Have you ever heard of Red Raspberry Leaf (Rubus idaeus)? This is a common herb that many people hear about when they are pregnant. Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about this herb.
1. Who can take Red Raspberry Leaf?
In general, red raspberry leaf is safe for most women. However, it is always best to check with your health care provider and always be open with them about what medications, supplements, vitamins and herbs you are taking. Some professionals will not recommend this herb if there is high risk of preterm labor or miscarriage. Red raspberry leaf is also helpful for any woman at any time, particularly around menses.
2. What are the benefits of taking Red Raspberry Leaf?
- Reducing and preventing hemorrhages after delivery
- Helping tone the uterus and all of the muscles in region of the pelvis
- Assisting with delivery of the baby by sustaining labour as well as helping
with the ease of labour
- Helping to alleviate after pains
- If used with other herbs it can improve fertility
- Source of Calcium
- If mixed with flax seed in an infusion it can be helpful for constipation.
- For some people it can be very helpful with nausea.
3. When do most people use Red Raspberry Leaf?
It is safe to use all through pregnancy. Most people use this herb in their last trimester of pregnancy and in labour. People will also use it after they have had the baby (postpartum) to help with healing after the birth.
4. Where can you get Red Raspberry Leaf?
Health food stores in your area should have Red Raspberry Leaf. Herbalists and Naturopaths may also have this herb. Be careful when buying a tincture because a tincture can have alcohol in it and it is important to avoid alcohol during pregnancy.
5. How can you use Red Raspberry Leaf?
Red Raspberry Leaf can be used as a tea or as an infusion. If you are using the fresh herb a good ratio is 1 ounce of leaves to 1 pint of boiling water. An infusion is a preparation where water (either boiling hot or sometimes cold) is poured on the herb and the herb is then allowed to infuse. You can substitute Red Raspberry Leaf tea for caffeinated tea and coffee in pregnancy. You can also make ice chips from the infusion. This can be especially useful during labour.
For more information on nutrition and herbs contact Jill, Nurture The Future's Registered Dietitian and Chartered Herbalist at firstname.lastname@example.org