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Raspberry Leaf

The Red Raspberry Leaf (Rubus idaeus) is a pale-green leaf produced by the Raspberry plant; an upright shrub with perennial roots and prickly, biennial canes. The leaf has many medical uses due to its rich content in vitamins, minerals and tannins.



The leaves contain high concentrations of several vitamins and minerals because of the plant's secondary compounds. As a result, it is used as an aid for pregnancy and delivery.
Vitamin C and vitamin E are present in large amounts as well as Vitamin A and some B Complex. Increased Vitamin A intake in the form of the carotenoids of red raspberry leaf can aid women?s immune system as well as facilitate healthy skin and bone development for the baby. Vitamin E serves to promote better circulation in the mother, who is dramatically increasing her blood volume during pregnancy. The Red raspberry leaf also contains many essential minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, and an easily assimilated form of calcium. An increased availability of calcium is necessary in controlling nerve response to pain during childbirth and in aiding bone development in the foetus. It also contains fragrine, an alkaloid which help tone the muscles of the pelvic region including the uterus. This allows the uterus to contract more powerfully and effectively during labour. Many midwives report that it aids in focusing the pre-labor contractions that help a woman?s uterus to prepare for delivery. The high vitamin and mineral content help replace those lost via blood loss during delivery and alkaloids tone the uterus as it returns to its usual size. In some women, the high mineral content may even help their milk to come in. Some people believe it is not recommended for breast feeding and that use of the leaf should conclude within 6 weeks of birth. However, according to Every Woman's Herbal, raspberry leaf tea will enrich the mother's milk, especially during periods when the baby is going through a growth spurt. Continuing to consume raspberry leaf after the baby is 6 weeks old is not dangerous to the mother or the infant and may be beneficial.
There is considerable discussion around the possible benefits of raspberry leaf tea taken late in pregnancy; most sources agree that it should be avoided in early pregnancy. The consensus seems to be that while taking raspberry leaf tea should not be expected to bring forward the onset of labour, it may shorten the second stage of labour. Most of the evidence available is anecdotal. A recent review expressed concern at the lack of evidence for safety and efficacy.

Medical Ailments

Tannins found in this plant act as an astringent and can be effective in soothing inflammation and in constricting the tissues of the intestines to prevent water-loss. Red raspberry leaf thus provides an effective treatment for diarrhoea and intestinal inflammation, especially in children. It can also be used as a mouth wash to soothe mouth and throat irritations.
Its astringency also acts by tightening the top layers of the skin and on mucous membranes to reduce secretions, relieve irritation and improve tissue firmness.

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