Family: Rosaceae (Rose)
This past year I have personally discovered how amazing this plant is in the healing kingdom of God's medicinal world. We have all enjoyed the delicious berries associated with this plant, but did you know that its leaves are where the real nutrition lies? Many know that Red Raspberry leaf tea is a great uterine tonic to tone and prepare the uterus for childbirth, but its list of properties do not end there. It is one of the most nutritive herbs out there for building all systems in the body, including the immune system. When someone is not feeling well, this is the #1 herb I turn to, to strengthen the body and get the systems back in working condition. In fact I don't think there is an herbal blend I make that I don't include raspberry leaf in.
The Woman's Herb
- Before pregnancy: prepares the body by feeding the proper nutrients to the reproductive system and other body systems so they are ready and in prime condition when the time comes for conception.
- During pregnancy: tones the uterus, uterine hemorrhage, assists contractions and labor, relieves after birth pains, and enriches milk.
- PMS: helps alleviate all symptoms of PMS, decrease menstrual flow, relieves painful cramps, balances hormones.
- Used to treat prolapsed or enlarged uterus.
- drink the tea to replenish lost fluids and nutrients when sick with vomiting and diarrhea
- anemia and other blood conditions: works as a blood cleanser while being high in iron and other nutrients to build the blood.
- sore throat, colds, fever, flu, etc.
- mouth sores, cankers, spongy gums - use as a mouth wash and swallow
- tones and strengthens the stomach and bowels
- constipation, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, indigestion, etc.
- appendix complaints
- hemorrhoids, ulcers, abscesses
- infant issues: colic, jaundice, thrush
- wounds, cuts, and skin conditions
- acne - take internally as well as using the tea as a facial toner
- infection in the body or on the skin
- inflamed mucous membranes
- use as an eyewash/rinse for sore, inflamed, infected eyes
- has been known to stabilize the pancreas making is useful for diabetics
Methods of Use
- Infusion - drinking the tea is the best way to utilize the properties of this herb, make a quart of tea in the morning and sip on it throughout the day.
- Tincture, extract, glycerite
- Poultice/compress - use this for skin conditions
- Eye wash
- Douche - this puts the nutrients right in the place it is needed for uterus issues
In the Garden
- Plant in sandy soil, rich in organic matter in full sun.
- It is a good idea to plant in rows about 2-3 feet apart, the plants themselves space about every 18"- 2 feet.
- Water regularly, they like to be moist but well drained - I water mine twice a week with a soaker hose for a half hour.
- Keep mulched and all weeds and grass at bay.
- Lay a thick layer of compost down each fall.
- Train the canes up a fence, trellis, or stakes with wire strung between them.
- The leaves can be harvested anytime but are the most medicinal after the berries have been produced and picked. You can harvest up to 1/3 of the plants leaves without doing any harm to the plant.
- Leaves can also be harvested from the new shoots the plant sends out that are pruned each spring and fall.
- Only use leaves that are fresh and green, do not use brown, spotted, or bruised leaves.