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As the name suggests, a red raspberry leaf tea is a kind of herbal tea that is derived particularly from red raspberry leaves. Used in Australian households for hundreds and thousands of years, red raspberry leaves and the tea thereof is known to impart plenty of medicinal benefits. In fact, back in the 1940s, professional practitioners in the West were known to recommend it as a tonic to strengthen the uterus, promote labor, and enhance postpartum recovery for the uterus to pregnant women!
While pregnancy and motherhood are the most memorable, cherishable, and beautiful experiences of a woman’s life, there is no denial of the fact that this memorable experience can become rather daunting past the due date. You have already been carrying the baby for over 40 weeks and the little one just does not seem ready to display an urge to pop out?
Some searches on the internet and you might find yourself in a sea of herbal remedies that induce contractions- one of those remedies being red raspberry leaf tea or medical methods like Pitocin induction. Though it has been recommended far and wide as a way to expedite the baby’s natural delivery and though the claim is true to an extent, let us understand how safe and effective is this tea; and also the probable downsides if any.
Why Is Red Raspberry Leaf Tea Recommended During Pregnancy?
Owing to its inherent and natural properties, red raspberry leaf tea strengthens the fibers of the uterine muscle and boosts the blood flow to the uterus. This boost, thereby-
- Catalyzes the childbirth process by triggering contractions
- Enhances postpartum recovery
Does Red Raspberry Leaf Tea Induce Labor?
As mentioned, a red raspberry leaf tea is recommended as a natural and herbal method to induce labor, however, it should also be known that there is no definite study to prove the claim. As per one study, it was found that “consuming red raspberry leaf pills from 32 weeks pregnant help shorten the second labor stage and also reduced the need for forceps.”
So, though there is no definitive claim backed by research or science, it can be safely assumed that red raspberry leaf tea does not either have any definitive downsides of side effects in pregnant women- when taken in appropriate dosages and perhaps, after consultation with your doctor and/or midwife.
Red Raspberry Leaf Tea Benefits During Pregnancy
Red raspberry leaf tea is a natural herbal remedy that has tons of nutritional as well as functional benefits to speak of.
The benefits of the Raspberry leaf include-
- It is rich in vitamins including vitamins A, C, E; calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium
- It is rich in antioxidants; specifically rich in ellagic acid which is a polyphenol exhibiting anti-inflammatory properties
- Raspberry leaf tea tastes very similar to black tea but does not contain caffeine
- It is known to treat flu, diarrhea, and acne (not particularly in pregnant women but otherwise)
- Known to regulate irregular menstrual cycles and heavy period blood flow
- Helps lower blood sugar and blood pressure
- In particular, during pregnancy, a red raspberry leaf tea can help strengthen a mother’s immune system, help manage the symptoms of pregnancy, and can help promote the circulation of blood across the body
When To Start Drinking Red Raspberry Leaf Tea During Pregnancy?
Red raspberry leaf tea takes its time to exhibit positive effects. So, it is suggested to consume the beverage for a couple of weeks in order to be able to notice the effects.
Around the end of the second or the beginning of the third trimester, one could begin the consumption with one cup a day, gradually increasing to three or four 8 oz cups.
What Are The Potential Side Effects Of Red Raspberry Leaf Tea During Pregnancy?
Since there aren’t many established pieces of research conducted on raspberry leaf tea in general, little is known about its side effects are mostly from the personal experiences of pregnant women.
Some potential side effects of consuming the red raspberry leaf tea include in pregnant women-
- A negative diuretic effect in the form of frequent urination
- Increased Braxton Hicks contractions
- A laxative effect on the bowel movements in the form of loose stools and diarrhea
- Unregulated consumption of the tea can also potentially increase the chances of a miscarriage, especially around the first trimester
- It is not advised to begin drinking red raspberry leaf tea BEFORE the end of the third trimester
- It is advised to always reach out to your OBGYN before taking this tea
Is It Safe to Drink Red Raspberry Leaf Tea During Pregnancy: Final Words
Though the olden studies, like the one in 1999 that established “the leaf of raspberry can be consumed by expecting moms in their pregnancy for the purpose for which it is taken, that is, to shorten the labor without side effects for the babies or the women,” it is true for a fact that no new, recent studies or researches have been conducted to examine the effect of this tea.
It should also be understood that the sales of herbal supplements are rather loosely regulated in the U.S., which means, the sellers or the manufacturers are not compulsively supposed to test the safety or efficacy before listing the items for sale. Certain herbalists and midwives off late have also suggested not consuming it in the first trimester or early on during pregnancy. This is because since raspberry leaf does stimulate the uterine muscles when consumed in the early days of pregnancy, it could counteract and lead to a miscarriage or complications in pregnancy.
Hence, if you are a pregnant woman in double minds regarding the consumption of the tea of red raspberry leaf as a means of inducing labor, then the safest bet is to not consume it, that is, without prior professional consultation from your obstetrician and doctor.
Red Raspberry Leaf Tea during Pregnancy FAQ:
1) How to drink red raspberry leaf tea during pregnancy?
2) How much red raspberry leaf tea during pregnancy should be consumed?
The 'safe' level for consumption of the loose leaf tea depends highly on how long the tea is steeped. The best way to determine the right dosage and prepare your tea is as follows-
3) Does red raspberry leaf tea affect VBAC?
4)When to start drinking red raspberry leaf tea during pregnancy?