Red Raspberry (Rubus idaeus, spp) is one of the most well known and most loved fruits in the world, but in the herbal and midwifery world its leaves are also a dearly treasured herbal remedy for women of childbearing age. Raspberry Leaf is most popular as a tonic for pregnancy and labor, but it is also excellent as a nutritive and tonic in preparation for pregnancy. Despite its humble appearance, the leaf of the red raspberry hides a multitude of benefits. It contains high levels of minerals, including iron, magnesium and potassium. Vitamins A, C and E are also present, along with some B vitamins.
This herbal extract helps:
- restore hormonal balance because of the high calcium content
- relax your uterus to allow for conception
- correct luteal phase defect to allow enough time for implantation to take place.
- the embryo attach to the uterine lining (endometrium) during implantation and stay attached
- increase fertility naturally
- prevent miscarriages that are a result of
- premature uterine contractions or spasms
- under or mal-nutrition
- relieve morning sickness
- and constipation
- tone the uterus and other pelvic muscles to prepare your body for labor and delivery
- speed recovery after childbirth and reduces bleeding and
- assist your uterus to expel the afterbirth and to return to normal
Although not scientifically proven, red raspberry leaves (RRL) are thought to have many medicinal properties. The leaves are believed to be:
- alterative - substance that restores to normal health
- antispasmodic - prevents/stops muscle spasms
- astringent - restricts secretions of fluids, shrinks/constricts body tissues
- hemostatic - stops bleeding
- stimulant - substance that increases physiological activity
Red raspberry is also a source of a chemical compound called fragrine, which is supposed to be the "active ingredient" that tones the muscles of the pelvic region, including the uterus.
Red Raspberry for Fertility Issues
This herb may be helpful for the following conditions where there is menstrual bleeding issues or uterine weakness present. It would be best to use this plant to help heal and prepare for pregnancy for at least 3 months prior to trying to conceive.
Recurrent Miscarriage*: For those who have experienced miscarriage due to uterine weakness.
Heavy Menstrual Bleeding: The astringent properties of this herb help to stop heavy bleeding. It is also high in iron which may help prevent anemia due to heavy menstrual bleeding.
Poor Egg Quality/Nutritional Deficiency: This herb is very nutritive which helps to boost overall nutrition in preparation for pregnancy. Having adequate nutrient stores prior to pregnancy can help increase your chances of a healthy pregnancy.
General Preparation for Pregnancy: If you are thinking of trying to get pregnant, this herb may be a great ally for preparing your uterus and boosting overall nutritional intake. It is also safe for men to use to boost their nutrition levels in preparation for conception, as it does not contain any hormone-like substances.
Uterine Trauma: If you have had surgery to remove fibroids, endometriosis, ovarian cysts or have had uterine prolapse, previous uterine hemorrhage or a Cesarean section this herb may help your recovery and may promote healing of the uterus. The toning effect of Red Raspberry leaf helps the uterus to recover more quickly.
Astringent: Astringent herbs cause contraction and shrinkage of internal and external body tissues. They also help to prevent hemorrhage or excessive bleeding. Red Raspberry leaves help prevent hemorrhage, making it useful for miscarriage, childbirth, postpartum healing, endometriosis, uterine fibroids and endometrial hyperplasia. The tannins contribute to its astringent properties, which also aid healthy digestive function; this herb is wonderful for alleviating diarrhea.
Uterine Tonic: Its constituent fragrine is an alkaloid that helps to tone the muscles of the pelvic region, including the uterus. This is a wonderful action for improving uterine health where there is uterine weakness present. This may help prevent miscarriages due to uterine weakness, when used in preparation for pregnancy.
Parturient: Parturient herbs promote labor. A recent study showed that 63% of midwives in the United States use this herb to stimulate labor. Although it is used quite commonly by midwives to stimulate labor, it is used more often to prepare the woman’s uterus for the hard work of labor.