From the June 2006 Idaho Observer:
Red Raspberry Leaves – Heaven’s best gift to mothers and their babies
by Ingri Cassel
English herbalist Henry Box praised red raspberry as the best gift that God ever gave to women. He said, "If the pains of childbirth are premature, it will make all quiet. If the mother is weak, it will abundantly strengthen her, cleanse her and enrich her milk."
The leaves of red raspberry are proof that some herbs have a specific attraction to specific organs. In this case, raspberry leaves have an affinity for the female reproductive system, stimulating, toning and regulating the female organs more effectively than any other known herb. The tea is considered the supreme tonic for women to consume during their nine months of pregnancy to tonify the uterus, nourish themselves and the growing baby, prevent miscarriage, and facilitate birth and placental delivery. Two to three cups should also be taken after birthing to decrease uterine swelling, minimize postpartum hemorrhaging and enrich the collostrum and subsequent milk.
The primary chemical constituents of Red Raspberry (Rubus idaeus), both the fruit and the leaves, are flavonoids, the alkaloid fragarine, citric acid, malic acid, pectin, vitamin C, iron citrate, calcium chloride, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc, chromium and tannins.
The leaves also contain significant amounts of vitamins A and E as well as the entire B-complex. According to Dr. Edward Shook, it is the abundant citrate of iron in the raspberry leaf and berry that gives this plant its "bloodmaking" ability, female organ "regulating" properties as well as the contracting action on the female genitalia and other tissues and membranes.
The primary medicinal action and uses of red raspberry leaf are astringent, alterative, anti-abortifacient, antiseptic, antispasmodic, hemostatic, hormonal regulator, hypotensive, kidney tonic, nutritive, prostate tonic, uterine tonic and digestive aid. It has been used successfully in the treatment of all female disorders (even leucorrhea and prolapsed uterus), diarrhea, dysentery, cholera, hemorrhoids and vomiting in children.
Common Cold or Flu
One of the simplest remedies for the flu, or common cold, is to immediately drink large amounts of red raspberry leaf tea. Nothing else should be eaten and the only liquid refreshment should be raspberry leaf tea. This "fast" on raspberry leaf tea should continue until all symptoms are completely gone. The "fast" should be broken on fresh raw fruit and/or vegetables. If you begin eating before the symptoms are completely gone, the symptoms will return and you will end up having to do the "heavy artillery" such as Plague Formula, more fasting and copious amounts of vitamin C. This is good to know since if you are in a situation where survival is key, it is best to stick to nothing but raspberry leaf tea for three or four days minimum.
Dr. John R. Christopher has a wealth of personal experience with this method. The following true story nails this point home:
"While in Great Falls, Montana, we had a call….She was extremely worried because two of her eight children had come home with the intestinal flu rampant in the area at the time. It was such a serious epidemic that when a person carried it home, the entire family would come down with it and be ill for some time. We advised her to make gallons of the tea up from the leaves in her garden. She reported later that the two children who came home with the flu were started immediately on the tea, as well as the rest of the family. When they were thirsty, more Red raspberry leaf tea was given; when hungry, more tea, and when they would complain, they got more tea. The two who came home sick went to school the next day, and not one of the rest came down with the flu."
In my experience, if vomiting is involved, drink only plain, unsweetened raspberry leaf tea until you can hold down several cups. The first cup or so will likely be thrown up. After that, the digestive tract is soothed and prepped enough to hold down all subsequent cups of tea.
A midwife’s testimony
Dr. Christopher also shares the experience of a seasoned midwife:
"I have been a nurse and midwife for 37 years, and during that time I have taken two thousand children without losing a single case. The only medicine I give during labor is raspberry leaf tea with a little composition powder [Bayberry root bark, ginger root, white pine bark, cloves and cayenne] in it, and even if the child is not coming out right, it will cause it to turn and produce easy and speedy delivery. Dr. Skelton, the great herbal doctor told me of it, and advised me to always use it, which I have done with beautiful and complete success."
Another wonderful testimony from Dr. Christopher:
"Some years ago, a young woman came to us. She was 29, married, and somewhat overweight. She had suffered with intensely painful menstruation every month since she was 14, each month having to go to bed for one or two days with medical treatment. We recommended one of our intestinal tonic laxatives and a cup of Raspberry leaf tea at every meal or three times a day, for two to three months, or until those distressing symptoms disappeared. After two months of this simple treatment, she reported that she was entirely free from all pain or any distress during this monthly flow, and when we last heard from her, she never had a recurrence. Incidentally, her digestion and elimination wonderfully improved, and she lost 17 pounds, bringing her to about normal."
Raspberry leaves and fruit can benefit visual acuity when used consistently over a period of time. A few topical applications of raspberry leaf tea include its use as a mouthwash for canker sores, an eyewash for mucus discharge, a douche for leukorrhea, a dressing for wounds, and a hair rinse for dark hair. Raspberry leaf tea has also been used in the treatment of diabetes, gastric disorders, teething, colic, ulcers, prostate problems, herpes and gonorrhea. For measles, the tea is taken both internally and externally, and also applied as a wash to the eyes.
It is clear that the entire family can benefit from having several red raspberry plants in their backyard. This is why I recommended last month that our readers begin to immediately harvest the leaves from the new canes that must be cut back each spring.
For those who do not have a backyard and want an excellent source of red raspberry leaf tea, you can buy 4.5 ounces of high-quality red raspberry leaf tea for $15 U.S. (includes S&H) from Greg Cryns, The Compleat Mother Magazine, 5703 Hillcrest, Richmond, Illinois 60071 Phone: (815) 678-7531.Although I didn’t come to appreciate the value of raspberry leaf tea until about 20 years ago, today it is a vital component of my herbal apothecary. The leaves of the common red raspberry are densely packed with bio-available minerals and astringent/alkalinizing properties that soothe and cleanse the entire digestive tract. With the latest avian flu scare, it is a shame that Tamiflu and vaccines are being promoted by the pandemic planners as viable remedies when red raspberry leaves work miracles in everyone who has tried this simple, effective remedy. But, alas, scaring the populace into taking expensive poisonous drugs—not simple, inexpensive herbal remedies—is the ignorance upon which the drug companies and their shills in the public health community are depending.
* The Herbalist, magazine of herbal knowledge, Volume 1, No. 4, 1976.
* Today’s Herbal Health by Louise Tenney, M.H.
* Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year by Susun S. Weed