Now that I’ve approached the last few weeks of my pregnancy I have been sipping on red raspberry leaf tea for its natural benefits. Although this special herb is well known for supporting those who are expecting, it actually benefits all stages of a woman’s reproductive life.
Red raspberry leaf tea is a well-known relief for menstrual cramps and can also help to regulate a woman’s flow. It has also been used to help alleviate discomfort in conjunction with both PMS and endometriosis. During hormonal transitions such as the ovulation period and menopause, the herb can help detoxify our systems by eliminating excess hormones.
Raspberry leaf tea has also been used to help those wishing to conceive. It can help increase fertility as the chances of implantation become greater with the relaxation effect on the woman’s uterus.
For pregnancy, the tea has been known to help immensely with morning sickness and it also helps support pregnancy related discomforts. Red raspberry leaf tea promotes a good night’s rest and reduces swelling, leg cramps, and bleeding of the gums.
Midwives believe that this herb leads to both shorter and easier labours as it strengthens the uterine muscles. My midwife refers to red raspberry leaf tea brews as “labour-aide” and recommends I show up at the birth centre with a pitcher ready to sip on. Working as a uterine tonic, the tea makes our contractions more effective encouraging a labour that progresses well. The pushing stage has also been known to be quick as our uterus is again, strong and effective. Red raspberry leaf tea can also make for an easier delivery of the placenta as well as stop excess bleeding after birth should it occur.
On top of all those momma related benefits, raspberry leaf tea is also known to help with nursing. The vitamin and mineral content encourages a nice rich supply of milk to come in. As we covered above, the herb helps detoxify excess hormones which is a fabulous support for new mamas and helps decrease the chances of developing postpartum depression. Red raspberry leaf tea also aids the uterus to shrink back to its original size as well as restores the strength of the pelvic floor.
*Generally speaking, most expecting mothers are recommended to start drinking the tea (capsules are also available) in their last trimester but some women drink it all throughout. For ideal benefits, the consumption should be gradual starting with one cup and slowly making your way to three cups a day as you near the end of your term. Please consult with your Obstetrician or midwife before you take it. Every single woman and every pregnancy is different so red raspberry leaf tea should only be introduced at a time when your health care provider thinks it is best for both you and your baby.
ICED RED RASPBERRY LEAF TEA
6 cups of water
3-4 red raspberry leaf tea bags
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1⁄2 tbsp. honey (or any all natural sweetener)
1⁄2 cup berries (I use frozen)
In a large pot, bring the water to a boil. Remove from heat and place the tea bags in the pot. Let brew for at least 15 minutes for best results. Once brewed and cooled down, transfer the tea to a large pitcher and mix in the rest of the ingredients. Pour over ice and enjoy or store in the fridge and sip on as you desire.
*Because I am within my last 4 weeks of pregnancy and my midwife gave me the go ahead, I’m drinking a pitcher a day (so 3-4 tea bags). Again, take into consideration where you are in your pregnancy and what your health care provider recommends for you specifically.
Chantal Urbina is a registered Massage Therapist and Culinary Nutrition Expert. She is passionate about living a life full of health, love, and happiness and that all three start with our diet. “Nature’s healing properties will never cease to amaze me and it inspires me day after day to create and share recipes made with only real whole foods.”