RED RASPBERRY

Rubus idaeus

Part/s Used:  Leaves + fruit + root 
Energetics: Mildly cooling, 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 

Medicinal Preparations:

Tincture: Fresh: 1:3  Dry (ratio & % alcohol):  1:5 50%
Drops: 10-40   Times a day: 4x

Tea:  Hot/cold infusion/decoction (root)   Ounces: 8-12   Times a day: 3-4x

Habitat:

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.

Medicinal Uses: 

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 does have an affinity to women, 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. 

Harvesting:

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.

Projects:

Facial steam, hair rinse, iced tea

Contraindications:

Raspberry can be too drying for some individuals.  Overnight steeps can irritate dry tissue states and it is best to combine with alfalfa to get the properties.  Avoid in post-menopause if experiencing dry vaginal tissues

 

Sources:
Northwest School for Botanical Studies by Christa Sinadinos
Evolutionary Herbalism by Sajah Popham
The Complete Herbs Sourcebook by David Hoffmann
The Way of Herbs by Michael Tierra