able to get preggo because I am ovulating but no luck so far. I have been more aggressive with my efforts over the last couple of months as I am approaching 40. Suggestions are welcome. :) Cool blog!

Thanks

3 Jessica Stamm { 06.25.14 at 4:01 pm }

Aloha Nina! In the past when I’ve worked with women who are dealing with fibroids, the following tips have been helpful in aiding their conception efforts:
– Eliminate gluten from the diet
– Eat lots of cruciferous vegetables, and/or take an SGS (sulforaphane) supplement such as Marilyn Farms Cell protect, which helps to detoxify excess estrogen which may be contributing to fibroids
– Have iodine levels checked by a doctor and supplement if necessary
– Drink lots of water, minimum 1/2 gallon daily but in some cases closer to a gallon. This thins out cervical fluid and makes it easier for sperm to access egg
Thanks for reading!

4 Gloria { 07.22.14 at 2:13 pm }

My periods are very heavy, is more like hemorrhage, so I find out about the RRT, I purchased some at the local health store in bulk, and miracle, I drank 6 cups of tea and my hemorrahage stop, this tea is the best thing ever happen to me it lesser my heavy period from 7 to 10 days to just 3 days. I love it!

5 Mariam Said { 08.04.14 at 1:01 am }

Hey I have fibroids which are 3 by 3 cm the largest. Is this tea going to help me to shrink the fibroids. I also have kidney stone which are 3 mm .please help me thanks

6 Mari { 08.17.14 at 6:44 am }

Hi I’m wondering if RRL would be helpful in my situation, 11 wks pg and will be having my 3rd csection. Dr is concerned because my uterus was very thinned at time of last delivery 4 years ago. So the thing is that I need to strengthen and thicken my uterus but I do not need to have any contractions ever.

7 Daniela Souza { 08.20.14 at 1:47 am }

What this blog does not mention about Raspberry Leaf tea is that should not be taken by women with suspected or confirmed endemetriosis . I ended up in emergency twice after taken tea and doctor confirmed that it was the tea and could have caused a miscarriage to our so wanted IVF baby . A little irresponsible blogs like this not to raise attention to the risks really.

8 mommy-4 { 08.29.14 at 4:41 am }

I would like to know if the tea could help my baby. My unborn baby is said to measure 2 weeks behind. For the first for months I could not eat really very much. I am going to have a c-section again could I drink this to help my baby?

9 mary { 09.16.14 at 9:13 am }

Good for pet birds too.

10 Dayna E. { 09.26.14 at 10:23 am }

I’m trying to find info about whether I can continue to drink rrl tea while having a Mirena IUD in place? Google hasn’t been much help.

11 CHORDIA A G { 10.02.14 at 4:02 am }

Hello
JUST wanna clarify if RLT is the one to use OR
can we use Yellow / Black Rasphberry leaves also.
Is ther is difference between HYBRIDS and WILD rspphberries.
And finally we have thorny and thornless–does this have
any bearing on the efficacy of the teas.
Any data on the leaves PHYTO chemicals depending on the variety and age of leaf.
These are important considerations to be thought of or researched.

12 Jessica Stamm { 10.15.14 at 12:51 pm }

Good to know! Thanks.

13 Jessica Stamm { 10.15.14 at 12:58 pm }

Aloha Daniela, I’m so sorry for the experience you went through but thank you for sharing it so others may learn. In cases of external hormone administration (ie IVF) and also preexisting medical issues, especially those that with hormonal implications (ie endometriosis) it’s very important to be sure that a doctor is working with you on ANY herbal preparations, but particularly those that may exert hormonal effects such as raspberry leaf tea, black or blue cohosh, or wild yam preparations. A blog is never meant to replace medical advice.

14 Jessica Stamm { 10.15.14 at 1:01 pm }

Aloha Chordia! The most important is that it is “red raspberry leaf” tea – not root or fruit and not other varieties of berries. Pub Med (just google Entrez PubMed) has many research articles on the subject that may help you find data on the phytochemical content in various varieties and ages of leaf. Good luck and please share anything you find – inquiring minds would love to know!

15 Jessica Stamm { 10.15.14 at 1:06 pm }

That’s amazing Gloria! Thanks for sharing!

