Common Names: Red Raspberry, Wild Raspberry
Part/s Used: Leaves, fruit, roots
Energetics: Mildly cooling, dry
Taste: Sweet, sour, mild bitter
Actions: Nutritive, tonic, homostatic, mild alterative, refrigerant, parturient
Constituents: Tannins, polypeptides, flavonoids, volatile oil, pectin, citric acid, malic acid, vitamins, minerals
Tincture (ratio & % alcohol): Fresh: 1:3 Dry: 1:5 50%
Ounces: 8-12 Times a day: 3-4x
Habitat and Botanical Description:
Red raspberry is a deciduous shrub with a perennial woody root system in the rosaceae family. Red raspberry grows in a variety of soils, in full sun to part shade in moist to dry conditions. It has large pinnately compound leaves with five to seven green, toothed leaflets that are white on their undersides. They grow on erect, round, thorny stems that are anywhere from 3 to 6 feet tall. The white, five-petaled flowers bloom in early summer.
Raspberry leaf is highly nutritive and contains calcium, iron, manganese, tin, selenium, magnesium, vitamins A, C, E and small amounts of fat, phosphorus, potassium, cobalt, fibers, protein, riboflavin, silicon, sodium, thiamine and zinc.
Raspberry leaf is a traditional uterine tonic. It is classically used during pregnancy to help strengthen and tonify the uterus and provide valuable nutrition to the developing fetus as well as the mother and encourage a smooth labor. Red raspberry leaf has homostatic properties beneficial for preventing hemorrhaging during childbirth as well as after birth, restoring the elasticity of the womb and uterine ligaments and increase the flow and quality of breast milk.
Red raspberry is not just for pregnant women, but also menstruating women to help establish rhythm and regulate the menstrual cycle. The uterine strengthening contracts the uterus more smoothly, reducing cramping and profuse menstruation with thick, congealed blood.
Though red raspberry has an affinity to the female reproductive system, it also supports fertility and prostate health in men.
Like many members in the rosaceae family its mildly astringent properties are helpful in relieving diarrhea and other loose conditions. It can ease mouth problems such as ulcers, bleeding gums and inflammation. Red raspberry leaf can be used interchangeably with strawberry and blackberry leaves.
Harvest the young healthy leaves before the plant has bloomed (avoid stripping the plant of all leaves) after the dew has dried and before the sun is hot to preserve the oils and flavor. Wear gloves and use clippers to avoid contact with thorns. Dry slowly in a well-ventilated area to ensure proper preservation of the properties.
- Hoffman, David. The Complete Herbs Sourcebook. New York, NY: Skyhorse Publishing Inc; 2016
- Popham, Sajah. Alchemical Herbalism Course. School of Evolutionary Herbalism. Lecture Notes; 2020
- Sinadinos, Christa. Northwest School for Botanical Studies. Lecture Notes; 2014
- Sinadinos, Christa. The Essential Guide to Western Botanical Medicine. Fieldbrook, CA; 2020
- Michael. The Way of Herbs. New York, NY: Pocket Books; 1998
Disclosure: This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.