Raspberry in pregnancy.

Date: Thu, 22 Jun 1995 12:46:12 CDT
From: gaylene comfort <AGRO041.UNLVM.UNL.EDU>
Subject: Raspberry leaf for pregnancy

Can someone give me some information about drinking raspberry leaf tea during pregnancy...
Is it safe?
Does it help "tone" uterine muscles, aiding in delivery, as I have heard?
What sort of preparation and dosage is appropriate and safe?
Can tea made from raspberry leaves be a significant source of vit. C during pregnancy?

From: Colette Gardiner <coletteg.EFN.ORG>

Raspberry in pregnancy: it contains fragrine, a chemical constituent that is believed to strengthen smooth muscle tissue, the uterus as well as your digestive tract is composed of smooth muscle tissue. Years ago I was taught that raspberry leaf also contains a decent supply of vitamin K, a nutrient that is helpful in blood coagulation, recent analysis that I've seen doesn't list vit. K in raspberry leaf howevever. The ranges of vitamin C I've seen listed vary from approximately 100 - 500 units of ascorbic acid per 100 g of dried herb. Thats just a hair under ¼ lb. of leaf. That would be a lot of tea to drink in one day. I wouldn't rely on it by itself but in combination with a healthy diet it can boost your overall nutritional intake to acceptable levels. Raspberry leaf is also a good source of Vitamins A, E, calcium and iron. It also contains some amounts of phosphorus, magnesium, some B vitamins and some vitamin D. Since they are in plant form I feel that they are generally more assimilable than synthetic vitamin pills. It's only been very recently that humans have relied solely on domestically grown foods, often the common wild weeds have quite a bit higher nutrient levels. I have occasionally heard "rumors" that raspberry leaf can cause miscarriage. I feel that this is perhaps due to a misunderstanding of the way raspberry leaf works. While it can make the uterus work more effectively during labor it does not do this by increasing contractions, or by toning the uterus with mini contractions, it is not oxytoxic in nature. Instead as I mentioned above it tones and strengthens smooth muscle tissue.

The high mineral content of Raspberry leaf also assists in the production of breast milk. A great herb for pregnancy.

Dosage of course varies but most of the local midwives suggest a quart of tea a day. you can add other herbs if you wish. I generally suggest alternating teas and drinking raspberry 2-3 times a week. In order to get the minerals out you need to steep the tea for at least ½ hour, however the vitamin c comes out quicker if the tea is to tannic for you when you let it steep that long. It might be advisable to contact a local midwife or herbalist about using herbs in pregnancy as many are contraindicated.

Green Blessings Colette Gardiner

From: Deb Phillips <ARmidwife.AOL.COM>

Red raspberry tea is good for the entire childbearing years. I recommend the ladies drink it throughout the entire pregnancy. It can be a help for morning sickness. It does strengthen the uterus. The mennonites say that you are not to drink your red raspberry tea in labor until the midwife arrives, otherwise she may not make it.

I also recommend nettles. Both teas are quite tasty. Red raspberry is even good cold. They both help with milk production, quality and quantity.

I feel the nettles is even better than the red raspberry as far as a source of vitamins and minerals.

Deb Phillips
State Licensed Midwife