16 Jessica Stamm { 10.15.14 at 1:34 pm }

Aloha Dayna! My main concern with using RRL tea while a Mirena IUD is in place is that the hormone balancing effects of the tea may reduce the effectiveness of the birth control, since Mirena works via both the physical presence of the IUD but also the continuous release of hormones from the IUD itself. Your doctor should be able to address the use of the tea alongside this form of birth control in light of your personal hormonal balance.

17 Misha { 10.26.14 at 7:49 am }

I have endometriosis and RRLL tea has been amazingly beneficial in shrinking my fibroids to non-existence in just a couple of months.. not to mention the heavy bleeding is cut in half and time on period cut to days and not weeks.

18 Rachel { 11.22.14 at 4:41 pm }

Hello
The reason why I came across your blog is that I am trying to find a safe alternative to address my heavy menstrual flow. I was a Mirena user until just last night when it was expelled. My second Mirena was inserted in May of this year after my first was expelled after 4 years. my body I believe has endured a tremdous amount of stress with the expulsion of two IUD’s this year. Therefore, I have only spent a total of two weeks from mid-February to now “bleed-free”

I am not so much concerned as using the IUD for contraception but rather to alleviate the issue of heavy bleeding each month.

Today I purchased some Red Raspberry Leaf tea and I am just wondering if it will start to work right away or will it be months? I am desperate as this bleeding has taken over my life.

19 pepper { 11.26.14 at 1:16 pm }

Hi i am a Filipino too :-) my husband and i are planning to have a baby, do you think it would help me to continue drinking raspberry tea?:-)

20 Gina { 01.06.15 at 4:22 pm }

Just wanted to weigh in on the benefits of raspberry leaf tea for the pushing stage of labor. I have notoriously long labors and pushing stages. However, in my 4th pregnancy I drank 1-2 qts of the tea daily… I still had a long labor BUT pushing was 10 minutes! Yes!

21 Gina { 01.06.15 at 4:23 pm }

Oops! just wanted to add that I only drank that much the last couple months of pregnancy.

22 happygf { 01.19.15 at 10:07 am }

Thanks for the funny and very interesting article! I am certainly not trying to get pregnant, I just saw that the women’s multivitamin I bought contained raspberry leaf, and was curious as to what its benefits were! Now I know :)

23 Jessica Stamm { 01.29.15 at 12:56 pm }

That is awesome!

24 Jessica Stamm { 01.29.15 at 12:58 pm }

Yay for Filipinos! Raspberry tea is great for hormone balance but in general I’ve found the best ways to get pregnant are to drink a lot of water, avoid inflammatory foods such as wheat, and stay happy and positive. Have fun bringing more Filipinos into the world! :)

25 Jessica Stamm { 01.29.15 at 1:08 pm }

Aloha Rachel! Everyone responds to herbs differently so there’s no way to know how quickly you will see results but I hope it helps! Has your doctor looked into deeper reasons for the heavy bleeding such as excess estrogen levels? If high estrogen is an issue, this may be helped by avoiding environmental exposure to estrogen (plastics, paint or carpet glue fumes, conventional meat & dairy) and accelerating detoxification of estrogens with adequate fiber intake, water intake, and supporting liver function with targeted nutrients.

26 Jessica Stamm { 01.29.15 at 1:52 pm }

That is so amazing Misha! Thank you for sharing this info.

27 Jessica Stamm { 01.29.15 at 2:05 pm }

It’s hard to say how the tea would directly affect your baby, but in general eating a nourishing diet rich in clean protein, healthy fat, and vegetables along with plenty of water will create a balanced environment for your baby to grow. The Weston Price Foundation (www.westonaprice.org) has wonderful articles that can help with meal planning. Best of luck to you!

28 Jessica Stamm { 01.29.15 at 2:07 pm }

Aloha Mari, I love the condition to never have any contractions ever! I have heard from different midwives and doulas that RRL tea does strengthen and thicken all the membranes involved in pregnancy. Your doctor may be able to tell you if it could help in your particular situation.

29 Jessica Stamm { 01.29.15 at 2:09 pm }

Aloha Mariam! Since raspberry leaf is an herb, people respond to it differently so there is no way to know in your particular case but I have worked with people who experienced shrinking of fibroids with the tea alongside other hormone balancing protocols. With kidney stones it’s important to know what type of stone your body is forming (your doctor can do a test to determine this) and from there you can adjust your chemistry accordingly.

Leave a Comment