Raspberry Leaf

Botanical Name: Rubus idaeus, R. strigosus Family: Rosaceae

Common name(s): Raspberry Leaf, Red Raspberry Leaf

GROWING

  • Shrub; biennial, deciduous | Zone 4-9 | 8-15 feet tall | Pale green leaves with gray/white underside. Mall white flowers on second year canes in May/June followed by fruit in June/July. | Canes have thorns.
  • Full sun | Well-drained soil

HARVESTING

Harvest leaves throughout the growing season but they have the most medicinal value just before fruiting. (Harvest the fruit when ripe – it can be pulled off of the bush easily at that point, but this materiamedica is about the leaves)

PREPARATION / DOSAGE

Infusion: Pour 1 cup boiling water over 2 teaspoon of leaves and let steep for 10-15 minutes. Drink 2-3 cups/day (you can drink more, if desired).

Tincture: 2-4ml 3x/day

External: The tincture or infusion can be swished in the mouth for gum issues. The infusion can be applied externally for skin issues. Also, for leukorrhoea,* simmer 1 Tablespoon of leaves in 1 pint water for 10 minutes. Cover and cool. Add to room temperature water and use as a douche.

MEDICAL

Constituents: Essential oil, flavonoids, glycosides kaempferol and quercitnin, tanin, minerals (calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorus), vitamins (C, E, A and B complex).

Actions: Mild alterative,astringent, hemostatic, parturient, refrigerant,stimulant, tonic

Uses: Pregnancy and delivery, menstrual irregularities, diarrhea, leukorrhoea,* fevers, mouth ulcers and inflammations

Combinations: Use with Squaw Vine, in equal parts, as a tea (1 tsp. to 1 cup water), to prepare the uterus for childbirth. Add False Unicorn Root and Cramp Bark in equal parts to the above if their is danger of miscarriage. To stop hemorrhages, use Bayberry tincture (5-10 drops) combined with Raspberry Leaf tincture (10-40 drops).

Cautions: Avoid partially dried leaves. (See notes at bottom of page)

CHINESE MEDICINE

Mild, bitter, cool

SOURCES 


I have raspberry bushes, which I’ve only used for berries, so I am so excited to be gathering leaves for medicine this coming year. In the process of studying this, I learned that the leaves develop some toxic substances as they are drying so they should be used fresh (not wilted or starting to dry) or fully dried. Good to know!

*So I came across this new word, “leukorrhoea” (or spelled with a “c” for the British version of the word). It wasn’t listed in all my herbal books, nor was it described in my current herbal lesson on the reproductive system. Turns out it is white vaginal discharge…the normal stuff that increases during time of ovulation. But in the condition of leukorrhoea, it is an excess of this normal biological process. It is NOT the same as a yeast infection, but can be caused by bacteria, as well as a host of other conditions. If you are curious, google the word. I did.

Lastly, the benefits of this herb during pregnancy have actually been verified by scientific study. Visit the Wellness Mama link in the sources for the specifics.

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