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Herb Spotlight - Raspberry

Raspberry (Rubus Idaeus)

Family: Rosaceae

Part Used: Leaf

Flavor/Aroma: Bitter

Energetics: Drying, Cooling


Herbal Actions: 

Urinary Tonic1, Astringent, Respiratory Tonic, Anticatarrhl, Anti inflammatory, Carminative, Antispasmodic, Cardioprotective, Diuretic, Antidiabetic, Febrifuge, Diaphoretic, Choleretic, Antidiarrheal, Neuroprotective

Overview:

Raspberry shrubs are commonly cultivated with one intention- delicious, antioxidant filled berries. Lucky for us, the medicinal properties of this plant extend far beyond these delectable treats and is expressed through the vitamin and mineral rich leaves as well. Ancient civilizations have utilized this herb for a variety of therapeutic uses, all of which are applicable to our modern time ailments.

Botany:

Raspberry plants are a woody, perennial shrub that can grow to reach heights of six feet tall. Its leaves are serrate and textured, and has a whitish underbelly with a greener face. Raspberry bears thorns along its stems and up to its leaflets, and blooms white delicate flowers in the summer months that will ripen into the ruby-red raspberry fruits. It self-seeds and will spread easily in ideal conditions.2

Cultivation and Harvesting:

Raspberry is native to Europe and Northern Asia, and is widely cultivated across the world. The United States is the third largest producer of Raspberries, and cultivation is mostly concentrated in Oregon, Washington, and California. Raspberry leaves are best harvested before or after the flowers and fruits have fully expressed. 

Southern Oregon Cultivation:

Raspberry is a commonly used ornamental plant and farmed shrub. Farms throughout the Rogue Valley, and the entire state, are taking advantage of the ideal habitat the climate here provides. Raspberry bushes are also commonly found thriving under the canopy of the forest, growing in dense bundles along rocky mountains, and lusciously producing fruit in the full sun of wild and open spaces. It easily adapts to different soil types and it’s fragrant flowers provide nutrient dense sustenance for local pollinators.

History and Folklore:

Raspberry has been prepared in a variety of years for a multitude of therapeutic applications including a tea of leaves to support the menstrual cycle and healthy blood flow, to reduce cramping, and to help with other pains associated with the menses. It was  used to support canker sores, gingivitis, and to treat exhaustion. It has also been known to have been used to build weak blood and revitalize the spirit. 

Raspberry’s scienfific name, in Latin, translates to “Rubus” for red, and “ideaus” which refers to the bountiful stands that surround Mount Ida in the northwestern region of Turkey.

American Native Uses: The Cherokee tribes utilize Raspberry for its pain relieving properties to remedy toothaches, the Iriqouis used it for kidney disorders, and the Chippewa as an eyewash for infections and irritations.4

Modern Applications:

Raspberry leaf is indicated to support a variety of female body complications including normalizing the menstrual cycle and blood flow, mitigating the pains from spasmodic cramping, and it can be used tonically to support the overall health of the uterus.1,2 There is also research to support that Raspberry leaves are high in bioavailable antioxidants, Chlorogenic acid being one of the most prevalent, and is one of the richest sources of whole-food Manganese and iron available by weight. There is also some evidence to suggest that integrating Raspberry leaf tea into the diet of late-term pregnant women may be beneficial in supporting labor pains.3  

Uses and Preparations:

Dried Herb Tea Preparation: 

1 Tablespoon of dried leaves per cup of warm water.

Using a reusable tea bag or tea ball, immerse the loose dried herbs into boiling water and allow to steep for 5-10 minutes, preferably covered, in order to release the maximum amount of herbal goodness. Some herbal tea can carry a strong flavor. We recommend organic honey as a sweetener which preserves the beneficial herbal compounds. 

Tincture: 

2-4 mL up to three times per day.

Some herbal tinctures can have a strong flavor on their own. Adding your tincture to a glass of 6-8oz of water is one easy way to help, should you wish to dilute the flavor.  

Recommended Usage:

It is important to remember that some bodies may react differently than others when using herbal products. Our recommended usage amounts are designed to be an average dosage only. If you have specific concerns about the usage amount or interaction with other medication, please consult with your doctor or health care practitioner prior to using our products.

Precautions:

We recommend consulting with your practitioner if you are pregnant, or plan to become pregnant, or if you are using any other medications.

“While red raspberry leaf has been used extensively during pregnancy, some recommend using it sparingly until the third trimester. Its estrogenic effects may be a concern, as well. However, neither concern has been proven a problem through research. Speak to your health care practitioner before consuming large quantities of this herb during pregnancy. Similarly, if you have a condition that is exacerbated by exposure to estrogen—such as certain cancers, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids—you should seek professional advice.” 4

References:

  1. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://cms.herbalgram.org/commissione/Monographs/Monograph0311.html
  2. Rubus Idaeus (U.S.P) (n.d.). https://www.henriettes-herb.com/eclectic/kings/rubus-idae.html
  3. Brown, D. (2002). Using Raspberry Leaf During Pregnancy: A Look at Safety and Efficacy in Labor. HerbalGram. 2002; 56:24 American Botanical Council. http://cms.herbalgram.org/herbalgram/issue56/article2353.html
  4. Red Raspberry (March 2, 2019). https://thegrownetwork.com/red-raspberry-leaf/

For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.