Organic Emily

Growing and Using Medicinal Herbs: Raspberry Leaves

Raspberry Bush

Growing Raspberries

Every garden cannot be complete without a raspberry patch!  Those delicious sweet juicy red berries are one of God’s greatest gifts to man in my opinion!  I grow mine where they can’t take over to quickly, inside a garden box with the house on one side and the driveway on the other.  They really love to spread!  Raspberries are native to Utah and grow well up in the mountains!  They prefer to have morning sun so they will do best on the east side of a garage, shed or house.   Make sure they get at least 8 hours of sunlight to produce fruit.  They are big water feeders and really prefer to be mulched with compost to keep the moisture in and regulated.  Raspberries are very easy to grow, however they can be prone to iron chlorosis.  I will give mine a dose of chelated iron (slow release) every 4-5 weeks to keep the leaves green and health.

Drying Raspberry Leaves

Using Raspberry Leaves

  • Raspberry leaves have been known as a female herb for centuries.
  • Many people including myself have used it to strengthen the uterine wall while relaxing the smooth muscle inside the uterus to help alleviate cramps.  Some even claim that it improves the chances of implantation and decrease the risk of having a miscarriage.   The leaves are also full of vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds that help the body to detoxify excess hormones that may impede conception.
  • During pregnancy, one cup of tea can help with morning sickness, strengthen the baby in utero with all the nutritional benefits it provides and has been reported to reduce leg cramps and swelling in late pregnancy.   The tea benefits the labor process as well, strengthening and shortening the durations of contractions. The benefits raspberry leaf tea provides for mother and baby after birth are rich breast milk due to the high levels of minerals as well as helping to regulate postpartum hormones bringing mom back to a healthy state of mind.  Some women need to be cautious while using raspberry tea during pregnancy if they have experienced C-section (past or planned), premature labor, bleeding during pregnancy, expecting twins or any other complications.  Always talk to your health care provider first before taking any supplements during pregnancy.
  • Even if you are not interested in getting pregnant raspberry leaf tea can help reduce cramping and regulate hormones, decreasing PMS.
  • The nice thing about raspberry leaf tea is that it is a balanced food so it’s safe for virtually everyone at every stage of life.  My 8 year old daughter loves to drink it!

 

Harvesting Raspberry Leaves

The best time to harvest raspberry leaves is in the late spring through early summer.  I cut enough every year to fill a gallon glass jar with dried leaves.  It’s easiest to dry the leaves in a dehydrator, but you can do it outside in the shade of a tree on a screen too.

Once the leaves are dry, place them in a cool dark place.  They should keep for a few years.

 

Emily’s Favorite Tea Blend

1 tablespoon dried raspberry leaves

1 tablespoon dried chamomile flowers

1 tablespoon dried peppermint leaves

4 cups purified boiling water removed from the heat.  Place the herbs in a tea infuser and let steep in hot water for 15-20 minutes.  Enjoy!

 

Emily Saddler

Emily is a Master Gardener, wife of a professional landscape contractor, Mom of 4 cute kids, Yoga instructor and very passionate advocate of organic home-grown food! Emily maintains a blog called “The Organic Suburban Farm Girl” where she shares gardening advice, delicious recipes made with fresh, organic ingredients and her escapades as the keeper of both backyard chickens and honeybees!

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