Can Red Raspberry Leaf Tea Help while Breastfeeding?
Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
The plumb, ruby red raspberry always conjures up feelings of summer for me. Such a beautiful little fruit. Its leaves are just as special. For centuries, red raspberry leaves have been used for their medicinal properties. It is especially beneficial for the female reproductive system.
According to livestrong.com, 'raspberry leaf promotes fertility, stops diarrhoea, decreases post-birth bleeding, regulates menstrual cycles, lowers fever, eases sore throats and increases breast milk supply." (1)
Breastfeeding places a huge demand on a woman’s body. The nutritional requirements for breastfeeding are similar to those during the pregnancy, and a lactating woman needs about 200-500 calories more per day than she did during pregnancy. Our calorie calculator can be found here. Because of this huge demand on a woman’s resources – sometimes breast milk is in short supply.
Red raspberry leaf is an incredible supplement to consider, should you require an increase in breast milk production. Even if you are not short on breast milk, it has such beneficial properties for the entire female reproductive system, it’s worth taking anyway! Although it's not recommended if you already have an oversupply of milk.
It is perhaps due to its nutrient dense properties, that red raspberry leaf promotes such an abundant supply of milk! It is said that just 30 grams of the leaf, may contain the following:
It is also very high in vitamin C and potassium. Other vitamins and minerals present in raspberry leaves include vitamins A, B1, B2, B3 as well as vitamin E, niacin, and selenium. (Gladstar, 2001; Mylntyre, n.d.; Young, n.d.)
How to take Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
Raspberry leaf comes in various forms – tablets or capsules, tea bags or loose tea leaves, or in a tincture form. It is best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to take it. When it comes to increasing milk supply, it seems that buying it in a tea blend, works well. These blends might include other herbs such as alfalfa, stinging nettle and goats rue.
Possible Side Effects
Most women do not experience any adverse effects from taking raspberry leaf tea. But the following side effects have been reported:
Firstly, it is always a good idea to check with your physician or health care practitioner before taking any herbs, or home remedies.
Raspberry leaf tea may cause a slightly loosing of the bowels. As no two women are alike, use it with caution initially, until you know how your body will react.
It also has a mild diuretic affect.
This might be good news for some – it can have a sedating affect. Raspberry leaf may have a muscle relaxant and sedative affect. This is of concern if you are taking medication with similar affects.
Unfortunately, not enough studies have been done on the effectiveness of red raspberry leaf tea during pregnancy and lactation. However more and more women and health care professionals are unearthing its wonderful properties and it is certainly a tea to have in your cupboard at all times!