DIY: Prenatal Tincture |

DIY: Prenatal Tincture

admin March 13, 2015

Written by Kate Tietje and updated by Sarena-Rae Santos in January of 2024. 

Not long ago, I was thinking through the birth stories of my three boys (they were born at home; my oldest was not).  My younger two boys’ births I remember as being much more intense and somewhat more painful, although, to be fair, they were much quicker at only 3 hours and 2 hours of really “active” or “hard” labor.

With my oldest son’s birth, I remember being exhausted because it lasted about 14 hours, but I don’t really remember it being that intense or that painful until perhaps the last hour.  And by then, it was almost over!

That led me to wonder why.  I hadn’t really questioned it because I figured the amount of time in labor played a big role, and I didn’t cope as well with my oldest son’s labor because I didn’t really know what to do yet.  I found my rhythm in that final hour (which is why I went from 4 to 10 that quickly after hours of no changes!), and I used what I learned to cope with my younger boys’ births, likely leading to the shortened duration.


This is not a story about my boys’ births.  You can read those if you want: Daniel’s Birth, Jacob’s Birth, and Nathan’s Birth.  This is actually a story about one key factor I’ve been ignoring that I think might have been partially responsible for the difference in my experience of pain and intensity:


For the last 3 – 4 months of my pregnancy with Daniel, I used pregnancy tea and then plain red raspberry leaf tea, and I brewed 2 – 4 cups and drank it every morning.  In the final weeks, I switched from pregnancy tea to a mix of the two, to only red raspberry leaf at the end.  I did this consistently.  I did use these herbs with my other pregnancies, but much like my current one, very inconsistently.  Since the red raspberry leaf is known to tone the uterus, it wouldn’t be surprising that my tea habit may have played a role in my physically easier birth.

I want to take advantage of these herbs for the upcoming birth of my fifth child.  But, as a busy mom of four, having a cup (or four) of tea every morning isn’t always something I can do.  We are often on the go for homeschool events, working on projects at home, and more.  Breakfast is usually quick, not leisurely.  Rather than rely on finding time for a cup of tea, I plan to create a simple tincture from the same herbs.  This has the advantage of requiring only a small dose, which I can easily take quickly before I run out the door.  Problem solved!

I plan to use this tincture starting early in my third trimester, although I will use more of it in the final 3 – 4 weeks and be very consistent about it in the final 6 or so.

Prenatal Tincture

This tincture combines two main ingredients: red raspberry leaf and nettles.  Both are extremely nourishing, and red raspberry leaf is known specifically for toning smooth muscles in the body, including the uterus.

I often use glycerin for tinctures, but in this case, I’m using vodka, which is more typical for tinctures.  I choose 100-proof vodka because tinctures should be half alcohol and half water…and that’s exactly what 100-proof vodka is.  This is because it will extract the medicinal properties a little better and because it’s only for adults.


  • 2 parts red raspberry leaf
  • 1 part nettle leaf
  • 100-proof vodka (to cover)


Step 1: Combine the herbs in a glass jar.  I use roughly 1 cup of red raspberry leaf and 1/2 cup of nettle leaf.

Step 2: Cover with vodka (about 1 cup).

Step 3: Put a lid on it and shake to combine.

Step 4: Let the tincture sit for 4-6 weeks in a cool, dark place (I have a cabinet where I keep all my medicine).

Step 5: Strain the tincture through a piece of cheesecloth, squeezing out all the liquid.  Store in dark brown glass bottles, ideally with droppers for easy use.

Usage: Take 10 drops daily starting at 28 weeks, increasing to 20 – 30 drops in the final 4 – 6 weeks.  This is just a suggestion; use more or less based on your needs and talk to your doctor or midwife for more help.

Have you used red raspberry leaf at the end of pregnancy before?  Did it help?

This is the writings of:



  1. Can the red raspberry leaf be taken directly from the tea bags? That’s what I have, because I bought the tea, but I don’t really care for it. Also, is the vodka safe for pregnant mothers?


