Does Raspberry Leaf Tea Actually Help Ease Labor?

As spring approaches, the world begins to change. The old melts away and the new quickly blossoms. Nature is cyclical. We try our best to be prepared for the new. When planning for a new family member, we strive for a nutritious diet and often seek the best way to make this taxing process a little easier. Good news for us, a popular spring-time plant has been known to actually ease labor for pregnant women. What’s this miracle plant, you ask? None other than the Raspberry plant.

Raspberry Leaf Tea Benefits

While raspberries themselves are delicious and loved by many, the raspberry leaf is the true star here. Loaded with electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals, raspberry leaves not only benefit your overall health, they taste great in tea, too! Overall health benefits are great and all, but what specifically is it about Raspberry Leaf Tea that promotes a healthy pregnancy? Two of our favorite electrolytes and minerals: Magnesium and Calcium.

Magnesium

Magnesium is known for building and repairing body tissue. Building and repairing tissue promotes strong uterine walls that help support an unborn child and contract while giving birth. Not only is there a concern for the strength of the mother’s uterine walls, but an even greater concern regarding fetal growth as well. The big takeaway here? A strong uterus is the single most important factor when growing a strong, healthy child and easing the difficulty of labor and delivery. Thanks, magnesium!

Calcium

Now that we’ve covered magnesium, what about calcium? Magnesium and calcium work together in this instance. Magnesium is responsible for relaxing muscles while calcium stimulates them, which leads to steady contractions. If there’s an imbalance (more magnesium than calcium and vice versa), contractions run the risk of being premature or delayed. In very rare cases, a severe deficiency in both magnesium and calcium during pregnancy may lead to preeclampsia.

Scientific Research

Aside from the afore-mentioned benefits of electrolytes and minerals that directly contribute to uterine and fetal health, have there been any studies on Raspberry Leaf Tea to back these claims? Absolutely! A prominent study conducted by Australian midwives in 1999 included two groups of women: a group of mothers who consumed raspberry leaf product during their pregnancy and a group of mothers who did not. The sample consisted of 108 mothers. 57 (52.8%) consumed raspberry leaf products while 51 (47.2%) were in the control group.

The Outcome

So, what was the outcome of this study? The Australian midwives were able to determine that Raspberry Leaf can be consumed by women during their pregnancy to shorten labor with no identified side effects for the women or their babies. The findings also suggested that consuming raspberry leaf products might decrease the likelihood of pre and post-term gestation.

How much Raspberry Leaf Tea is recommended?

There are a few factors to consider when determining how much Raspberry Leaf Tea one should consume in order to reap the benefits listed above:

  • Tea leaf to water ratio – a typical cup of tea contains 8 ounces of water and roughly 3 grams of tea leaf.
  • How often you enjoy your tea – one cup per day is recommended for the first trimester, gradually increasing tea intake up to 3 cups per day by the third trimester.
  • Be sure to not consume too much tea – side effects of nausea and loose stools have been reported by many in open discussion forums.

So, you tried Raspberry Leaf Tea and you’re not a fan? Raspberry Leaf tablets are a great alternative. Since Raspberry Leaf tablets contain higher concentrations of Raspberry Leaf compared to the traditional brew method, be sure to consult an herbalist at a natural health foods store for the recommended dosage.