For hundreds of years prior to the invention of medication people have been using herbs during pregnancy. Raspberry leaves have a long history of being used during pregnancy, as they aid in strengthening and toning the tissues of the womb, assisting with contractions. These actions will occur is the leaves are drunk regularly during the pregnancy as well as being taken during labour. As with many herbs their actions depend on the state of the body, some actions will be more forthcoming than others.
The Raspberry or Rubus idaeushas an astringent, tonic, refrigerant and parturient action in the body. The berries and the leaves of the plant can be consumed; leaves being collected throughout the growing season, and slowly dried in a well aired, dark room.
If you have them in your backyard cut off a few branches tying them up with some twine and hang them upside down in a dark, vented room. If you pick off leaves ( for instance if you find a bush in the park) place them in a wicker basket and again place in a dark place.
A cup of raspberry tea per day should be taken over the last three months of the pregnancy, as it will perfect the muscle and tissue tone of the uterus, and eventually aid in facilitating the birthing process itself.
During the pregnancy, Raspberry leaves can be taken to easy and not prolong labour.
During pregnancy, other herbs should be taken as well so as to aid in general health, such as Nettles, which can also be taken as a tea (Nettles provide the body with a good source of iron).
If labour is prolonged taking Golden Seal ( in tincture form or as a tea) will work towards strengthening the bodies endurance.
To be taken…
Pour hot water over 2 teaspoons of the dried raspberry leaves*. Cover the cup with a lid and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Drink freely throughout the day.
*crumble them before you make the tea if you crumble the leaves all at once the oils inside will release and the properties of the tea will be lax.
** contact your physician if you have any questions
Hoffmann, D. (1990). Holistic Herbal: A Safe and Practical Guide to Making and Using Herbal Remedies. London: Thorsons.
Romm, A.J. (2014). The Natural Pregnancy Book. New York: Ten Speed Press.
Tierra, M. (1998). The ways of Herbs. New York: Pocket Books.
Amanda Filipowicz is a certified nutritional practitioner (CNP) with a bachelor in environmental studies (BES) from York University. She also has certification in clinical detoxification, prenatal and postnatal care as well as nutrition for mental health. She has been working as a nutritionist since 2013 and is a lifelong proponent of eating healthy.