    • You will not be drinking the vodka, it’s a small amount and no it won’t hurt you. As far as using from a tea bag, I would guess the answer is yes as long as red raspberry leaf is the only ingredient. I’ve never found such a thing though. All I ever found had fillers, coloring and other junk.
      I drink a tea similar to this for monthly ease as well. It’s great!


  2. I recently gave birth to my 4th baby. I drank raspberry leaf tea like a mad women especially in the last 6 weeks. I also took evening primrose oil the last three weeks. Prior to heading to the hospital while in labor, I made myself a big mug of raspberry leaf tea steeped with 4 tea bags for 2 hours and drank this on the drive. Aside from the last 3 ‘pushy’ contractions, my labor was easy! My baby came in one push! It was my easiest birth by far. Doctors think I’m crazy when I tell them about the tea, but I’m a believer 🙂


    • A word of caution – this works for most people but not all. I, too, read stories of red raspberry helping labor and since my first child’s birth ended in an unplanned c-section, I wanted to do all I could to avoid that for the 2nd. I drank tea before labor and also on the way to the hospital. The labor was not productive and ended in another c-section along with lots of blood loss. Later, I read that red raspberry can cause extra loss of blood in some people. But … if anyone has another explanation for this, I’d be glad to hear it!


  3. Tinctures are certainly an easy way to “take your medicine” and my preferred method as well when a good fit with the herbs I’m using. However I wonder if you’d miss out on some of the nutrients that make RRL and nettles so beneficial. Alcohol isn’t a good menstruum for the minerals and vitamins that these herbs are known for, and they are known as nutritive herbs more so than medicinal. It’s the hot/boiling water breaking the plant cell walls that releases the calcium and magnesium that nourish the uterus. Also not sure about the folate or vitamin K that nettles contributes. Another idea would be to tincture in ACV instead as vinegar is considered an excellent menstruum for extracting minerals. My herbalist friend made a nettles oxymel (vinegar and honey) for her young son and when taken nightly he no longer had growing pains.


    • I’m actually doing both — tea, and tincture (well, once the tincture’s ready). Glycerin is another medium that you can use if you’re more interested in the nutrients than anything else, and what I typically use.


  4. I’m curious… I’ve read several of your posts on making tinctures and I was curious if you have any books or anything out there that could help me as I dive into this a bit deeper. Thanks!


  5. […] it!  Drink.  I also add my prenatal tincture to the drink at this time.  (It’s a good vehicle for any liquid supplements since it’s […]


  6. I’m a believer! I drank almost a half gallon a day with my 3rd and had him in the van. I wasn’t 100% sure I was in labor until I felt the urge to push.


  7. I took rrlt very consistently with my second after having a horrible 60hr labor with my first. After much desperate research to avoid another long labor when I found out I was expecting again, rrlt seemed to be my best bet at a better labor. I drank about a quart a day once I reached my second tri. I had a enjoyable three hour labor. But I drank that rrlt until I couldn’t stand the stuff. Now I’m expecting number three! Even now afyert my ms is fading, I can’t stand to drink the rrlt! If I can make it into an eassy to take tinc instead of guzzling a quart of tea that would be awesome! I just had one question though, now that this post is a couple of years old, did the tinc work for you?


    • A tincture does help. I have done both tea and tincture in the same pregnancy, so I can’t say which worked better. But it’s worth a shot, especially if you do not want to drink the tea. 🙂


  8. […] been using the first two throughout pregnancy and especially in the third trimester, with my third trimester tincture.  I’m adding that to my morning cranberry juice mix (which consists of unsweetened cranberry […]


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Hi, I’m Kate.  I love medical freedom, sharing natural remedies, developing real food recipes, and gentle parenting. My goal is to teach you how to live your life free from Big Pharma, Big Food, and Big Government by learning about herbs, cooking, and sustainable practices.

I’m the author of Natural Remedies for Kids and the owner and lead herbalist at EarthleyI hope you’ll join me on the journey to a free and healthy life!

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