As most brambly berries, the Raspberry is a member of the Rose family, the Rosaceae. It grows wild in great abundance, preferring slightly acidic and humus-rich soils left over from pine and spruce growth. To encourage good berry harvests, it requires some soil amendments and tending, but to harvest abundant quantities of good quality leaf (the medicinal part) very little is needed. We harvest the leaves in early summer, when they are a vibrant green, tender and astringent.
Elemental associations: Water
Phytochemistry: Tannins, flavonoids
Actions: Astringent, women’s tonic
Specific systems: Reproductive
Although predominantly used during pregnancy to encourage easy delivery and proper tissue tone, Raspberry leaf is excellent to help maintain the proper balance and tone for the entire uterine wall throughout a woman’s life. It works primarily by its astringent power, for it is very rich in tannins: this lets it regulate moisture content in the reproductive tissues, helping the uterine wall to not become over-engorged with blood and fluid during the menstrual cycle (and pregnancy).
In addition, it is a good toner for men’s reproduction as well: if there is stagnation or fluid buildup in the pelvic region, it can help bring the tissues into proper tone for men as well. Consider it in cases of urinary or reproductive complaints from this more ‘forgotten’ sex.
Finally, Raspberry is also rich in nutrients (specifically flavonoids) necessary for good health. It is a true tonic and general adjuvant, with no associated risks of any kind.
Indications: Pregnancy, menstrual complaints, endometriosis, general reproductive tonic
Contraindications: None whatsoever
Preparation/Dosage: Tea can be made from the fresh or dried leaves, chopped lightly, using 4 TBS per quart of water. This can be steeped indefinitely (even 2 days), although a simple overnight infusion is best. The tincture can be made from the wilted or barely dried leaves, 30% to 40% alcohol, 1:4 to 1:5. Take ½ teaspoon 2 or 3 times daily.