Herb Profile: Raspberry Leaf

health benefits of red raspberry leaf and why you should be drinking it Herb Profile: Raspberry Leaf

Raspberry Leaf is probably my favorite herb and definitely my most consumed herb. It has an amazing nutrient profile and a gentle taste similar to regular black tea but without the caffeine.

Why Raspberry Leaf?

As its name suggests, Raspberry leaf is the leaf of the raspberry plant. It is somewhat well known for its benefits during pregnancy, but it is beneficial to women at all stages of life.

It is naturally high in magnesium, potassium, iron and b-vitamins which make it helpful for nausea, leg cramps, and improving sleep during pregnancy. The specific combination of nutrients in Raspberry Leaf makes it extremely beneficial for the female reproductive system. It strengthens the uterus and pelvic muscles which some midwives say leads to shorter and easier labors.

The tannins in raspberry leaf give it astringent properties which make it soothing both internally and externally. A strong raspberry leaf tea or tincture will sooth sunburn, eczema, and rashes when used externally. Swishing with a tincture or infusion of Raspberry Leaf is great for the gums and can help alleviate the symptoms of gingivitis or gum disease.

The high concentration of Vitamin C in Raspberry Leaf makes it great during illness and I also use it as a base for homemade energy drinks.

I suggest it to fertility clients and take it myself daily. I’ve seen it ease the symptoms of PMS, endometriosis, and it is helpful for couples who are trying to conceive. I personally also use it throughout pregnancy, even in the first trimester, as I’ve never seen any conclusive reason not to and the health benefits are wonderful during pregnancy, but I’d definitely consult a midwife or doctor before taking any herb while pregnant.

According to Mountain Rose Herbs: “Raspberry leaf tea has been used for centuries as a folk medicine to treat canker sores, cold sores, and gingivitis in persons of all ages and anemia, leg cramps, diarrhea, and morning sickness in pregnant women, and as a uterine relaxant. Commentators frequently state that recent scientific research found no benefit in raspberry tea for expectant mothers, but this is not correct. The study published in the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health in 2001 found that women who drank raspberry leaf tea had shorter labor, and fewer of their babies were delivered by forceps. The other study, published in the Australian College of Midwives Journal, cited in The Natural Pharmacist as saying there was “no” benefit to the herb for pregnant women, actually stated: “The findings also suggest ingestion of the drug might decrease the likelihood of pre and post-term gestation. An unexpected finding in this study seems to indicate that women who ingest raspberry leaf might be less likely to receive an artificial rupture of their membranes, or require a caesarean section, forceps or vacuum birth than the women in the control group.” In other words, scientific studies show that drinking raspberry tea actually is beneficial during pregnancy.”

Uses of Raspberry Leaf

My favorite use is as an herbal tea, which I drink iced in the summer and hot in the winter. I also make a pregnancy tea using 4 parts Raspberry Leaf and 1 parts Nettle Leaf. You can also add 1 part Peppermint Leaf for help with nausea during early pregnancy. For those trying to improve fertility, three or more cups can be consumed daily and I also consume this amount during pregnancy. It tastes very similar to regular tea without the caffeine, which makes it wonderful in the evening. If you’re a tea drinker, consider adding this in place of regular tea.

To Brew: Pour 8 ounces of boiling water over 1 teaspoon-1 tablespoon of Raspberry Leaf. Steep, covered, for at least 5 minutes and drink as regular tea. I often keep a gallon of cold raspberry leaf tea in the fridge so that I don’t have to brew by the cup. To make a gallon, just 3/4 to 1 cup of Raspberry Leaf  per gallon of boiling water. I pour the herbs and boiling water into a gallon glass jar, cover with a plate and leave overnight before straining for a strong tea.

You can also make a tincture of raspberry leaf using the same proportions that you use to make chamomile tincture and it is great for the skin if used externally and as a more concentrated form to help alleviate PMS, menstrual troubles, heavy bleeding and infertility when used internally.

Where to get Raspberry Leaf

I always order from Mountain Rose Herbs as theirs is organic and extremely high quality. It comes as a dried herb and can be easily made into tea, infusions, or tinctures.

NOTE: Mountain Rose Herbs is having a sale during June (while supplies last) for 30% off Organic Raspberry Leaf. I’m stocking up as I drink this daily, and if you’re planning to try it, this is a great time to order!

Reader Comments

  1. Mbridges says

    Thanks for the info on this herb. I have a large bag of it in my freezer but ( I think I’ve posted this before), I’m not a big tea drinker. I do have some capsules that I could fill with raspberry leaf to take…would that give me the same benefits? If so, how much do you recommend taking? Thanks!!

  2. Jaymeturtle says

    I want your energy drink recipe! Maybe i’ll finally be able to get my husband to stop drinking those awful red bulls!

  3. Veronica says

    Is there any reason a toddler shouldn’t drink your pregnancy tea?  I’ve been making it for myself, but inevitably my 15 month old steals my cup and drinks some.  He loves it!!  I don’t let him drink much since I’m not sure if it’s good for him, but if it’s not harmful (possibly beneficial??) then I could let him have some….

  4. Scubadivinchick says

    I have lots of raspberries and I wonder if I can just dry out the leaves (after they grow raspberries?). Does it have to be from a particular species of raspberries? Thanks!

  5. Alyssa says

    Any similar uses for blackberry leaves? I have three huge blackberry bushes at my house and love to use the leaves!

  6. Katie says

    Any advice on making it from the fresh leaves? We have a ton of raspberries in our yard and I’d love to skip the drying step this summer. Do you know what amount of fresh leaves I’d need to use to get the right strength?

