When most think of Raspberry, they think of only the berries themselves. Yet the nutrition found in the Red Raspberry Leaf at least equals its fruit! Rich in vitamins and minerals, it is a special source of benefit to women.
First, many feel that PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome) is caused by hormonal imbalance. The rise and then sudden drop in estrogen levels through a woman’s cycle can cause a variety of symptoms, including cramps. Red raspberry leaf is one of several herbs that has been used for many years to alleviate or eliminate this problem. Red Raspberry is also an aid during pregnancy and birth. It is rich in Vitamins C, E, A, and some B complex. “Increased Vitamin A intake in the form of the carotenoids of red raspberry leaf can aid the women’s immune system as well as facilitate healthy skin and bone development for the baby.” In addition, it is rich in minerals such as potassium and phosphorus. As a source of water-soluble calcium, Raspberry not only aids in bone development of the baby but also provides a needed source of calcium for young girls.
Red Raspberry leaf has for centuries been a valuable aid for women during and after child birth. It aids in the control of pain, the contraction of the uterus, and as a source of other vitamins and minerals- especially calcium- that help in the replacement of lost blood. During the weeks after birth Raspberry tea helps return the uterus to its normal size. Even post-menopausal women have found benefit from Raspberry tea both as an aid in improving uterine tone and as a natural source of calcium.
But Red Raspberry has health benefits beyond women’s issues. The tannins in the leaf make it effective in soothing inflammation in the digestive tract and can alleviate diarrhea, especially in children. Red Raspberry may also be used orally to soothe throat or mouth irritations. Externally, its ability to constrict tissues has encouraged some to use the tea as a skin tightener or balm for irritated skin. “The leaf may also be combined with the powdered bark of slippery elm to make a poultice for application to the skin to treat wounds, burns, and scalds.”
Preparation of Red Raspberry leaf tea is easy. Place one ounce of dried Raspberry leaves into a pint of boiling water (or half a pound per gallon) and simmer for ten minutes (though some recommend two to three hours to get maximum benefit from them). Drink the tea cold to soothe mouth or throat irritations.