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Red Raspberry leaves have a delicious taste, much like black tea, but without the caffeine. Both the leaves and fruit are high in citrate of iron which is alterative and astringent for the reproductive area. Red raspberry tea promotes a safe and speedy childbirth, helping prevent hemorrhage, relieving after-pains, and speeding up recovery from the birth. Its leaves have astringent properties to strengthen and tone the pelvic muscles and uterus. It acts as a relaxant to quiet premature labor pains and, during childbirth, to reduce the pain of contractions. Its digestive properties are effective in stopping nausea connected with pregnancy. After the baby is born, red raspberry acts to strengthen, cleanse, and enrich mother’s milk. Excessive bleeding during menstrual periods may be gradually lessened by raspberry tea, without being abruptly stopped.  When gargled, it soothes sore throats and eases mouth problems, such as bleeding gums, mouth ulcers, thrush, spongy gums, and inflammation. It aids with stomach and bowel complaints by healing and toning the stomach and intestines and may be effective in cases of constipation, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, intestinal flu, and dysentery.

Common Name of the Herb: Red raspberry

Latin Name: Rubus idaeus

Parts Used: leaves, fruit, and root bark

Actions: Astringent, tonic, relaxant, parturient, stimulant, alterative, stomachic, anti-emetic,
hemostatic, cathartic, antiseptic, anti-abortive, anti-gonorrheal, anti-malarial. Fruit: Mildly laxative, edible, antacid, refrigerant.

Preparation and Use: To make red raspberry tea, pour one cup of boiling water onto one to two teaspoons of dried leaf. Let it stand for ten minutes. During pregnancy, drink two or more cups per day . The root bark should be prepared as a decoction rather than an infusion. Leaves or root bark may be used to make a fluid extract, tincture, or powder. Take 2 capsules or droppersful 2-3 times per day. Raspberry leaves often form part of a female corrective formula including such herbs as goldenseal, blessed thistle, cayenne, cramp bark, false unicorn root, ginger, squaw vine, and uva ursi.

Cautions and Limitations of Use:

Red raspberry can cause a mild loosening of the stool.

Leaves must be completely dry before use in tea, since there are toxic properties in partially wilted or partially dried leaves.

Caution for all herbs and foods: Stop using if you experience symptoms of allergy.  Seek emergency medical attention if you experience symptoms of a serious allergic reaction including difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives. People who are allergic to other foods in the strawberry family including blackberries,  may be allergic to red raspberry.

Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking prescription medications, regarding possible interactions.

If in doubt about the safety of any herb, consult a doctor with special knowledge and experience with herbs.

Extra Information:


Constituents: cellulose (three times as much cellulose and less ash than strawberry), flavonoids such as quercetin and kaempferol, polypeptides, fructose, tannins, volatile oil, pectin, malic and citric acids, vitamins A, B, and C, minerals.

Growing the Herb: It grows in the wild, and is cultivated in many gardens, with little maintenance needed. It grows well in USDA zones 4-8 in a clay soil and partial sun.

How to Gather: Gather leaves during early summer. The fruits are harvested during the summer or early autumn, when ripe.

Other English Common Names: wild raspberry, raspberry, European Raspberry, Framboise

Where it Grows: It can be found in temperate areas and is considered native to Europe and Asia.

How to Identify: Erect bush, 3-6 feet high, branches covered with small prickles. Leaves pinnate and pointed, pale green above, grayish-white beneath with felted hairs, 2 1/2-3 1/2 inches long, 2-3 inches broad.  Each 5-petalled flower is small, white, and pendulous (hanging) and blooms in late spring. The fruit is produced during summer or early autumn. Raspberries are red and round, each consisting of a cluster of 20-30 small, rounded drupelets, with hairs and small stony pits. They are edible and fleshy with a sweet, but tart, flavor.

More information may be found in Herbal Home Health Care
by John R. Christopher, edited from the works of his father, the late John Christopher who was a very well-known practicing herbalist and teacher.