Raspberry leaf tea is a drink brewed from, as the name implies, the leaves of the raspberry plant. The flavor is often compared to that of black tea, and many people drink it as a refreshing and caffeine free alternative with their meals or alone at “tea time.” Although many drink it simply because they enjoy the flavor, most ingest it for its nutritional and purported medicinal uses.
Raspberry Leaf Tea as a Home Remedy
The most common use for red raspberry leaf tea is in women’s health, especially as an aid during child birth. The brew has been used by women for thousands of years throughout Europe as well as North America. Several Native American tribes historically used raspberry leaf tea to promote gynecological health.
Folk lore says that it helps to promote healthy menstruation, prepare a woman for childbirth, and even make the delivery of a baby much easier. While this last claim is not a scientifically proven fact, raspberry leaves do contain an alkaloid known as fragine that is believed to help strengthen the muscles of a woman’s uterus, which would in turn make pushing during delivery more effective, thus shortening the overall time of a woman’s labor. Additionally, stronger muscles in the uterus would make for less pain with the contractions. It is also said to significantly reduce the amount of post-birth bleeding that a new mother must endure.
Red raspberry leaf tea is also said to help with morning sickness during pregnancy, help to induce labor, and even improve the quality of the breast milk an infant will be feeding upon. Again, these are not scientifically proven facts, but there is quite a bit of scientific theory to back up these claims and women have been using it for thousands of years with no known side effects.
Healthy Use Backed by Science
There are, however, some uses for raspberry leaf tea that science does, in fact, back up. The brew has been proven to help with the symptoms associated with the common cold. It is quite soothing for a sore throat, helps to clear up congested sinuses, and even acts as a minor fever reducer.
Raspberry leaf tea also promotes overall health by providing essential vitamins and nutrients. Each serving offers a healthy dose of Vitamin B1, Vitamin B3, and Vitamin E as well as magnesium, iron, manganese, and calcium. So, even if you aren’t delivering a child or battling a nasty cold, regular consumption is still a healthy proposition.
Making raspberry leaf tea is similar to making any other herbal tea and is quite simple in practice. One simply steeps the leaves in hot water for anywhere from four to seven minutes. Maximum nutritional benefit (as well as the best flavor) is achieved by using three teaspoons of fresh leaves per cup of water. If fresh leaves aren’t available, dried leaves are available at most herb shops, although one should only use one teaspoon per cup of water when using dried leaves.
Whether you are looking for a healthy tea to drink, a trusted home remedy, or just a delicious way to keep yourself hydrated, raspberry leaf tea is easy to make and readily available.