The health value of the Raspberry leaf herb has long been recognized as having potent astringent, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
The garden raspberry bush, rubus idaeus, is part of the rose family and grows from late spring to midsummer. They are native to both North America and parts of Eastern Europe and typically grow wild in woodland areas. However, these bushes have also been cultivated in many other countries, including Russia and Serbia, which are among the top producers of raspberries in the world.
The raspberry bush is primarily cultivated for its delicious, tart and tangy red-colored berries but many herbal experts acknowledge that the leaves are quite valuable as well, as they have certain medicinal properties.
In 37 A.D, the beneficial properties of raspberry leaves were first recorded by the Roman historian, Pliny. Raspberry leaf teas were given to women of various indigenous Indian nations in North America to lessen the complications during childbirth. Raspberry leaf tea has also earned the recognition of the British Herbal Compendium.
The following are the active constituents of raspberry leaves: flavonoids, tannins and elagic acid. It also contains substantial amounts of vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, phosphorus and calcium.
To make raspberry leaf tea, place a teaspoon of dried raspberry leaves in a 240 ml cup of newly-boiled. Allow to mix to steep for 10 minutes, then add sugar or honey to taste. During pregnancy, drink 2 to 3 cups of raspberry leaf tea per day.
Following are the healthy uses assigned to this herbal tea:
- Said to be beneficial to pregnant women as its ingestion may contribute to less artificial ruptures in the membranes. Consequently, there would be less need for caesarian delivery, forceps or vacuum birth.
- Considered to help in relaxing the uterus.
- Believed to help in the treatment of leg cramps, morning sickness and diarrhea in pregnant women.
- Seems to help in post-partum recovery.
- Thought to alleviate cold symptoms, as well as that for tonsillitis and the flu.
- Counted on to aid in the treatment of canker sores and cold sores.
- Seen to assist in the treatment of gingivitis.
- When applied topically may help in the treatment and disinfecting of inflamed skin.