Red Raspberry Leaf Tea is often hailed as a uterus superfood, with the ability to induce and shorten labor, make labor less painful, ease morning sickness and reduce postpartum bleeding. Its been around since the 6th century, used as a common medicinal tea to ease PMS discomfort, diarrhea, and to lower blood pressure, for men, women, and children. But does it have any scientific validity, or is it just another old wives’ tale?
Red Raspberry Leaf Tea packs a pretty nutritional punch. It’s rich in B vitamins, vitamin C, as well as potassium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, iron, and several antioxidants. It even contains ellagic acids, which are believed to neutralize cancer-causing cells. (More research is needed to prove RRL tea’s cancer-fighting potential.) In addition to these vitamins and minerals, Red Raspberry Leaf Tea contains a plant compound called fragarine, which is notorious for tightening pelvic muscles. It is this property that has made the tea so infamous. Tightened and toned uterine muscles are less likely to spasm, which reduces cramping during menstrual cycles, and is believed to make contractions more efficient and effective.
One study performed in 2001, showed that although the women who had taken Red Raspberry Leaf Tea did not have any significant reduction of time spent in labor, they were less likely to need interventions such as forceps, vacuum-assisted delivery, cesarean sections, or AROM (artificial rupture of membranes). These women were also less likely to have postpartum hemorrhaging, and pre/post-term labor. Therefore, it seems that at least some of the rumors are, in fact, true.
Red Raspberry Leaf Tea is generally believed to be safe for pregnant women in their second and third trimesters, but as with any herbal or medicinal product, you should always consult your care provider before trying it yourself. If you begin taking Red Raspberry Leaf Tea and experience strong Braxton Hicks contractions or spotting, you should discontinue use immediately.