Red Raspberry Leaf Tea; An Herbal Supplement for Labor
Posted on: May 30, 2018 | Labor & Birth
In the days before I was a professional doula, I was a retail manager at a health food co-op. I spent my free time teaching myself about different healing modalities and natural folk remedies. I was drawn to the fact that, in theory, if you have the right information, there is a world of medicine growing right outside your door.
I first heard about Red Raspberry Leaf Tea when the local midwives came in asking us to order it in bulk so they could give it to their patients.
We weren’t discussing Raspberry flavored tea, or tea blends that contained Red Raspberry Leaf with other ingredients. They wanted the dried leaves from raspberry plants.
Not one to let an educational opportunity pass me by, I began asking questions.
What I learned from these midwives was:
- It was used as an herbal supplement for many issues facing women of childbearing age.
- They were suggesting that their patients use it to strengthen the wall of the uterus and the entire female reproductive system.
- They said it helps to decrease profuse menstrual flow.
- They said that for some women, it could alleviate morning sickness and nausea.
- They used it to assist labor, making delivery easier and relieving the after pains.
Red Raspberry Leaf is also high in vitamins C, E, A and B and minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium and phosphorus, Zinc, iron, chromium and manganese. The midwives shared with me that if used as a tea, those essential vitamins and minerals are easily absorbed because they’re in liquid form.
Who would imagine that those yummy red bumpy berries were the byproduct of a powerhouse herb for the female reproductive system?
As I went on to pursue a License in massage therapy and then become a professional doula, I kept this knowledge in the back of my mind, and mentioned it to some clients as we worked together.
But let’s talk about scope for a minute here.
I am not suggesting that as a doula, you recommend gallons of Red Raspberry Leaf Tea to every pregnant person you meet….
BECAUSE WE ARE NOT MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS.
We don’t diagnose or treat.
We simply offer information.
This is especially important when it comes to herbal medicine, essential oils, or over the counter remedies.
We don’t know the detailed health history of our clients.
Their care providers do.
Instead, recommend a conversation with the client’s care provider if the client is interested in using Red Raspberry Leaf Tea or any thing out of ‘their ordinary’ during pregnancy.
Red Raspberry Leaf tea, while generally regarded as safe (GRAS) and can typically be used throughout pregnancy, but it can be troublesome for some.
Because Red Raspberry Leaf tea contains the alkaloid, fragrine, it tones the uterus by causing the uterus to contract. These contractions aren’t as strong as labor contractions. They are gentle and give the uterus a bit of a warm up before it must work hard in labor.
In cases where an individual has a history of miscarriage, preterm labor, or a placenta-previa, pre-term uterine contractions can be dangerous.
There are no definitive studies that verify Red Raspberry Leaf tea’s impact on labor, but anecdotally speaking, we often hear that it stimulates labor.
Care providers may encourage their patients to wait until the second trimester before consuming the tea.
The most overlooked benefit of drinking Red Raspberry Leaf Tea is…. EXTRA HYDRATION!
Erin Young, Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), ProDoula CD, PICD, CCE, Birth and Postpartum & Infant Care Trainer, Owner of Mother Nurturing an apothecary for pregnancy and beyond, and Co- owner of Houston Birth & Baby