  7. Amber says

    Some teas can be steeped more than once. Would there be any benefit to re-steeping the leaves especially if the first steep was only five minutes?

  8. Mccall says

    Is drinking the raspberry leaf tea throughout the day not going to supply enough magnesium that we still need to supplement?

    • says

      It will definitely boost your levels, but some people with gut issues (most of us these days) also benefit from the oil for a while too since we don’t absorb it intestinally very well.

    • Cassandra Aplin-Gandy says

      I know this is a year old post but in case someone stumbles on it like I did, I will say this about the Magnesium..another good natural way to get it and easily absorbed, is a long hot soak in epsom salt. Grandma had it right.=)

  9. Greta says

    I just received my 2lb bag of raspberry leaf today from Mountain Rose Herbs. I tried a cup and loved it! I am currently 16 weeks pregnant – is there a limit to how much should be consumed daily?

  10. Erica says

    I’ve been trying to balance my hormones since coming off the pill two years ago. I drink this sparingly. Will upping the amount I drink everyday aid in the balancing of my hormones? I’ve tried Maca root capsules (2/day) for a month but I felt it made me break out in acne on my chin.

  11. Sarah Mahan says

    I saw your post and I just bought a box if bagged raspberry leaf tea to try. I thought it would be easier for on the go to have the bags and make sure I like it. I appreciate the post. We’ve been trying to conceive our 2nd baby for almost a year now and I’m trying herbal remedies before going to a specialist. This tea is the first thing on my list. Thanks!

  12. Hannah Fortune says

    Do you know if I could get the same properties if I just infused the herb to my water? For example, I get a glass water bottle infuser, used tap water, added the leaves, and left it for 24 hours? Thanks for your answer!!

  13. Bethany says

    I recently had a missed miscarriage. I waited four weeks to have it happen naturally, but ended up getting a d&c. Is it recommended to drink after a d&c, while still bleeding? I want to get in the best physical condition for my next pregnancy, but understand this tea is supposed to reduce cramping/bleeding, which maybe I need to do right now? Thanks very much to anyone with insight into this!

  14. Katherine Plaza says

    I am 16 weeks and planning on a VBAC. Was wondering if RRL tea was recommended – my only (totally baseless) thought is that it will make my uterus so strong that a rupture is more likely?

  15. Erin Mahon says

    The links you have to buy the tea give us an amazon link to some other brand of raspberry leaf tea – one that the consumers are saying isn’t as good as they are used to, and one person even said she found a metal object of some sort in her bag. :(

  16. dawnieB says

    Hey, Katie! We have wild raspberry growing all over our yard, so I was wondering, could I make my own raspberry leaf tea? Is it as easy as it seems?

  17. Shayna Fasken says

    I’m trying to find a substitute for black tea for my husband. He drinks large quantities of it and I am concerned about the amount of fluoride he is ingesting. Is Raspberry Leaf safe for men to drink as well?

  18. joy roxborough says

    Hi. Thanks for this helpful article. Question: I have been asked to take
    Raspberry Leaf (Rubus sp) Tincture: 15-20 drops, twice daily. But is Rubus sp the same as Rubus idaeus? Thanks

    • Avens says

      Rubus sp. means that it could be an unknown, or multiple species of Rubus (sp. is just a short version of species). Rubus idaeus is a specific species within the Rubus genera.

      So if you were told to take Rubus sp., then Rubus idaeus is a type of Rubus, that could be classified within Rubus sp.

      It’s basically saying “I need to take a Raspberry tincture, any kind of raspberry tincture, and you taking Red Raspberry specifically.

      Hope that helps!
      Source: I’m a botantist

      • joy roxborough says

        Thank you very much. I am now confident to go out and purchase the idaeus. Can you believe I have been asking for Raspberry sp and no one has it. they all seem to have idaeus. But no one could tell me what it meant either. So your assistance is very much appreciated!

  19. Shaina says

    Is raspberry leaf safe for children? Mine are 4 and 5 and I suspect they may have a mineral imbalance, I’m trying to figure out a good tincture for minerals. Thanks!

  20. Jo Tinckham says

    hi I know i am going to sound incredibly stupid asking this but hey ho, I brewed a large tea pot full of RRL tea and have strained it.

    Obviously its cold now, do I heat it up in a pan on the stove?

  21. tess says

    I use the red raspberry herb pills from swanson, along with burdock root to control hot flashes at night…and it works.

  22. gail says

    Hi, I suffer w/uterine fibroids, and was told that the rrl help to slow down the heavy bleeding associated with the fibriods. I just purchased the rrl in pill form. It says to take 2 tablets daily. Will they help slow down my flow? and do i need to take something else along with the rrl?. I also heard about yarrow herb.

  23. Emily says

    I have endometriosis and was so hopeful raspberry leaf would benefit me, but several things I have read said it can have an estrogenic effect and not to use it if you are estrogen dominant (which I am) or if there is a history of breast cancer (rampant in my family). I would love to hear more of your thoughts about this!! Thank you!!

  24. Elisa says

    hi…i came off the pill 1 year ago and still haven’t seen a period sense…my gyno told me my lining was thin…..he gave me meds to use for 1 month and still no change….i am tired of pharmaceutical medication….will RRL tea help me with my lining and in helping me to conceive?

  25. Miki says

    I came on this site to find out if Raspberry leaf tea will help with heavy periods? I wanted to find a natural alternative instead of IUD or ibuprofen. they were the only other options.

    • Lucy says

      I ws hoping this would help with heavier periods too. I recently learned that the turmeric I have been intentionally adding to recipes for the health benefits could be partly to blame for heavy periods. It sounds like raspberry tea could help but I notice I’ve become almost paranoid about trying anything lately because of this potential side effect.

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