The Remarkable Raspberry
by Norma Whitehead
Although many people display allergic symptoms to strawberries, few cannot indulge in the winey fruit that ripens in the hottest part of summer, the raspberry.
The fruit is lovely, but the healthful properties in the leaves, root and bark are so valuable, raspberry is known as the "Woman's Herb". Species Rubus idaeus, family Rosacaea, raspberry is a relative of the rose, famous for vitamin C in the rose hip. Raspberry leaves (and fruit) are rich in citric acid, malic acid, tartaric acid, citrate, malate and tartarate of iron, potassium and calcium, calcium and potassium chloride, sulphate and phosphate, pectin, fragrine (an alkaloid that tones the tissues), a volatile oil, vitamins A, B, C, E, and fructose. The action is astringent, tonic, refrigerant, parturient, hemostatic, anti-septic, anti-abortient, anti-gonorrheal, anti-leucorrheal and anti-malarial.
Alma Hutchens (Indian Herbology) says raspberry leaf tea "can be taken freely before, during and after confinement, rendering parturition less laborious." Regular drinking throughout pregnancy strengthens and tones tissues, helping contractions and checks hemorrhage during labour. A perfectly safe drink (unlike black tea or coffee which contain caffeine) raspberry tea also enriches milk and helps prevent miscarriage.
In case of leucorrhea (mucous discharge from genitals), raspberry leaf douche is made by simmering 1 tablespoon of leaves in one pint of water for 10 minutes, covered, cooled, strained and used at room temperature.
Raspberry tea has helped with painful menstruation and flow, and lessens an over-abundant period. At menopause the adrenals are geared to take over as the ovaries gradually cease functioning; many menopausal symptoms are caused by exhausted adrenals. The herb best suited to help is raspberry leaf. Men in mid-life crisis with exhausted adrenals are well-advised to drink the tea also.
Red raspberry tea with red clover (one or more cups daily for several months) promotes fertility in men and women, prevents post-partum depression and hypertension, and with blessed thistle, increases breast- milk production.
Diarrhea, thrush, sore throat, canker sores, dysentery, urinary complaint, cold and fever sufferers find red raspberry tea is a reliable remedy.
Pour one cup boiling water over a teaspoon of dried leaves and let it steep at least 15 minutes. Drink and heal.
Harvest wild or tame raspberry leaves in spring or mid-summer for maximum potency. Use them freshly picked, but dry them for storage away from the light. They dry nicely spread thinly on a cotton sheet hung hammock fashion from the ceiling.
Raspberry leaf tea is an ideal beverage for reproductive women, the elderly, anyone in recovery, teenagers and children.
Abundant in potassium (441 ppm), calcium (121 ppm) and magnesium (93 ppm), it is also rich in all important trace minerals such as manganese (.52 ppm), zinc (.35 ppm), iron (.04 ppm) and chromium (.02 ppm). Raspberry leaf tea is a gentle, soothing, nourishing drink - morning, noon and night.
Rinse your teapot with hot water, add a handful of organic, sun-dried raspberry leaves, cover with boiling water and let steep ten minutes. Raspberry leaf tea is precious hot or cold; if you intend to keep it overnight it is best stored in the fridge. Raspberry leaf tea popsicles are a delight not to be missed in this lifetime. Simply pour cooled tea into an ice-cube tray and remove when frozen. Please let us know your experiences with raspberry leaf tea.