Rhythm of Strength: Raspberry Leaf

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Brambles above the door for protection and eating the fruit for love, the Raspberry plant seems to fulfill many needs in the myths told of its powers.  Today the use of the Raspberry plant continues to be multi-faceted as a rich and nutritious herb that is tonifying to body and spirit.

Strengthening the body with special attention to the uterus, Raspberry leaf is an herb for those who are looking to get back into their rhythm, moving with the cycles of the body towards health.

Raspberry leaf is best known as a parturient herb which means that it posssesses qualities relating to birth and labor.  Use Raspberry leaf to strengthen the uterus during pregnancy and help reduce the symptoms of morning sickness.  With its incredible tonifying effect on the uterus, Raspberry leaf also lends support to those in labor by strengthening contractions and helping to facilitate placental delivery.  For postpartum support, Raspberry leaf decreases uterine swelling and minimizes postpartum hemorrhage as well as increasing the production of  colostrum in the mother’s milk.

In addition to supporting pregnancy and labor, Raspberry leaf reduces inflammation and excess dampness which is very useful for such conditions as menorrhagia.  Raspberry leaf has also been used in blends promoting healing from sexual trauma and abuse because of its high mineral count that nourishes the reproductive and nervous system.  Vitamin B1, vitamin E, calcium chloride, iron citrate, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, and selenium are some of the vitamins and minerals found in Raspberry leaves and fruit.  While Raspberry leaf has a close bond with the uterus, it is also very nourishing for men as well.

photo by author

As an astringent Raspberry leaf is useful for diarrhea, hemorrhage, incontinence, and an overactive bladder. It improves digestion and is included in blends for sore throats, rheumatism, weak vision, and muscle cramps.  Raspberry leaf is very busy helping our bodies find balance again.

Topically Raspberry leaf is used in hair rinses to condition and highlight dark hair and a tea can be used as a mouthwash for canker sores, gingivitis, bleeding gums, apthous ulcers, sore throat, and tonsillitis.  Raspberry leaf is also an excellent poultice for burns, variscosities, and wounds because it is very soothing to inflamed skin.  As an eyewash Raspberry leaf helps to reduce discharge and inflammation of the eyes.

An easy way to use Raspberry leaf tea during labor is to freeze already brewed tea into ice cubes that the mother can chew on.  Raspberry leaf is gentle enough to take daily and its effects are best felt over the long term.  Since Raspberry leaf have a mildly astringent flavor I enjoy mixing it with sweeter herbs like Chamomile and Sacred Basil, but it is also very enjoyable as a single herb tea.  While featured in blends for heavy menstruation Raspberry leaf is an excellent toner for any menstruating woman because it adapts to the needs of your bodyaddressing issues such as lower back pain, cramps, irritability, and feelings of weakness.

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