God’s Gift to Women
A native to North America and Europe, red raspberry has been cultivated since the 16th century. Found in moist or dry woods, fields, and roadsides, red raspberry is one of the most widespread and available herbs. Its freely branched canes stand erect and are covered with small, straight prickles.
The cultivation of red raspberry’s leaves, berries, and roots has produced significant contributions to the making of wine. Contributions have also been made to a wide variety of foods such as jellies and pies and to the world of medicine. In fact, roughly ten American tribes such as the Pawnee, Omaha, and Dakota are known to have used Red Raspberry for medicinal purposes.
For centuries a tea made from the leaves of the red raspberry has been given to pregnant women to ease both pregnancy and childbirth. Raspberry leaves act upon the procreative organs of a woman, stimulating, toning, and regulating them more effectively than any other known herb. Because of this magnificent ability, world famous herbalist Henry Box said of the herb, ”A tea made from red raspberry leaves is the best gift God ever gave to woman.” Red raspberry is mild enough to be one of the few botanicals that can actually be strongly recommended during the entire pregnancy term.
During the pregnancy morning sickness is moderated and the uterine muscles are toned in preparation for the childbirth. Scientific evidence indicates the harmonizing regulation of uterine muscles due to the leaves of the raspberry. After receiving concentrates of red raspberry, several species of animals demonstrated that if the smooth muscle of the uterus was “in tone,” the extract of the raspberry leaf relaxed it. Likewise, if the smooth muscle was too relaxed, the leaf extract toned it. This natural muscle toning makes the labor less painful as well as less time consuming. Red raspberry leaf tea also enhances the lactation processes of the mother-to-be and is mild enough that it does not constipate.
Continuing doses of red raspberry after childbirth helps decrease uterine swelling and cuts down on postpartum bleeding. Inflammation is reduced, spasms are prevented, and tissue repair is promoted.
Although red raspberry is a phenomenal herb for pregnant women, its properties are extremely important to everyone. Both the leaves and berries contain a wonderful citrate of iron upon which depends the remarkable bloodmaking and regulating properties. The high calcium content aids in controlling pain and preventing hemorrhaging. The leaves of red raspberry have a manganese content twice as high as any other herb, and the fruit is rich in Vitamin C. Raspberry is also a wide spectrum astringent where prompt symptom relief is needed in instances such as diarrhea, constipation, dysentery, intestinal flu, vomiting, dysmenorhea, menorrhagia, uterine bleeding, prolapse of uterus or anus, hemorrhoids, inflamed mucous membranes, sores, and wounds.
Red raspberry can be applied as part of a poultice or used in decoction for fomentation or soaks. For internal use recommended intake is two capsules three times daily with meals.
Creating Your Herbal Profile by Dorothy Hall (New Canaan, Connecticut: Keats Publishing, 1988).
Indian Herbology of North America by Alma R. Hutchens (Ann Arbor, Michigan: Merco,1983).
Medicinal Plants by Michael Moore (Santa Fe, New Mexico: The Museum of New Mexico Press, 1982).
Nutitional Herbology by Mark Pedersen (Warsaw, Indiana: Wendell W. Whitman Company, 1994).
“Preparing for Delivery” by Judy Cobb in Nature’s Field (May/June 1989).
“Red Raspberry” by Dr. John R. Christopher, M.H. in Herbalist (Vol 1, No. 4, 1976).
The Energetics of Western Herbs by Peter Holmes (Boulder, Colorado: Artemis Press, 1989).
The Wild Rose Scientific Herbal by Terry Willard Ph.D. (Calgary, Alberta, Canada: Wild Rose College of Natural Healing, 1991).
The Yoga of Herbs by Dr. Vasant Lad and David Frawley (Santa Fe, New Mexico: Lotus Press, 1986).