If you are pregnant or trying to conceive, then chances are you have heard about the benefits of red raspberry leaf tea. Red raspberry leaf is exactly what it sounds like – the leaf from the red raspberry bush. (Not to be confused with red raspberry tea which is black tea with raspberry flavoring.)
Red raspberry leaf tea is often recommended by doulas, midwives and certain medical professions to pregnant mothers for it’s uterine stimulating qualities. Red raspberry leaf tea is believed to help tone and strengthen the uterine muscle, allowing for a more efficient labor. Plus, it can ease morning sickness and leg swelling. But it does more than just aid pregnant women. Raspberry leaf tea can regulate irregular menstrual cycles, reduce heavy periods, and ease cramps. And in toning the uterus and fortifying the walls of the uterus, it also naturally promotes fertility.
Because there is some controversy around using red raspberry leaf throughout pregnancy, healthcare providers often suggest you avoid it during the first trimester, just to be safe. To make the most of the benefits of this herbal tea, you could begin drinking it in the second or even in the third trimester.
Here’s what else you should know about the benefits of red raspberry leaf tea:
For expectant moms:
- Studies have shown red raspberry leaf may play a role in decreasing the incidence of artificial rupture of membranes, unplanned cesarean sections and use of forceps during delivery. Even so, you should discuss the pros and cons of this herbal remedy with your health care provider before drinking it.
- Red raspberry leaf is often included in “pregnancy teas” to help tone the muscles in the uterus, which can help shorten labor and ease labor pains. Do not use red raspberries during pregnancy if you are having complications.
- The high level of B vitamins in particular makes it useful for relieving nausea, soothing leg cramps, and improving sleep. (Symptoms that definitely increase during pregnancy!)
- Postpartum, raspberry’s astringency is used to help with bleeding and swelling as well as to restore tone to the uterus. The high nutrient content may help to enrich breast milk, though over-consumption can cause supply issues due to raspberry’s astringency.
For new mothers:
- Trying to conceive? The relaxation effect of red raspberry leaves on the uterine muscles may work to help prevent early miscarriage and to assist early embryos in attaching to the uterine wall. The tea’s phyto-progesterone quality can increase progesterone levels as well.
- The APA states red raspberry leaf can help increase breast milk supply, help the uterus return to pre-pregnancy size and help reduce postpartum depression. Most evidence of red raspberry leaf increasing breast milk is anecdotal, but it is considered safe to consume while breastfeeding.
- Worried about losing weight after giving birth? Known widely as a low-calorie tea with a -stimulating characteristic, raspberry leaf tea is popular with people who are trying to lose weight. This tea can help make you feel full while delivering key nutrients and boosting your energy levels.
The use of herbal teas particularly raspberry tea is not very comprehensive. Keep in mind: as there are no official recommendations regarding the dose or the ideal trimester to drink it, discussing red raspberry leaf tea side effects with your OB or midwife is a smart move.