By Katie, Contributing Writer
You have probably eaten your fair share of raspberries over the years. You may have even gone berry picking carefully plucking the delicate fruits from the vines while avoiding getting suck in the bramble. What you might not have known is that the leaf of the raspberry plant is an important medicinal herb.
Latin Name: Rubus idaeus, Rbus spp. (Rosacecae)
Common Names: Red Raspberry, American Raspberry, Dewberry, Bramble Fruit, Thimble Berry
How to Identify
The red raspberry bush is hard to miss with its vibrant red fruit that is just begging to be picked. Red raspberry as well as all the Rubus species have leaves that are alternate, pinnately compound,consisting of 3 to 7 leaflets. They are finely toothed around the edges, wrinkly and generally hairy. The bottom of the leaf is almost white in color. The branches of the plant are arching, mostly hairless, prickly canes.
The red raspberry flowers around June or July. The petals fall within a day or two and give way to berries that grow in clusters. It grows in cultivated gardens and in the wild.
How to Harvest
I am all for harvesting raspberries — there is nothing like popping a fresh from the vine berry in your mouth — but I do not advise harvesting the leaves yourself. If not dried properly they are prone to mold. In my opinion it is best to buy dried red raspberry leaf from a reputable company such as Bulk Herb Store or Mountain Rose Herbs. I frequently buy herbs from both of these companies.
What is is good for?
Red raspberry is one of my favorite herbs! It’s almost easier to ask what isn’t it good for rather than what it is. Red raspberry is most commonly known as a woman’s herb. It is found in most tea blends for pregnancy and menstruation. It is loaded with vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, manganese, iron, calcium, and niacin.
Red Raspberry Leaf Is Beneficial For:
- Bed Wetting
- Canker Sore, Mouth Ulcers
- Enriched Mother”s Milk
- Menorrhagia, Excessive Bleeding
- Menstrual Cramps
- Labor Pains
- Morning Sickness
- Urinary Tract Infection
- Bleeding Gums
- Sore Throat
- Wounds, Burns
A Woman’s Herb
If you are pregnant or wanting to conceive then red raspberry is the herb for you! Best of all it is safe to use throughout your entire pregnancy. For those wanting to conceive, it increases fertility. Red raspberry contains an alkaloid, called fragrine, that strengthens and tones the walls of the uterus and pelvic muscles before, during, and after child birth. It is also known to ease morning sickness. It aids in easy birthing and restores the womb after birth. Red raspberry has also been known to help prevent miscarriage.
Red raspberry is also a wonder herb for menstruating woman. It is full of calcium that is easily adsorbed into the body which helps regulate the hormones that flood your body every month easing PMS symptoms such as cramps. The toning effect the red raspberry has on the uterus is vital during menstruation as well. The tannis in this herb are beneficial for curbing diarrhea.
In addition to being an amazing woman’s herb red raspberry also has astringent, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anti-microbial and diuretic properties. The whole family can benefit from this herb.
A Word Of Caution:
If you haven’t used red raspberry leaf before pregnancy some suggest waiting until the third trimester to start using it.
How To Use Red Raspberry Leaf?
- Herbal Bath
My favorite way to take red raspberry leaf is in a tea or tincture. Here are a few different blends you may enjoy. Why not keep a pitcher of it in the fridge for the whole family to enjoy and benefit from its healing properties?
- Supper Happy Belly Tea by Just Making Noise
- Women’s Tea (great for cramps) by Nourishing Simplicity
- Heavy Bleeding and Cramp Tinctures by Nourishing Simplicity
- Pregnancy Tea by Modern Alternative Pregnancy
- Natural Pick-Me-Up Tea by Frugal Granola