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 because of 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 labor forward, it might shorten the second stage of labor.[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; 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 labor?". 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. 
  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.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  8. ^ Parsons, M. (1999). Raspberry leaf. Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond Newsletter, 1(2), pp. 1-2