Red Raspberry leaf tea contains fragrine - an " alkaloid" which tones muscles of the pelvic floor, including the uterus . It contains vitamins A and B complex, vitamin C, vitamin E and calcium and iron ( two minerals pregnant ladies can not get enough of) . Raspberry leaves also contain and phosphorous and potassium.
Although most midwives will insist on Red Raspberry leaf tea as a pregnancy/Uterine tonic, there has been some differing opinions.
The limited research there is done on RRL tea shows that there are no harmful side effects.
The concern is that it could cause a womyn to go into premature labour or miscarrage.
however, raspberry leaf does not start labor or promote contractions. It is NOT an emmenagogue or oxytocic herb.
What it does is help strengthen the pelvic and uterine muscles so that once labor does start the muscles will be more efficient.
"Medical studies have shown that red raspberry leaf can be consumed safely during pregnancy and can decrease the length of labor and decrease the number of interventions used such as artificial rupture of membranes (AROM), assisted delivery, and cesarean delivery.1
Red raspberry leaf also seems to help prevent pregnancies from pre-or post-term gestation (delivering too early or too late)."
Jane Palmer has a very good article on Raspberry leaf tea including the research done!
The recommended dose is 1 cup/day during the first trimester, 2 cups per day during the second and 3-5 cups during the last trimester.
besides the vitamins and minerals, benefits include:
-increased fertility in both men and womyn
- relief from morning sickness (I can vouch for this)
- reduces the pain during labour and speeds along the healing of the uterus after birth.
- enriching the breast milk
When harvesting Raspberry leaves, only take the youngest freshest leaves,
avoid the shriveled up or brown edged leaves.
so DRINK the tea, worry free.
Wise womyn have been brewing it for those "with child" for centuries.
The medical profession can get a tad intimidated my the herbal world and do not hesitate to nay say their remedies....
1 Raspberry leaf in pregnancy: its safety and efficacy in labor.
J Midwifery Womens Health. 2001 Mar-Apr;46(2):51-9.
PMID: 11370690 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]