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Native to North America and Europe, Red Raspberry has been cultivated since the 16th century making it one of the most widespread and readily available herbs. Everybody knows the berries make a tasty food, but red raspberry leaves also make a great medicine, especially for women.
"A tea made from red raspberry leaves is the best gift God ever gave to woman." Many midwives and wise women concur because they have recommended this gentle herbal tonic for childbearing women for thousands of years. It is mild enough to be recommended during the entire term of pregnancy.
It is a safe and effective uterine tonic that helps to strengthen the uterus, thus making delivery easier. Raspberry leaves contain fragrine, an alkaloid that tones and regulates the muscles of the pelvic region and the uterus.
If the uterus is tense, red raspberry relaxes it. If the uterus was too relaxed, it tones it. This balancing effect is also demonstrated by the fact that red raspberry helps prevent miscarriage, but will also help expel a dead fetus after a miscarriage.
During pregnancy, red raspberry also helps to ease nausea and morning sickness. Its use during pregnancy has been shown to reduce pain during labor and after birth and to promote a speedier recovery from childbirth. It strengthens uterine contractions but doesn't interfere with pelvic dilation. After childbirth, red raspberry reduces uterine swelling and cuts down on postpartum bleeding.
Red raspberry leaves are one of nature's richest sources of the mineral called manganese. Manganese helps deliver oxygen into the cells. Red raspberry also contains vitamins A, B, C and E and is a source of calcium, iron, phosphorus and potassium.
The traditional way of taking red raspberry during pregnancy is as a tea. A great pregnancy tea consists of equal parts red raspberry leaves, alfalfa, nettles and peppermint. Brewing and drinking a quart of this tea every day has helped improve the health of many a mother and her child.
Red raspberry isn't just for pregnant women. Prior to pregnancy, red raspberry helps increase fertility in both men and women. It is also a great remedy for toning all the muscles of the abdomen, and is useful for healing hernias.
Raspberry leaves contain tannins, a mild astringents that makes a great remedy for infants and young children who need an astringent diarrhea, dysentery, intestinal flu, vomiting, inflamed mucus membranes, sores and wounds. It is also helpful for adult women who have dysmenorrhea, menorrhagia, uterine bleeding, hemorrhoids or prolapse of the uterus or anus.
It is an ingredient in 5-W, a formula for pregnant women take during the last five weeks of pregnancy, and in the female formulas NF-X, FCS II, Female Comfort and Women's X-Action. It is also an ingredient in I-X, the herbal iron formula, and EW, the herbal eyewash blend.