I’m due to have our second little squirt in October and as a result I’ve been researching natural and herbal remedies related to pregnancy and childbirth.
My Last Natural Birth Experience
With the assistance of excellent midwives, I was fortunate enough to have an uncomplicated, drug-free birth with my first daughter. My labor was 7 hours long (short by many comparisons) and was very intense. Once contractions started there were no breaks, no chit-chatting, no waiting around. I was down for count until she popped out.
I hear stories of women saying childbirth can be painless and even enjoyable and honestly, I’m completely stumped by these comments.
Are you kidding me?
Childbirth(at least my last one) has to be more painful than torture because at least in torture, the victim often blacks out. Not so in labor. The poor woman is conscious throughout the whole thing.
I’m no expert, but I do believe that the mother’s health before and during pregnancy has a huge impact on the ease of her labor. My last labor went okay but I am aiming for improvement (ie. less painful) with this next one.
Is this a pointless goal? Maybe, but I have nothing to lose.
How Red Raspberry Leaves Can Help
We went to a preparedness expo a couple of months ago and my dad picked up the Master Herbalist Guide by Dr. John R. Christopher.
It details just about every herb in length and its uses. Dr. Christopher regularly mentioned red raspberry leaves throughout the book. I know (organic) raspberries are healthy but I never knew their leaves were so medicinal. Dr. Christopher recommends it asthe most valuable herb for women expecting babies:
Red raspberry leaves act upon a woman’s procreative organs, stimulating, toning, and regulating them more effectively than any other known herb.
The leaves of a raspberry plant contain fragarine, which is a uterine tonic. It increases the contractility of the uterine walls and helps the uterus return to its normal shape and elasticity after birth.
Raspberry leaf tea also decreases the likelihood of premature labor, overdue labor, and of medical intervention in labor (Parsons et al. 1999).
But that’s not all. Raspberry leaf tea is also be used for:
- canker sores
- menstrual problems
- sore throat
- and more
Don’t believe me? Read some of the Amazon reviews regarding this stuff!
Where to Get Raspberry Leaves
You can buy raspberry leaf tea pre-bagged, blended with other teas, or as a loose tea. You can get the pre-bagged teas from from just about any health store, but I’m buying mine in loose leaf form from Frontier. It’s non-radiated, organically grown, and fresh cut.
Or better yet, grow raspberries yourself! That way, you’ll be able to enjoy the berries and the medicinal leaves and you won’t be dependent on others to provide them for you. They grow well in zones 3-9 and if you’re in the south like me, you’re gonna wanna look for a heat-resistant variety like Dorman Red, Bababerry, or Southland.
How to Make Raspberry Leaf Tea
I bought a small coffee pot to brew my tea but you can also make a single cup by placing the herbs in tea infuser and letting it steep in hot water. Or, you can make a large batch all at once and serve it over ice for those hot days.
Some people complain raspberry leaf tea has a funny taste. I haven’t found this to be the case at all. I’ve had green tea that is more bitter and cotton-mouthy than my raspberry leaf tea ever has been. You can add essential oils, raw honey or stevia to sweeten it as well. This stuff is beneficial for so many aliments you’ve really just got to get over it.
I really won’t know how well raspberry leaf tea works until I actually have the baby (I’m due in October). After that, I will report my findings again in another post. I’m hopeful though.
Have you ever used red raspberry leaf tea to help out your labor? Share in the comments and thank you for visiting The Wannabe Homesteader.
Parsons M, Simpson M., Ponton T. Raspberry leaf and its effect on labour: safety and efficacy. Journal of the Australian College of Midwives 1999; 12:20-25.