What Is It?
General Interaction

What Is It?

A favorite household remedy for centuries now, the vigorous raspberry shrub (Rubus idaeus) is the source of far more than just its tasty red berries. Traditional healers long ago recognized that its green leaves, in both fresh and dried forms, contain valuable therapeutic compounds, including astringent tannins and key nutrients.

Because of its high tannin content, raspberry leaf tea can be useful for ailments that cause intestinal inflammation and discomfort, such as diarrhea. The tannins reduce swelling by constricting minute blood vessels called capillaries; this prevents oozing or leaking of fluids in the intestines. The herb's astringent quality has inspired other uses as well, including a raspberry leaf tea mouthwash and gargle to soothe canker sores and sore throats.

Some herbalists tout raspberry tea as the ideal beverage to sip throughout pregnancy, because it's helpful for morning sickness and for ''stabilizing'' the uterus, especially in women prone to miscarriage. Indeed, pregnant women throughout the world have drunk raspberry tea without any adverse reactions reported for either themselves or the developing fetus. However, the scientific evidence for raspberry's benefits during pregnancy--or its potential health risks--is scanty and contradictory. The bottom line is that there have been no clinical studies to confirm the effectiveness or safety of raspberry remedies during pregnancy.

When buying raspberry tea in tea bag form, be sure to check the label to confirm that raspberry leaf is the main ingredient. Some teas are simply flavored with raspberry essence and, while they may be pleasant-tasting, such products cannot be expected to provide therapeutic benefit.

General Interaction

  • There are no drug or nutrient interactions associated with raspberry preparations.

  • Cautions

  • Sipped in moderation as a tea, raspberry is likely safe for everyone, although it remains unclear as to whether it's safe to take during pregnancy. Clearly more research is needed.

  • Date Published: 04/19/2005
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