The mention of raspberries makes most of us think of the luscious little gems that are in season right now. You can read about their nature’s here, however, in this blog I want to focus on raspberry leaf which has a long medicinal history–especially in women’s reproductive health and pregnancy. In fact, raspberry leaf is one of the few herbs that is safe enough to be used during the entire duration of pregnancy and birth. The wonderful properties and uses of this gently powerful herb should be a regular part of women’s diet for life. Here’s why.
And men, don’t bounce off the page just yet, raspberry leaf has benefits for you too.
The energetics and functions of raspberry leaf
Raspberry leaf is cooling, drying, astringent, tonifying and stimulating. It helps to regulate the Blood. It enters the uterus, Stomach, Lungs, Bladder, Chong Mai, Ren Mai and Du Mai–it’s all about fertility, baby.
Builds and restores the tissue of the uterus and harmonizes menses – Simply put, raspberry leaf is a fantastic tonic for the uterus at any stage in a woman’s life. Fragarine, an alkaloid found in the herb specifically focuses on the pelvic and uterus muscles–wonderful for preventing and improving conditions of prolapse, incontinence or excess discharge. Harmonizes menses–translation: aids in regulating menses, relieving cramps, irritability, and treats excess or scanty flows.
Strengthens and enhances the uterus during every stage of pregnancy, birth and nursing – Safe, gentle, calming and comforting – raspberry leaf helps curb morning sickness, stops vomiting, reduces risk of miscarriage, helps the uterus prepare for delivery and even helps lessen the pain of labor and delivery.
Raspberry leaf astringes and aids digestion – It drains areas where moisture has accumulated in the body inappropriately. Raspberry leaf helps promote proper urination, stimulates digestion by helping to drain food from the stomach and thereby relieving stomach aches. Use if for constipation and/or diarrhea and excess vaginal discharge.
Rebuilds and nourishes tissues in the throat and Lungs – Asthma? Bronchitis? Chronic allergies? Might want to add this to your cupboard–great for men, too. Raspberry leaf helps treat the tissues of the gums, lips and throat, reducing inflammation, bleeding and healing wounds. Gargle for bleeding gums or recent dental work to relieve soreness.
Ways to incorporate raspberry leaf into your life
Drink as a tea or strong infusion – Pleasant tasting and soothing, the tea is easy to use. Strong preparations aren’t necessary with raspberry leaf, especially if you keep it in your diet regularly. Use a stronger tea or infusion for severe nausea or digestive upset. I mix it with hibiscus tea to help reduce Summer Heat.
Use as a sitz bath, douche or genital wash – For sore tissue in the pelvic region use a long infusion–herb steeped for 20 minutes then cooled to body temperature. Wash affected region to relieve swelling, sore and discharge. It’s safe for baby’s delicate body too.
Keep those peepers pretty – Sore, red, tearing or ‘goopy’ eyes? Use a gentle wash of the tea at body temperature and wash out the eyes.
Harvesting – Raspberries are abundant throughout North America and harvesting them for your own use is very simple. Just pluck the leaves off the raspberry bush, gently rinse, blot off excess water and set them out in the sun to dry and then crumble them…..really, that’s it….. Store in a cool dry place.