Red raspberry leaf

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The red raspberry leaf (Rubus idaeus), also known as garden raspberry leaf, is a pale-green leaf produced by the raspberry plant; an upright shrub with perennial roots and prickly, biennial canes. The leaf has been used in folk remedies, due to its rich content in vitamins, minerals, and tannins.

Use in pregnancy[edit]

Traditional lore suggests that pregnant women use raspberry leaf tea, especially as an aid in delivery.[1][2] However, scientific research has found no evidence to support this claim.[3] Every Woman's Herbal claims that raspberry leaf tea will enrich the mother's milk, especially during periods when the baby is going through a growth spurt.[4][unreliable source?]

There is considerable discussion around the possible benefits of raspberry leaf tea taken late in pregnancy.[5] The consensus seems to be that while taking raspberry leaf tea should not be expected to bring the onset of labour forward, it might shorten the second stage of labour.[6][7][dead link][unreliable source?][8][unreliable source?] A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial published in 2001 found that consumption of 2.4 g of raspberry leaf tablets, consumed from 32 weeks' gestation until labor by low-risk nulliparous women did not shorten the first stage labor. The study observed a slight reduction in the second stage labor (9.59 minutes mean difference between the two groups) and a forceps delivery rate that was lower for the treatment group (treatment group = 19.3% vs 30.4% for control group).[6]

Most of the evidence available is anecdotal, and a recent scholarly review stressed concern at the lack of evidence for safety and efficacy and called recommendations of its use "questionable".[3]


  1. ^ McFarlin, Barbara L.; Patsy Harman; Jann O'Rear; Mary H. Gibson (May–June 1999). "A National Survey of Herbal Preparation Use by Nurse-midwives for Labor Stimulation: Review of the Literature and Recommendations for Practice". Journal of Nurse-Midwifery 44 (3): 205–216. doi:10.1016/S0091-2182(99)00037-3. 
  2. ^ Palmer, Jane (2000-12-29). "Raspberry Leaf". Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond. Retrieved 15 April 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Lone Holst; Svein Haavik and Hedvig Nordeng (13 June 2009). "Raspberry leaf – Should it be recommended to pregnant women?". Complementary therapies in clinical practice 15 (4): 204–8. doi:10.1016/j.ctcp.2009.05.003. PMID 19880082. 
  4. ^ Christopher, John R.; Cathy Gileadi (1994). Every Woman's Herbal. Christopher Publications. ISBN 978-1-879436-10-7. 
  5. ^ Hannah Hulme Hunter. "Does raspberry leaf tea bring on labour?". Retrieved 2010-04-15. 
  6. ^ a b Simpson, M.; Parsons, M.; Greenwood, J.; Wade, K. (2001). "Raspberry leaf in pregnancy: Its safety and efficacy in labor". Journal of midwifery & women's health 46 (2): 51–59. doi:10.1016/S1526-9523(01)00095-2. PMID 11370690.  edit
  7. ^ Wistv Hovland (February 2005). "I've heard that raspberry leaf tea in pregnancy can help to make labour easier. If so, when should I start taking it and how much should I take?". BabyCenter, L.L.C. Retrieved 10-02-10. 
  8. ^ Parsons, M. (1999). Raspberry leaf. Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond Newsletter, 1(2), pp. 1-2