May 8, 2023

Health benefits of raspberry leaves

I have only just found out how beneficial raspberry leaves are to our general health, though I remember drinking raspberry leaf tea when I was pregnant in the early 1980s.  The books of the time told me that it would make labour easier, ease sickness and nausea, help with contractions, ease labour pains and help with milk flow.  I am not sure if it eased the pain as it was still flipping excruciating, and I chose to eat choc ices from a fridge next to my bed which definitely helped with morning sickness before I went to work,.  However, I did not have trouble with my milk and feeding. Studies are now divided on this issue and women are now being advised not to take raspberry leaf tea as it could cause a miscarry, especially if you take it in the early stages of pregnancy, or if you have had a miscarriage before.  Other studies say that it prevents a miscarry, but I guess no mother wants to take that chance and so it is wise to talk to a doctor if you are thinking of taking raspberry leaves whilst pregnant.  The NHS does say that if you are going to take it you should start it at 32 weeks and start with one cup a day.  It is also not advised if you have previously had a short labour lasting less than 3 hours, or if you have previously had a caesarean section.  Now that I have talked about pregnancy and the possible risks, I will talk about the how ingesting raspberry leaves can help with general health.  As you all know, there are risks and side effects with any medication, whether it be from nature or something prescribed from the chemist, but I know which I would rather take as a first step.  However, I am not qualified, or a specialist in this area and I just share my journey on here and so please do your own research before consuming anything.

There is no denying, that many women in the past have found that raspberry leaf tea has helped with PMS symptoms, especially cramps, and they have also helped with the menopause (it increases oestrogen levels).  Apparently, it also reduces a heavy menstrual flow.  I wish I had known that 20 years ago! Many studies support this.  At my age I am past all that rubbish that women have to go through, and so I have been studying the health benefits of using raspberry leaves in my diet for my general health.  I am always looking to add more nutrition for free, and I have the canes growing in my garden to provide me with fruit in a month or so.

Raspberry leaves actually have lots of vitamins and minerals in them.  I discovered that they contain vitamins A, C, and E and some Bs, including B6.  They also contain magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and are full of anti-oxidants.  The latter helps with anti-aging and to prevent cancer. I can’t believe that I did not know how good they are for me.  I bet my ancestors were using them regularly but a lot of that knowledge is lost now to most of us.  We go and buy supplements instead, which seems crazy when the leaves are almost a waste product.

I was watching Raine Country on YouTube and she was saying that raspberry leaves are a natural diarrhetic and help with detoxing the body and weight loss.  I can remember taking some raspberry leaf tablets year ago and they did seem to help me with my weight loss, but they were expensive and so I could not take them for long.  Other benefits that are attributed to raspberry leaves include improved skin health, an aid to digestion and respiratory health, they help with inflammation {which is good for my knees}, and they can  be used to help with nausea and diarrhoea (though if too many leaves are ingested it can actually cause the latter and so you should only have one or two cups of tea made with it in a day). If made into a tea and left to go cold it can even be used as an eye wash to cure conjunctivitis. Who knew?  My young grandson suffers from that a lot. It  The leaves  also are supposed to help one feel calm and act as a kind of sedative and improve sleep, which would be good for me as I often only get about 5 hours sleep a night.  It is like a little medicine cabinet growing in my back garden and I wasn’t even aware.

Apparently now is the best time to pick the leaves, just before the raspberry plants flower.  That is when they have the most nutrients in and so will offer the most benefits.  It is ok to pick them afterwards but they will just not do you as much good.  It is also best to pick them when they are young as the leaves can get a bit tough when they are more mature.  As with any foraging or picking of garden leaves, it is best not to harvest too many as the plant needs the leaves in order to grow the flowers and fruit.

So, I am going to pick some today to dehydrate them. Raine warns not to dehydrate on a higher setting or you will destroy the nutrients.  I tend to dry my plants by the sun and so will be hanging them in my kitchen. I will also make some tea from some fresh leaves over the next few days.  Boiling the leaves in a pan to make tea will also reduce the nutrients, or pouring on boiling water.  Apparently, the best way to make a tea is to steep the leaves in hot, but not boiling water.  I don’t actually like any kind of hot tea and so I will leave mine to go cold and then throw it down my throat.  If I remember rightly, raspberry leaves did not taste particularly good and so I might boil some ginger in a pan with some water and let it cool a bit and then steep the raspberry leaves in that.

Another way to add the nutrition of the leaves to your diet is to dry them and add to other dried herbs and foraged greens and then make a powder that you can add to stews, burgers or anything else that you are cooking from scratch.  I have even seen these powders added to wraps which we make regularly.  I think that I would prefer that to tea.

Have many of you used raspberry leaves?  What have you done with them and have you felt any beneficial effects?  I feel excited to try it!  Please remember that when picking anything that you are 100% sure that you have got the right plant.










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  1. Julie Barton May 8, 2023 at 4:32 pm - Reply

    Thank you for sharing all the useful information a great eye opener to me and will have to try some raspberry leaves

    • ToniG May 9, 2023 at 11:28 am - Reply

      It was to me too. I have started drinking it now but not keen on the taste lol x

  2. Katie Naden May 8, 2023 at 8:01 pm - Reply

    I’ve never tried Raspberry leaves & might have to forage for some as only have a couple in my garden. Is it right you identify Raspberies in the wild as they grow up & blackberries grow downwards ?

    • ToniG May 9, 2023 at 11:27 am - Reply

      Raspberries do grow up but brambles tend to grow where they like. Raspberries have smooth stems but blackberries have little thorns usually and the leaf of a raspberry is quite white or silvery underneath. Blackberry leaves are light green underneath. x

  3. Georgie Peters May 9, 2023 at 8:41 am - Reply

    Interesting, l don’t have any bushes yet but l enjoy the raspberry and pomegranate tea that Twinnings make, l wonder if it being a commercially produced tea if it’s actually any good though it does taste nice, l usually pick a couple of teabags up if we see away as hotels usually leave a selection out at breakfast, nicer than ordinary tea back in the room as l don’t like ordinary tea made with the wee jiggers of milk.

    • ToniG May 9, 2023 at 11:19 am - Reply

      I always take some of the tea home too! It is probably not as good for you if it is commercially made x

  4. Angela Carmody May 10, 2023 at 4:27 pm - Reply

    I drank raspberry leaf tea when I was pregnant in the 80’s but can’t remember if I liked it. It seemed to work. Now I drink Tesco’s raspberry and redcurrant tea once a day but only because I like it.

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