If you’re searching for a herbal tea that’s not only delicious but also brimming with potential health benefits, consider adding some raspberry leaf to your basket.
This nutritious beverage has been enjoyed for hundreds of years.
What is raspberry leaf tea?
Raspberry leaf tea is what it sounds like – a tea made from the leaves of raspberry plants!
While the plant’s bright pink berries are known for their high vitamin count, their leaves are additionally a source of various vital nutrients.1
Raspberry leaf tea in pregnancy
Pregnant women have long been recommended to take herbal teas to try and help some of their symptoms.
In fact, it’s been used as a ‘uterine tonic’ for the last two centuries in the United States as well as still being a popular ‘pregnancy tea’.2
Just make sure you’re buying 100% raspberry leaf tea and not raspberry-flavoured tea!
Health benefits of raspberry leaf tea
These beneficial berry leaves have been consumed as a herbal remedy for centuries.
- Raspberry leaf tea contains toxin-fighting antioxidants
Raspberry leaf tea is additionally a good source of antioxidants.
These are molecules that help your body fight off free radicals: potentially harmful compounds which can alter your cells and lead to numerous chronic conditions.3
In particular, raspberry leaves contain free-radical busting tannins and flavonoids.4
Raspberry leaf tea benefits in pregnancy
- Raspberry leaf tea may help to shorten labour
As previously mentioned, raspberry leaves are thought to be particularly beneficial to women. As well as being used since ancient times there is some evidence to suggest that it may shorten labour for those who are expecting.5
The evidence for this looks to the plant’s natural abundance of fragarine. This plant compound may aid in toning the pelvic muscles. In turn, this can help better prepare the uterus for birth if you’re pregnant.6
For the best results during pregnancy, it’s recommended to start drinking raspberry leaf tea once you reach 32 weeks.7
- May help with pregnancy nausea
Another benefit of raspberry leaf tea during pregnancy is that it may be able to help you with feeling sick.
So, if this is something you’re dealing with, you’ll be pleased to know that red raspberry leaf is still frequently and safely used during the second and third trimester.8
- Red raspberry leaf tea may help to reduce interventions in labour
Some scientific research also suggests that red raspberry leaf tea may reduce complications during labour.
In fact, one study on raspberry leaf and its effect on labour found that those who drank it late in their pregnancy experienced reduced use of forceps and other interventions.9
But that’s not all. Another study found that the women who drank red raspberry leaf tea in the last eight weeks of pregnancy had a 11% decrease in the use of forceps.10
Raspberry leaf tea side effects
While drinking raspberry leaf tea daily shouldn’t cause any issues, it’s still best to be cautious, especially if you’re in the earlier stages of pregnancy.
Raspberry leaf is also a diuretic and thought to have laxative properties, meaning it could alter the toilet habits of some drinkers.11
If in doubt, consult a medical professional before trying raspberry leaf tea.
How to make raspberry leaf tea
Making a soothing mug of raspberry leaf tea couldn’t be simpler!
You’ll be able to find raspberry leaf tea in our herbal tea range or, alternatively, you could pick your own leaves to be steeped.
If you opt for the latter, follow these steps to make the perfect brew:12
- Pick your leaves and wash them
- In a saucepan, heat one cup of water until it reaches boiling point
- Add a handful of raspberry leaves to the water and allow it to boil for a minute or so
- Turn off the heat and let the leaves steep for ten minutes
- Optional: mash a few raspberries in the bottom of your mug to add colour and sweetness
- Strain the raspberry leaf tea into your mug and stir. Enjoy!
The American pregnancy association (AMA) states that red raspberry leaf tea may help to increase breast milk supply, making it a breastfeeding-friendly tea.13
That being said, more research is needed in this area.
As well as potentially offering breastfeeding benefits, anecdotal evidence suggests that red raspberry leaf also acts as a fertility tea.
Particularly the wild variety, Harley Street Fertility Clinic state that its high calcium contents and properties as a uterine tonic make it an effective fertility tea.14
But again, more scientific studies are needed to confirm this.
Other alternative pregnancy teas
If red raspberry tea isn’t quite right for you, don’t worry - there are many other alternative pregnancy teas that you could try. These include:8,15
- Peppermint tea
- Chamomile tea
- Dandelion tea
- Alfalfa tea
- Oat straw tea
- Nettle leaf tea
- Slippery elm bark tea
- Rooibos tea
However, if you’re not pregnant or you’re simply interested in discovering a new type of tea to add to your pantry, read our A-Z list of types of tea for some more inspiration.
The final say
Raspberry leaf tea may help with a number of different pregnancy-related occurrences, from nausea to length of labour.
As with coffee, it’s recommended to have no more than two cups of red raspberry leaf tea a day as its safety is unknown at higher levels.8
Still searching for the right tea for you?
Discover our blog to help you decide which teabag you should choose in your next shop.
Last updated: 6 October 2022