Red raspberry leaf is a pale-green leaf produced by the raspberry plant. It is said the use of red raspberry leaves dates back to ancient Greeks and Romans and has a rich history of being used to treat a wide variety of ailments due to its rich content in vitamins, minerals, and tannins. Some of the illnesses they used the leaf to treat include: the flu, gum disease, rubella, upset stomach, hangover, diarrhea, fevers, vomiting, menstrual problems, inflammation, and the most popular use of red raspberry leaves is for pregnancy. Red raspberry leaf has been shown to strengthen the uterine wall, relax and smooth the muscle, and help to make delivery easier and speedier by helping the uterus contract more efficiently.
I had came across several articles regarding this product when I was pregnant with Little Miss L. The more I read about it, the more I felt like it wouldn't hurt to give it a try. I did not use the tea until I was in my third trimester. Some women have used it throughout their pregnancies, but some doctors feel it may cause miscarriages in early pregnancy. Once I hit my last trimester, I would drink 2-3 cups of red raspberry leaf tea a day. During my first pregnancy I used the loose leaf form because that was all I was able to find in Europe. I have to say that it isn't the best tasting tea I have ever had as there is a slight bitter taste. It helps to add variety by drinking it hot or cold. Some women also drink the tea throughout their labour, or suck on frozen cubes of the tea made beforehand. The tea reportedly helps expel the placenta and its nutritional value is thought to be responsible for encouraging and enriching the mother's breastmilk.
When I found out I was pregnant this time around, I knew I wanted to try it again. I can't say for sure whether or not the tea helped my uterus but I do have to mention that my doctor was impressed during and after labour with how well my uterus had performed during the process of childbirth and afterwards. This time around, I opted to purchase the pre-packaged organic tea bag, only for convenience. I have started to drink my 2-3 cups a day, and have high hopes it will help me out again this time around! Again, this is not meant for everyone and I am only sharing my own experience - please consult with your doctor before using.
For those of you in North America interested in trying raspberry leaf tea, I suggest you check out one of my favourite online stores, well.ca. Well.ca has a huge selection of health and baby products and shipping is free within Canada which is great for those of you like me who are too busy or uncomfortable to visit multiple specialty shops to find the best products on the market. The exact brand of raspberry leaf tea that I'm taking is currently on sale and well.ca's #1 best selling tea!